We face bleak, more dangerous times as this issue go to press. The empowerment of fascist leadership led by Donald Trump, his advisor Steve Bannon and his appointees -- a wrecking crew of corporate insiders, extremists and rabid militarists, is a direct threat to all of us. Even more dangerous than their ugly bigotry, anti-worker, anti-woman militancy and rabid xenophobia is the threat of climate denial at a time when our planet is at a dangerous precipice. We have every right to be frightened but we cannot allow ourselves to become paralyzed or hopeless.
These self-serving crooks want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. They want to cut our pay, gut your retirement, privatize public education and undo climate progress including regulations on filthy fossil fuels. They vow to undo even the limited access to healthcare that many now have, to eliminate womens' right to control their own bodies and have life-saving abortions. They want to further undo Civil Rights legislation and voting rights, to further empower and militarize our police, to limit press and speech freedoms and further deregulate inadequately regulated banks and big business, creating new tax breaks for the wealthiest.
Trump's rise has been blamed on the working class, particularly white workers. We reject being tarred with that accusation from the corporate press and resentful Clinton democrats. Instead of blaming the hard-hit workers they ignored, or Putin, or anyone and everyone else, the sad truth is that Democrats ran an unpopular candidate who did everything possible to suppress progressives and alienate would be supporters. Many chose to stay home. As we wrote in the last issue, workers who did not vote or who voted for Trump are not our enemies. We as a class need each other and will need each other even more as we are forced to defend ourselves against the assault of arrogant and empowered reactionary corporate gangsters.
As a country, we have little to celebrate and much to dread in the months and years ahead. Now that the mask is off the beast of the voracious monstrosity of capitalism, we have never been in a better position to build a massive, united, progressive movement; not that it will be easy! We have to keep in mind that most people did not vote, that there are more progressives than there are reactionaries, and that many who did vote for Trump already regret it.
Along with public infrastructure and progressive institutions, critical artists and dissidents will be viciously targeted by Trump's minions and the hate-groups he has empowered. This includes us.
This issue marks 20 years of publishing the strongest voices of our working class. We did not decide to call ourselves Partisan Press because it rhymes with artisan. We are partisans in the continuing spirit of the anti-fascist fighters of the last century. We pledge to continue to fight with poetry and writing that matters, which speaks the truth and which promotes a vision of radical working class democracy. We can only do that with the support of our readers. There has never been a more important time to support our collective efforts and to come together as poets providing inspiration and needed insight to our fellow workers.
We are grateful for your words as well as your support. We remain committed to continuing through these harsh, trying times and together, surmounting and defeating fascist reaction.