Across the nation and around the world there is a great populist wave that is challenging the injustice of the elites and the inequities of politics and finance, and at this moment, in our land, it is time for the true champions of the 99 percent to launch the largest voter registration, mobilization and turnout campaign in the history of freedom.
In America today, and in Europe, and in nations everywhere there is a war of the worlds that is unfolding between the agents of the few who reap the greatest profits and seek the greatest power, against the voices of the many who believe, as did Lincoln, that America should be the land for all of the people, and believe, as did Kennedy, that a rising economic tide here and everywhere should lift all boats.
In some nations the most corrupted of the 1 percent imprison, torture or murder the champions of the 99 percent. In other nations they mock, ignore, slander or silence them, a tactic that is no stranger to some elements of the American right whose political rhetoric at times veers ominously close to the ugly hate-talk of the National Front in France.
In the current campaign the conservative and Republican agents of the 1 percent try to buy elections with their fortunes, buy legislation with their largesse, steal elections by tampering with the machinery of voting and attack our democracy by launching the largest voter suppression campaign in history, organized by Republicans, which must be met with the largest voter mobilization campaign in history, organized by Democrats, liberals, progressives, Hispanics, women, blacks and young people.
The true voices of the great populist wave, who cross continents and nations, including ours, believe that there is such a thing as the rights of man and the rights of woman, and believe that those rights begin with the simple notions of basic fairness, shared sacrifice, shared prosperity and shared patriotism.
The great populist wave is global. A man without sight in Beijing inspires the world with his brilliantly clear vision. Voters in France and Britain oppose the cruelty of an austerity that destroys jobs for the many while further enriching the very few. Protests greet Wells Fargo and Bank of America and shareholders offer resolutions against radical anti-capitalist compensation for bad performance.
There is a great populist wave that believes that women everywhere deserve a fair chance to reach whatever heights their talents can take them to. That workers deserve a good job at a fair wage. That consumers should not be cheated or abused by firms that are above the law. That voters have a right to vote. That those whose opinions differ should not be murdered or tortured by governments that steal their money or destroy their freedom, or slandered by the National Front in France or by conservatives in America for being unpatriotic enemies of the state.
There is a great populist wave against those on the right who oppose pay equity for women but support stratospheric compensation for bailed-out bankers, use Jesus to support punishing attacks against the poor, plagiarize words about freedom to prevent Hispanics from voting and oppose protections for military families against fraud.
There is a great populist wave against those who plagiarize words about capitalism to justify turning Medicare into windfall profits for insurers, throwing homeowners onto the streets so the few can make a fast buck and letting financial felons who hurt our country escape unpunished.
It is these things that the great populist wave stands against. It is these things that the great populist wave and the true voices for the 99 percent want changed. It is these things that should inspire the largest campaign for voter mobilization, voter registration and voter turnout in history, because in the land of the free and the home of the brave the people should rule, not the money.
This column was originally published at The Hill.
How will Trump’s administration impact you? Learn more