Originally published in the People’s World on April 5, 2023
The argument for keeping People’s World alive is a more critical one now than ever before.
That’s because we are at a critical juncture in U.S. history, one that could end up with a fascist takeover of our country.
At such a time as this, the need for truth-telling journalists who work in print, online, and on television is so apparent. The quality of work done by the “Fourth Estate,” as reporters have been called historically, has often determined whether democracy was saved or fascism was ushered in.
We would like to be able to say that the majority of the press in the U.S. was clued in when it comes to the seriousness of the choices facing our country. We’d like to hope they understand the battle that lies ahead to save democracy.
Unfortunately, looking at what the corporate media is up to these days, we can’t say this with any confidence.
They are reporting the indictment of Trump as if it were some type of contest between one presidential candidate with a salacious past and the Democrats. They talk about Republicans who oppose Trump and their chances to win the coming primary elections.
They fail to reflect the fact that Trump is the predictable result of many years of racism and anti-working-class politics on the part of the Republican Party. They fail to reflect that the entire party, both the open Trumpites and his supposed opponents, rely on the same playbook—pushing fascist attacks on working people, minorities, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and anyone else who gets in their way.
On foreign policy, the corporate media cheers for a “bi-partisan approach” that endorses unprecedented military spending. This just increases the danger of World War III and results in the continued starvation of the social programs needed to make life bearable for working people and their allies here at home in America.
The corporate press replays a narrative that anyone who opposes the pouring of billions into the war in Ukraine, for example, is an opponent of freedom and “democracy.” To most of the media, NATO, the Pentagon, and U.S. foreign policy are the guarantors of the fight against autocracy when they’ve actually been the leading supporters of autocracy around the world.
The lobbyists-turned-commentators on the TV news networks drone on about how we must support pouring weapons not only into the Ukraine war but also into Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region because of a supposed threat from China. Never do they discuss how the Chinese have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and how much that accomplishment contributes to the democratization of society. Never do they mention that it is the U.S. which surrounds China with military bases, not the other way around.
These so-called journalists fail to talk about how U.S. cooperation with the alleged enemies Russia and China are critical to winning the battle against climate change and against the fossil fuel monopolies that exploit everyone on the planet, including the people of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
They fail to point out that all of these struggles and many others are critical parts of a fight to keep the extreme right and fascists from taking over our country.
What’s going on right now is so much more than just a fight between political parties that have various approaches to how to run a government. But the press talks about how Dems investigated Trump and how Republicans investigate the investigators, for example, to score political points. What is at stake—democracy or fascism—is hardly ever mentioned.
It would be great if the majority of the major media saw the danger of impending fascism and participated in the fight to stop it, but, as of now, they’re not yet there. That puts extra responsibility on People’s World and its supporters.
People’s World is doing what everyone in the Fourth Estate should be doing.
This publication is one of the few showing that the political “contests” waged today are about more than typical disagreements between the two big business parties. People’s World points out, for instance, how Asa Hutchinson, who announced for the Republican presidential nomination this week, is hardly a reasonable man coming out to challenge Trump. He’s a right-winger who dedicated his political life to destroying unions and carrying out racist policies in Arkansas.
A democracy cannot survive if the Fourth Estate does not carry out these necessary tasks. It is no exaggeration then to say that at his point, the continuation of People’s World is essential to the preservation of democracy.
We can almost say for certain that democracy itself cannot survive if People’s World does not survive. We can say for certain that if People’s World does not survive, the struggle to save democracy will, at the very least, be so much more difficult.
Hopefully, more and more news outlets will eventually join in this fight to save democracy, but until they do, People’s World is one sure weapon we all have to wage this struggle.
Please give then as generously as you can to the 2023 People’s World Fund Drive.
John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People’s World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and ’80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper’s predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.