The Left After Charlottesville

www.jacobinmag.com | 9/8/2017 | Staff
Zorra (Posted by) Level 4
Most of the planks of the left platform we need are already out there, waiting to be used to spur genuine debate and action across American society. Two in particular should top any left agenda.

The first is universal health care: Medicare for All. The Republicans’ haphazard bid to scrap the Affordable Care Act showed that even an extremely flawed version of “universal” coverage was still popular enough to scuttle repeal attempts. Now, according to recent polling, public support for single-payer is on the rise. Even centrist Democrats like Kamala Harris are getting on board. After decades of struggle, universal health care is, if not right around the corner, at least on the near horizon.

Demand - Medicare - All - Means - Bonds

Crucially, the demand for Medicare for All also offers a means to build the bonds of solidarity. As Atlantic writer Vann R. Newkirk recently pointed out, Martin Luther King Jr and other civil rights activists saw universal health care as a critical component of their struggle for a just and equitable society. The same is true today. Across movements — whether for black lives or a fifteen-dollar minimum wage or immigrant rights — universal health care is a demand that unifies.

There’s another reason to prioritize the push for universal health care. Far-right organizations like the Traditionalist Workers Party have begun making overtures to poor whites in places like Appalachia by talking about jobs and access to quality health care. We can’t allow a pitch for decent health care, or an argument for good jobs, to be used as a gateway to fascism.

Universal - Rights - Demand - Platform - System

Universal voting rights should be the second demand of any immediate left platform. Our political and economic system can’t be changed, radically and in the long-term, through voting. But countless people are being hurt by the system as it exists today, and substantially boosting voter turnout...
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