Thursday, November 12, 2020

How America's Communist and Workers parties reacted to the outcome of the Presidential election

The workers-people's struggle must continue no matter who is the next President is the common denominator in the reactions of Communist and Workers' parties in the United States, following the November 3rd election.

Below, you can read statements and commentary by major parties and organizations of the U.S. Communist Left on the outcome of the Presidential election, the victory of Joe Biden and the defeat of incumbent President Donald Trump.

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Communist Party, USA (CPUSA)

In a statement published on November 5th under the title "Defend the votes!", the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) pointed out:  "All souls to the polls; now all feet to the streets. We marched to the polls to vote against fascism. Now we march back out, along with millions of others, to demand that every vote be counted. We are in a new moment, learning from every advance and from every setback. And whatever the outcome, the struggle continues!".

A recent article (11 November 2020), published on the Party's official website, reads:

We voted, now let’s stop the coup!

The joy and relief that burst forth into street celebrations across the country on Saturday reflects the huge movement, tens of millions of calls, postcards, texts, and door knocks, to Dump Trump and vote against fascism along with all the racism, hate, and division it represents. This was indeed the most important election of our lifetime!

Expressions of “WE DID IT!” show an appreciation of the vote as a collective action. The enormity of what each union and people’s organization accomplished, including our party and other left forces, must be recognized. This was a real all-people’ victory!

The amazing organizing undertaken represents the potential for lifting the struggles for people’s needs to a new and higher level going forward.

The leadership of Black women has to be recognized. The ability of unions across the country to mobilize stood out as well. They were “all in,” organizing their members, with many unemployed workers, due to the pandemic, in the forefront. Latinx, Native American, and youth voters and their organizations also contributed mightily, making all the difference.

The Biden/Harris ticket scored some 77 million ballots, a historic number. With Trump receiving 72 million, there is an over 5 million difference in the popular vote count so far, the widest in recent memory.  Make no mistake: democracy and a people’s agenda have a mandate.

In light of the closeness of the race for Congress and state legislatures, including some losses, the CPUSA clearly had a correct emphasis on the need for a massive turnout.

Trump’s ongoing claim that he is the winner and his challenge of the results with lawsuits and recounts are extremely dangerous. This aims not only to slow down the process but also to potentially overturn the results. The fascist danger, while set back, is not over.  In this regard, while there was a democratic breakthrough, the country has not reached a turning point.

Indeed, while facing massive push-back from many quarters, the danger cannot be underestimated.

Advance preparation by Protect the Results coalition rallies helped create a narrative for patience while every vote was counted. It helped give short shrift to Trump’s attempt to stop counting  early votes in Philadelphia  and other cities with majority Black and Latino populations.

The large vote Trump received shows the tremendous amount of work needed to tackle white supremacy and racism, misogyny, red-baiting, and the anti-democracy agenda.

Ongoing vigilance must be maintained. Unity as well must be maintained. In this respect, red-baiting and casting aspersions on the Black Lives Matter movement from whatever corner only helps the GOP.

There is a need for continued large public expressions to protect the vote during the Electoral College process up to the Inauguration, especially in Republican-controlled states. While Mitch McConnell and some corporate interests are standing with Trump, it is notable that some Republicans and sections of capital do not agree with Trump’s attempts to steal the election.

Continued public pressure, particularly from our multi-racial working class, is needed to further isolate Trump’s attempt at a coup.

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Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)

 The defeat of Donald Trump

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) participated in the Presidential election with its own nominees, Gloria La Riva and Sunil Freeman. The Party issued a statement on November 10th:

More than 70 million people voted to oust Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. This was not a vote for Joe Biden, a truly uninspiring candidate who only became the nominee when the Democratic Party ruling class establishment united to stop Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination in early March. Nor did the historic voter turnout for Biden signify support for his pro-Wall Street, pro-war positions and his role as an architect of the current system of policing and mass incarceration.

In the last few minutes, the major corporate-owned media networks all announced that Joe Biden had sufficient electoral college votes to become the next president of the United States.

It is noteworthy that Fox News, which has been so vociferously cheerleading for Donald Trump during the last four years, also called the election for Biden and dramatically changed the tone of its coverage to be very supportive of Biden and the campaign he ran.

Donald Trump insists that he will fight on. He argues that he is the true winner of the election and the only reason that he might not be president is because of widespread election fraud. This is not true and as more and more of the mail-in vote arrived in Pennsylvania, Georgia and other states it became crystal clear that Trump in fact had lost the electoral college vote in a very narrow contest that almost exactly replicates the narrow outcome in 2016 but with the margins reversed.

Trump broke the cardinal rule of U.S. capitalist politics when he denounced the election system as a fraud. Maintaining the image of a peaceful transfer of power between the two ruling class parties for more than a century has been considered a core element of American capitalist governance. The peaceful transfer of power bestows legitimacy upon the system. Every system requires either undiluted brute violence that is routinely dispensed on oppressed classes, or it relies on its legitimacy with a sector of the population which is then, of course, supplemented by the threat of violence and state coercion. “Democracy” is the preferred form of class rule because achieving legitimacy with a significant sector of the working class and intermediate strata makes the system easier to maintain. It avoids the tension and conflict which makes class rule more complicated and unstable.

Trump’s motivation is very narrow and personal. Once out of office, he and his family will be subject to multiple criminal prosecutions and civil legal cases in many states on issues related to tax evasion, financial fraud and other such crimes. If Trump becomes a civilian, he loses his immunities for state-based prosecutions on financial crimes. This will be Trump’s future and he knows it. The ruling class will not sacrifice the legitimacy of its political system to protect Donald Trump in his post-presidency civilian life.  

Trump has spent the last days trying to use ultra-right and fascist mobilizations to stop the vote count. But he has become increasingly isolated. His base of support within the capitalist establishment is crumbling and that will continue. The fact that Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial board have turned against him in his quest to condemn the election process is a clear indication that his fate has been sealed.

The 2020 presidential election was a referendum on Trump. The Democrats did very badly in the rest of the election. They lost seats to the Republicans in the House and they failed to win the Senate. The fact that it was a close election at the presidential level at a time of the biggest healthcare catastrophe and mass unemployment in living memory shows how little the Democratic Party has to offer the masses of people. The Democratic Party ruling class establishment adopted a center-right orientation and refused to embrace the demands for Medicare for All; a cancellation of rents and mortgage payments during the pandemic; canceling student debt; or meaningful policing reforms. Ironically, the same Democratic Party establishment now blames the left for its failures in the down ballot contests during the election.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation has argued since 2016 that Donald Trump is merely a symptom of a larger disease. Late stage capitalism is destroying not only the working class and poor but big sectors of the middle class. As the billionaires get ever richer and more powerful, the level of human suffering inside “the richest country in the world” increases rapidly. The larger disease is capitalism, and the cure is to replace the system that fosters poverty amid plenty and destroys workers as a tiny class of the ultra rich concentrate wealth and power. The solution lies not with the Democratic Party but with the replacement of capitalism by a humane, rational and sustainable social system: socialism.

The task at hand is to build a mass movement demanding that the Biden White House take immediate emergency measures to eradicate mass unemployment; provide a livable guaranteed income for all of those who have been made jobless; cancel rents, evictions and foreclosures; cancel student debt; and adopt a Medicare for all healthcare system. At the same time, we have to mobilize greater opposition to U.S. militarism and war, which is not even slightly diminished under a government led by Joe Biden.

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Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)

"Don’t let Trump steal the election! Take to the streets to demand a people’s agenda!" is the message of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in a statement published on November 4th. 

The statement is as follows:

The world is watching as Americans vote to defeat Trump and the Republican agenda of racism, discrimination and oppression. Of course, the system already cheated the American people back in 2016. Trump lost the popular vote but was declared U.S. president by the elitist Electoral College system. Now Donald Trump threatens to be at it again, trying to lie, cheat and steal his way back into the White House.

Trump learned a lot back in 2000 when the Supreme Court used ‘hanging chads’ to declare Bush the president. Like Bush, Trump will stop at nothing, purging Black voters from election rolls, forcing voters to stand in line for hours at the polls, slowing the U.S. mail and refusing to count mail-in ballots.

Together the people must unleash a storm of struggle! If voting is not doing it, then it is time to take it to the streets – we need rallies and marches of working-class and oppressed people, with our allies, advancing democratic demands and challenging this system.

Four years ago, protesting Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C., the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) Political Secretary Steff Yorek declared, “Our goal is to make the country ungovernable for Trump and the Republicans.” The next day the Women’s March was the largest mass protest in U.S. history. Trump immediately launched attack after attack, and people resisted these with growing numbers of protests.

We have done everything in our power to fan the flames of this resistance, from airport protests slamming Trump’s Muslim ban, to rallies at ICE offices denouncing immigrant children locked in cages, to promoting and leading the growing number of strikes by workers, to opposing Trump attacks on LGBTQ+ people. After the righteous anger of widespread militant protests against the gruesome Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, it is safe to say there are more people standing up and fighting back in our country than any time since the early 1970s. Say it with us, “Stand up! Fight back!”

So what is next? We are organizing people to keep it in the streets. If Trump refuses to leave, we will need to do things like demand that local, county and state governments refuse to recognize him and act against him. Literally make the country ungovernable.

We have worked to meet Trump’s attacks with unity and people power solidarity! When the people force Trump to concede, it will be a very happy day! Then we advance to the next phase of struggle.

Regardless of how Trump leaves office, our next target is a president who also dances to the tune of Wall Street bankers.

With the economic and health crisis ongoing, we cannot return to the old ways of doing things. With Biden in office, little is going to change unless we demand it and back it up with people power, including the organized forces of the working class. Biden is not going to save us. We must initiate the changes we want through our own movements and with leadership consciously acting independently of both parties of Wall Street.

Biden’s record is clear; he pushed poor people off welfare, he locked up Black men and others at record numbers, and he enthusiastically went to war against countries and peoples that Wall Street considered too independent or too strong. To make change, we need to advance a people’s agenda like the one at the March on the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, August, 2020.

Of the many reforms people want, like immigrant rights and reversing climate change, three stand out. We immediately need health care for all to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We need extended and expanded unemployment (Bring back the $600 now!) to pay rent and bills. Most importantly, we need to end police killings and police terror with community control of the police.

The fact is that we need to be rid of Trump. His brand of brutality and reaction is not only a concrete threat to real people’s lives; the constant loss of ground is an impediment to making progress on many issues, with the potential to demoralize the rising tide of struggle. That said, we are not confused about the nature of Biden or that fact that reforms do not go far enough. Working and oppressed people cannot get our dreams and aspirations met within the existing system – we need something different and better.

If you read Fight Back! for news, then you know we are building movements, trying to win immediate demands, all the while asking organizers and activists to build the fight for revolution by signing up with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Turn your righteous anger into meaningful activism for revolution, socialism and liberation. Join the FRSO.