International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International
In the IWU-FI we share the celebrations of workers, the anti-racist movement and the majority of the American people, as well as people from other countries.
On 7 November it was confirmed that President Donald Trump lost the election, though he keeps saying he was the victim of fraud. This happens amid a pandemic and in the worst world capitalist crisis.
In the IWU-FI we share the celebrations of workers, the anti-racist movement and the majority of the American people, as well as people from other countries. The right-wing, racist, and misogynous billionaire lost the election. He denied the COVID-19, dismantled the health care system, stood up for the murderous police that killed George Floyd, and subdued peoples around the world with his plundering plans in favour of transnational companies and bankers. Trump was the president of the imperialist capitalism that only offers hunger, social inequality and it is a threat for the planet for the environmental destruction. He even denied climate change caused by the irrational use of resources that multinationals and capitalist governments do.
To celebrate Trump’s defeat does not mean to support or have expectations on Joe Biden, who won representing the other bosses’ imperialist party, the Democratic Party. Biden was Obama’s vice president who not only did not solve any of the workers, black or poor people’s problems, but also bailed out banks and multinational companies in the 2008 capitalist crisis and imposed austerity measures on the rest of the world.
For that, workers and peoples around the world should not place their hope on Biden, but on workers, the anti-racist and women’s movement in struggle in the USA that fought Trump on the streets.
Trump’s electoral defeat is also a great political defeat for the whole of the world’s far-right, for Salvini, Le Pen, Bolsonaro, Orban of Hungary, the Vox party of the Spanish State, the neo-Nazis of Germany or the Golden Dawn of Greece.
Trump’s defeat is the electoral expression of the anti-racist rebellion over the crime of George Floyd and the Covid-19 crisis
It’s rare for a President of the United States not to be re-elected. In the last 100 years, only four could not win the re-election. Trump will be the fifth.
Voter turnout was the highest in history in a country where voting is not mandatory: you have to register to vote and there are all kinds of manoeuvres to dissuade voters in the state legislations. Voter turnout reached 66 per cent of those registered (155 million people). Voting by mail was also a record high: 100 million, despite Trump’s attempts to discourage and hinder it.
Millions voted to get rid of Trump because they hated his racism, the police repression and his denial of Covid. Trump’s defeat can be explained by the fact that there was first the anti-racist rebellion that was unleashed at the end of May because of George Floyd’s police crime. It was a national rebellion. With street demonstrations, called by the Black Lives Matter movement, in all the big cities and which managed to mobilise over 20 million people, larger than the ones against the Vietnam War. The government was divided, it could not get the troops on the streets. The Pentagon chief, Mark Esper, and the head of the Armed Forces did not agree. Trump was then very weakened. A political crisis was apparent. Trump then “fired” Mark Esper on his Twitter account.
The anti-racist rebellion was combined with the disaster of Trump’s management of Covid19. His denial led to the pandemic getting out of control and the United States becoming the first country in number of infected people (10 million) and dead (240,000) by Covid19.
An extreme polarisation of US society for and against Trump
The election result expressed the extreme political and social polarization that exists in the country. And all the contradictions of the American society.
Millions turned out to vote against Trump giving the victory to Biden. But it has also surprised many that millions turned out to vote for Trump.
Although Biden did not achieve a resounding victory, as the polls had predicted, he did achieve the also record of 74 million votes for the Democratic Party’s formula. This is 9 million votes over Hillary Clinton in 2016 elections. But Trump did accomplish a good performance, reaching 70 million votes, 8 million more than in his 2016 election.
Biden capitalized on popular and social discontent against Trump. In fact, he did not campaign with an emphasis on his programme but rather on “getting out of Trump. He managed to make a difference in the popular vote of 4 million over Trump. However, because of the indirect election voting system, Biden had a hard time getting over the 270 voters (he would be getting 294) needed to succeed in the Electoral College. An undemocratic system that gives electors to each state without proportionality. All the states have a winner-take-all policy, except for Nebraska and Maine. That is why in 2016, Trump won the presidency, even though Hillary Clinton had obtained three million more votes than the Republican. Bush also won in 2000 with fewer votes than the Democrat Gore.
The result threw out Trump’s manoeuvres to disregard the election result by alleging fraud and resorting to justice and the mobilisation of his base to block the vote count. Both attempts failed.
Trump loses, but strengthens his position as the leader of a large ultraconservative, reactionary and racist social group
Many in the U.S. and around the world are wondering how such a reactionary and repugnant character as Trump could win 70 million votes and win the election in important states with large Latino and Black populations, such as Texas and Florida.
The vote for Trump shows the extreme social polarization that exists in the United States. It has no point of comparison with other countries. Trump draws on millions of people from the traditional social base of racists, neo-fascists, white supremacist hate groups, armed right-wing militias, visceral xenophobia; hatred of feminists and environmentalists as well as a popular base of farmers in rural areas where evangelical fundamentalism predominates. But also, from a fringe of white workers from the Rust Belt in decline for the capitalist crisis. We are not talking about the whole or the majority of the workers, the industrialists, who traditionally vote for the Democrats. But there is that strip of workers who are marginalized and disenchanted with the system and who in their desperation give their vote to a character like Trump.
This polarisation has grown with the social crisis combined with the anti-racist rebellion, the growth of the labour movement, women’s movement or against climate change. Millions believe in the crazy discourse that Biden can “lead to socialism”, that he is “going to Cuba and Venezuela” and that Biden is part of the “far left” that is going to “destroy” the United States. The more social crisis, economic crisis and popular struggles, the more the racist and fascist pole grows.
Also, many analysts were surprised by a slight growth of Trump’s votes in sectors of the Latino and black population. This is true. But the Republican always have votes from Latinos and Black people. For example: “In 1984, 37 per cent of Latinos voted for Ronald Reagan; 40 per cent voted for George W. Bush in 2004.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/05/opinion/sunday/trump-latino-vote.html) Many Latino and black votes for Trump were given because of the disenchantment caused by the Obama administration. But the essence of this slight increase is explained by the historic increase in voters. That is why the Latino and black voters for both Trump and Biden grew. But 87 per cent of the black voters voted against Trump, which was a decisive vote for his defeat (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-women-insight-idUSKBN27N0XC). And despite the right-wing Cuban vote in Florida, nationally two-thirds of the Latino vote was against Trump.
In short, Trump lost, but he is consolidating his social base and will try to remain an alternative for the 2024 elections. Trumpism” is still an expression of the crisis of the Republican Party. Trump became president owing to the lack of influential figures following the failure of George Bush (Jr.), who had already expressed his differences with Trump by sending a congratulatory message to Biden.
American imperialism leadership transition amid its global crisis
The change in the imperialist leader was also celebrated high up. Trump’s defeat was welcomed by his competitors and allies of the big capitalist powers such as the European Union (EU), United Kingdom, the Vatican and Canada Biden was quickly congratulated by Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sanchez and the Pope, among others. Russia and China remain silent, for now. They all hope for a better deal and the opening of new negotiations amid the deepening global economic crisis.
The victory of Biden and the Democrats will not solve the global crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system. We are living through one of the most serious crises in the history of capitalism combined with the corona virus pandemic, with no solution in sight yet. Trump did nothing more than add fuel to the fire of the crisis with his “economic wars” and his policies of world austerity. With Biden, a change is foreseeable in which negotiations will once again take precedence, both with his peers in the capitalist powers and with the governments of the semi-colonies. The old imperialist view of “carrot and stick” will return.
But there is no chance for Biden to overcome the global political capitalist crisis. Besides, he is immersed in his own political and social crisis in his country. He will still have other chapters with Trump’s attempt to ignore the election result and possibly with a Republican majority in the Senate. Political crisis that, most probably, would be present in Biden-Harris government.
What is certain is that Biden does not represent any positive change for the working class and popular sectors of the United States and the world. Biden and the imperialist government of the Democratic Party will govern in the name of the multinationals, the finance capital and the IMF. At the beginning of his government (he takes over on 20 January) he would take some cosmetic measures like perhaps adhering to the limited Paris Agreement on climate change or returning to the World Health Organisation (WHO), from where Trump withdrew. But the centre of Biden’s policy will be to continue, with a “human face”, to unload the crisis on the workers, with new austerity and hunger plans imposed by the multinationals and the IMF.
The unity of the workers and poor of the world will be the powerful tool to confront US imperialism, its allied governments and their plans for cuts and austerity. In the way of achieving working class governments that open the way for the fundamental change to end capitalism and advance towards a true socialism.
From the IWU-FI we call on the American working people, the women’s movement, the anti-racist, environmentalist movement, to take to the streets to fight for their urgent demands to the new government and to build a new independent political alternative. An alternative must be offered to the thousands who went out across the country to celebrate Trump’s defeat. An alternative to the capitalist-imperialist two-party system. A new unitary and independent left party or movement that truly represents the interests of the working class, the youth and the anti-racist movement.
International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International (UIT-CI)
10 November 2020