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Frustration overwhelmed me as I feverishly searched the Uber Eats driver app on my phone, attempting to figure out why I couldn’t transfer the money I had earned. What was the point of doing these deliveries if I couldn’t access the funds when I needed them? The fact that my family was struggling financially merely days before the election was an apt microcosm of the material conditions in the world’s most “exceptional” nation. We knew the presidential election wouldn’t result in substantial change to said conditions, regardless of which old, white conservative ended up winning. …


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A fallen Christopher Columbus statue outside the Minnesota State Capitol (Wikimedia Commons)

Columbus Day is one of two American holidays named after an actual person; the other being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Christopher Columbus must have therefore been a highly revered historical figure, possibly on par with Dr. King himself. Growing up in the U.S. and attending public schools certainly includes the customary narrative regarding Columbus — an account resembling a fairy tale or a mythology in which our main character is practically deified. We are told with great enthusiasm that Columbus not only “discovered America”, but that he was an honorable, noble, brave, and talented explorer.


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Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump has announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. According to his campaign manager, the president will postpone or make virtual all of his previously scheduled campaign events. Photographs of Trump’s activities from the days leading up to this news further elucidate his blasé attitude toward the risk of contracting the virus.


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Original caption: The Courtroom of the Supreme Court showing Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of her seat draped in black following her death on September 18, 2020 (Wikimedia Commons)

On September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications related to pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old and was surrounded by loved ones at the time of her death. Thousands attended a vigil outside the Supreme Court building and innumerable additional events took place in her honor throughout the country. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and became known as a feminist icon and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights due to her dissenting opinions in cases like Gonzales v. Carhart, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. …


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A segment of Diego Rivera’s “Man at the Crossroads” featuring depictions of Leon Trotsky, Friedrich Engels, and Karl Marx (Wikimedia Commons)

As a socialist writer who has been regularly producing political commentary for the last three years, I’ve made some observations about the state of the American Left and it’s potential future prospects. Though my political education began with reading authors like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn nearly two decades ago, I have more recently evolved in my political tendency and now consider myself a Marxist-Leninist. With the advent of Bernie Sanders and the prospects for social democracy in the United States, I was both inspired and frustrated during recent years.


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Wikimedia Commons

On August 11, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that he had chosen former presidential candidate and California senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate. In a campaign email, Biden proclaimed that Harris “is the best person to help me take this fight to Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021.” In an overview of the news, CNN highlighted Harris’s “multi-racial background”, indicating that the Biden campaign’s decision may have partially stemmed from a desire to embrace the reinvigorated movement for racial justice in these tumultuous times.


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Wikimedia Commons

On July 29, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement on Twitter that read, “As we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, [the State Department’s] JUST Act Report highlights countries’ efforts to provide a measure of justice to Holocaust survivors and their families. We must #NeverForget the unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust.”


A dramatic event lost in the chaos of 2020

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Venezuelan politician Juan Guaidó (Wikimedia Commons)

The year of our Lord 2020 will likely go down in the history books as one of the most existentially ridiculous years ever. It began with President Donald Trump belligerently assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was on a peace mission in Iraq. Unlike many controversial Middle Eastern figures, Solemani was universally beloved in Iran and played a leading role in the defeat of ISIS in Syria. Shortly thereafter, Chinese officials isolated a novel coronavirus strain after noticing a strange influenza-like ailment afflicting residents in and around the city of Wuhan weeks earlier. Needless to say, the coronavirus behind what is now referred to as Covid-19 has led to a massive global pandemic. On May 25, with said catastrophe in full effect, a white Minneapolis police officer lynched an unarmed, nonviolent black man named George Floyd, causing nationwide rebellions and calls to defund/abolish the institution of American policing. …


The Trump administration has recently doubled down on its draconian tactics

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Police stand as protesters gather during a demonstration in Portland, Oregon, July 16, 2020. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

In the wake of massive, sustained anti-racist demonstrations across the country, the Trump administration has doubled down on its draconian tactics. Complementing its infamous white nationalist policies of Muslim bans, ICE terror, and immigrant concentration camps, the federal government has now been caught red-handed in another insidious and overtly fascist scheme. In attempt to silence dissent and “restore law and order,” the embattled Washington regime reportedly deployed unidentified armed thugs to kidnap civilians in the city of Portland, Oregon. As journalist Alan Macleod explained:

“Anonymous masked federal agents in military uniforms jump out of unmarked minivans, abducting seemingly random people on the street in Portland, frightening new viral videos show. Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC have been sent to the city to tamp down on 49 days of continuous demonstrations against racist police brutality. The move appears to be the Trump administration’s latest tactic to crush the nationwide protests that erupted in late May over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.” …


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America is the Fyre Festival of countries. It is pure hype with little to no positive results. It is a back-alley drug deal culminating in a sweaty palm gripping a wrinkled bag of oregano. It is broken promises, shattered dreams, and shameful regret. All our lives we are told with inflated enthusiasm, with charismatic apologia, that America is a spectacular monument to freedom and democracy, a “shining city upon a hill” and a beacon to lesser nations. We are told our country is “exceptional.” …

About

Matthew John

Socialist. Herbivore. Husband. I usually write about politics, current events, and history. My work has also been published by The Hampton Institute.

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