The People Speak

Welcome to the first edition of “The People Speak,” a new round-up of some of the discussions and debates happening on the People’s World website and on our social media networks. Join the conversation at the bottom of every article on and on Facebook. Your comments could be the next to appear in this space.


Re: California: Single-payer is no Plan B if Obamacare is repealed

Juan Lopez says:

Terrific analysis! As you so ably document, there is no silver bullet to realizing single-payer in California. The struggle to save ‘Obamacare’ is literally a matter of life or death for untold numbers of Americans. In the course of struggle, millions – including many who voted for Trump – are witnessing the utter disregard for human life by Trump and the Republican leadership in pursuit of huge tax breaks for corporate multi-billionaires. This fight is key to helping shape public opinion as we head towards the 2018 and 2020 elections. That is why I am baffled by those on the left fighting for single-payer while doing little, if anything, to save ACA. In many areas of the country, especially California, we can fight for ‘Obamacare’ while advocating for single-payer. No contradiction here. But, we must advocate for Medicare for All with our eyes wide open, being aware of the direct connection between ACA and single-payer and the reality-based complexities of winning Medicare for All in California. And you, Michelle Kern, have contributed mightily to this process and to the discussion. Thank you!


Re: Trump’s Scout speech likened by some to Hitler Youth rally

Gabe Falsetta says:

It is a very sad and dangerous time. There is a whiff of fascism in the air. All patriotic people must take a stand in any way, small or bold, to push back against this small-minded, corrupted-to-the-core person in the White House! Make no mistake, he will continue to erode our democratic protections written in our Constitution and Bill of Rights!


Re: Teddy Roosevelt vs. Nicolás Maduro: U.S.-backed regime change in Venezuela

Zen Arts says:

Perfecting Regime Change: It is astonishing how the U.S. has perfected the practice of ‘regime change’ to a fine art. Since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, Latin Americans have been the main victims of regime change before those techniques were applied to Africans, Asians, and Middle Easterners. The racist and paternalistic justifications of President Roosevelt have also been extended worldwide, and also explains how liberal Democrats can join with right-wingers to sponsor regime change.

Take the military coup for example. Just to orchestrate a military coup requires timing and ability. First, find and payoff the coup leaders. Next, create conditions of political and economic instability to justify a coup. Finally, support the junta in its consolidation of power and suppression of dissent. This pattern has been used to overthrow Allende of Chile, as well as Diem in Vietnam.

Another technique is the use of indigenous proxy armies. But such armies tend to be incompetent, lack popular support, or may turn on their sponsors, as did the Afghan Mujahedin. The best example is the failure of the CIA-trained and -equipped Bay of Pigs Cubans to overthrow Castro and the Cuban Revolution. They failed to understand that most Cubans supported the Revolution not the counter-revolution. The right-wing Cuban-exile clique of Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtenin should keep that event in mind as they contemplate how best to overthrow the popular Venezuelan revolution. Then there is the direct use of U.S. boots on the ground to effect regime change, as the best and last resort.

I am surprised Emile Schepers did not discuss the Platt Amendment and how it was used to justify military intervention and regime change in a supposedly sovereign Cuba. Given all the methods of regime change, it will be interesting to find out what the architects of regime change will pull out of their bag of tricks to topple the Venezuelan Revolution.


Re: Union leaders skeptical about Trump’s “New NAFTA” negotiating objectives

Emile Schepers says:

Earlier this year, Mexican, U.S., and Canadian labor union leaders, environmental activists, and others met in Mexico City to formulate a joint cross-border stance on NAFTA. While U.S. workers have suffered from NAFTA, the impact in Mexico has been much worse. It is important to keep track of what is being said and done on this score in Mexico and Canada as well as the United States. Cross border solidarity, which is the same as international working class solidarity, is the only way to defeat this sort of thing.


Re: The need for a new U.S. policy toward North Korea

Leonard C. Yannielli says:

With Trump’s problems escalating, what are the chances he, once again, goes with the generals and gives the green light for military action in North Korea? This is probably on his list of distractions. We need to add peace/war issues to the wealth gap, jobs, and the environment.


Re: New Democratic Party slogan is sadly telling

John Bachtell says:

I wonder about drawing such fast conclusions based on a few bumper sticker slogans. True they are silly and devoid of policy, but they are geared to tapping into the deep hatred for Trump. They seem directed at the Democratic Party base and to raising money. It certainly doesn’t reflect the full range of policy, including the advanced program that emerged from the Democratic National Convention, widely acknowledged as the most progressive of any major party.

I don’t think this article reflects the complexity of the fight we are engaged in now, the role of congressional Democratic elected officials and their interaction with the resistance across the political spectrum. It dismisses it by omission. They have been totally united against the GOP, and that ought to be acknowledged.

The main fight before Congress and the mass movements is to block the repeal of Obamacare and the dismantling of Medicaid. What’s needed is building cooperation and unity in that fight, focus on the key issue that wins maximum unity. And after that, it will have to be defending the ACA from being undermined, again and again.

The fight for single-payer will go on and there is no contradiction between defending the ACA and advocating for single payer, building a decisive majority coalition and support for it.

The big challenge in 2018 will be assembling electoral coalitions that can unite left and center and peel off some GOP voters, and, as the writer suggests, motivate alienated voters to the polls. Most of the contested districts in 2018 will be similar politically to the Georgia 6th. Adopted slogans will have to take that into account.

Despite all the money spent in the 6th District special election, only 48 percent of registered voters voted. Voter turnout takes speaking to voters’ concerns, patiently and persistently building movements at the grassroots around key issues, and building infrastructure. It’s more than slogans. If the latter is taking place without the former, then I would be alarmed.


Re: The world’s greediest CEO: Hunter Harrison

Aaron Adkins says:

The fact is you can get the results Harrison does with good management skills and quality people that handle the day-to-day activities without such a squashing of the workforce. Yes, you may need to adjust manpower at certain locations without a doubt, but that’s not what they care about. He just wants to get quick results and leave the company in shambles, while he gets richer and walks out the door leaving stock holders with higher dividends. Railroads act like he’s a genius but he’s far from it. The railroads waste millions of dollars on nonsense and care nothing about the customers they serve. In the end, CSX customers and employees pay the price for his poor management abilities.


In reply to: Trump moves to destroy the rights of millions to overtime pay

Michelle Temple says:

It is a shame that businesses will not be held accountable for the abuses of their salaried employees. That they can have us working ridiculous hours to the point we could do better by quitting for minimum wage hourly jobs that are protected and make more. That they can endanger the health, welfare and well-being of these employees and they are left with no recourse.


PW Readers
PW Readers

Contributors to “The People Speak” round-up of discussions and debates happening on the People’s World website and on our social media networks.