BIDEN IN DETROIT, The First President to Join Striking Workers and Walk the Picket Line — aka "The Day the Filthy Rich Were Sure Would Never Come"
Relaxing and soaking in their ocean of billions and billions of dollars, they never saw this day coming. Why would they? They privately refer to themselves as “The Owners.” They own the country. They own the politicians. They think they own you and me. In just this decade alone the Big 3 car companies made off with profits — profits! — of a quarter trillion dollars! Other fat cats have bought up all the media so that their version of the truth is virtually all we see. They’ve almost succeeded in turning our democracy into an autocracy, and their thievery has resulted in the top 1% of them owning more wealth than the bottom 90% while 61% of all Americans must live from paycheck to paycheck. According to the Federal Reserve, nearly 40% of our fellow citizens do not at any given time have $400 of available cash in their pockets for an emergency expense.
But when the current President defeated the Democratic Socialist in the Democratic primaries in 2020, and then went on to win the White House that November, Wall Street and Corporate America breathed a sigh of relief. Their old friend from Delaware, Inc., a self-proclaimed lover of Capitalism, a former leader of the mass incarceration of our Black citizens through his “Crime Bill,” and the man who, through his treatment of Anita Hill, paved the path for Clarence Thomas to take his ill-begotten seat of terror on the Supreme Court. Yeah, that guy, Joe, the kind of tool that wealthy white America has always found quite useful in keeping the majority of Democrats moderate, centrist wimps. The Party that’s always proclaimed to be on the side of the workers, the women, the Earth, the dispossessed, the grapes of wrath — while all along barely lifting a finger to see that the men and women who do all the work receive a just compensation. Who have not seen a raise in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour in over 14 years. And an entire gender who had its bodily autonomy ripped from them after begging the Dems for 49 long years to please pass a law in Congress to make Roe v. Wade the permanent Law of the Land. But they never got around to it. And then it was too late. Too late for affirmative action. Too late to save the EPA. Too late. Too late.
Yes, to the rich, it all looked so great, so smooth, everything moving according to plan, our country — no, their country.
Today, the wealthy are going to be forced to watch something that has never happened before in the United States of America: The President of the United States will fly to Detroit, take a sign into his hands, and walk with thousands of striking Autoworkers in a picket line meant to shut down the factory and prevent any commerce or manufacturing from taking place inside. No president has ever done this. Ever. This president had this to say last week:
“The automakers have made record profits. The workers deserve a record contract.” BOOM! Mic drop. He later announced he would go to Detroit to picket with the union, the workers.
Oh how I wish I could’ve been in the plush office of any one of our 756 billionaires when that appeared on the screen! To see them choke on whatever they were eating or drinking. To see their mouths agape, their eyeballs about to pop out of their heads. Their frantic effort to find a baby aspirin in their vest pocket, or lunging toward the oxygen canister in the room so they could breathe. Nothing in their lives will have prepared them for this singular historic moment when the man they thought they bought and paid for had betrayed them, had used his power as the most powerful man in the world to stand on the side of the people, the working people, women and men who had taken pay cuts, gave up their benefits, bowed down and bent over to their corporate masters and now, here was the President, right up in the faces of the Big 3 CEOs and, speaking Scrantonese: You fuck with these good people, you’re fucking with me.
Wow. Yes. Each of us lived to see this day. It finally happened. Now it’s up to all of us to pick up the gauntlet, join with the unions, fight for their livelihood, defend our Democracy, and repel all forces hell-bent on creating a fascist society. This is our moment. Thank you Joe Biden for standing with us and truly acting as our public servant. You serving us, not the other way around as we’re used to. Thank you for coming to Detroit. This will not soon be forgotten.
Photos by: Bill O'Leary and Bill Pugliano via Getty Images