The Elections Crisis and the Real Stakes in November
October 17, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Point One: Donald Trump is an open, brutish fascist. This is not news. His racism, his putrid outlook toward women, his all-round piggishness—this has not only been known for a long time, this was his road to “celebrity” and then to the Republican presidential nomination. The more openly fascist he has gotten—including his open thuggery and outright slander, his open contempt for the rule of law and promotion of extra-legal violence against those who oppose him—the more free promotion he got from the media, and the more he steamrolled to the nomination of one of the two major parties. Even now when he is all the way out there, caught on tape bragging about sexual assault and demeaning women in the most crude and hate-filled terms, and even now when he has responded to this exposure by doubling down on his open misogyny and threats, the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party—again, one of the two major, semi-official and “legitimate” parties of this system—is sticking with him, or—at least not openly—refusing to break with him. And again—not only has all this about Trump been known for a long, long time, but it has also been clear for decades now that the Republican Party itself has, as a core element of its strength, nurtured and fostered a core base around open, unapologetic, no-holds-barred racism, xenophobia, misogyny, “America-first-ism,” and a proud and aggressive “know-nothingism.” Reactionary shit that the Democrats, by the way (or not so by the way), have refused for decades to call out as illegitimate or beyond the pale of discourse, or oppose in any meaningful way. Make no mistake: these veins, rooted in the founding, history, and current-day reality of the U.S., run very deep in both political parties and, indeed, this whole political system. This is part of why it is absolutely correct and important to insist that “America Was NEVER Great!”
Now, however, Trump has come forward to give expression to and further legitimize the most backward sentiments of these social forces and to mobilize them into a much more aggressive and openly fascist force. This reflects the fact that some of the ways in which those who run this system have held it together are no longer working, and there is a fierce fight between different sections over what must be done in response to that. Whatever happens in this election—and Trump could still win this, and, in any event, will receive tens of millions of votes, which will serve to endorse and legitimize his whole thing—those conflicts are not going away. The core elements of the ruling class which have grouped around and supported Trump will continue to stoke and rouse this base, working to unleash it against the masses—and against their opponents within the ruling class.
Point Two: The Democrats represent no positive alternative, but are merely rivals to preside over the same worldwide, massively predatory and murderous system of capitalism-imperialism. At the very time Trump was running wild last week, the Democrats were not only backing up their Saudi Arabian allies in carrying out horrendous bombing raids that killed over a hundred people at a funeral in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen, they were stepping up their own direct involvement in that war with missile strikes against forces within Yemen. Quiet as it’s kept, the “peace president” Obama has carried out bombing raids in seven countries this year alone, and ordered “special operations” (that is, secret military aggression, complete with assassinations, midnight raids, etc.) in many more. Hillary Clinton has added on with calls for even more military action and for stepping up the highly repressive policies and surveillance kept in place and heightened under Obama, to which she also contributed as senator and secretary of state.
And you can go from there. They may talk more nicely than Trump about immigrants, but they continue to deport record numbers of people from this country. They say they will “do something” about mass incarceration and police terror, but in reality they have done and will do nothing beyond a few reforms to “re-legitimize” the police and courts in the eyes of the people, because this terror is required by and built into their very system.
As Sunsara Taylor’s article makes clear, whatever their rhetoric and even, perhaps, their personal sentiments, the system that they are wed to and which they defend with all their might, benefits from and is integrally bound up with the oppression of women. Here it must also be said that Trump has, from the beginning of his forays into political life, been a “champion” of white supremacy—starting with his call for the death penalty for the Central Park 5—a call which he has persisted in up to two weeks ago, despite their having been exonerated and it having been definitively proven that they were in fact framed (a framing to which the hysteria generated by the likes of Trump contributed). This has also come out in his persistent, hate-filled demonization and denigration of Mexicans and Chicanos, his demands to persecute Muslims and people from the Arab and Central/South Asian countries more generally, and so on.
Point Three: Because of all this, this is no ordinary election. The potential for further and much deeper crisis to erupt in the days to come, and especially around the election itself and its immediate aftermath, looms very large. The already sharp conflicts between sections of the ruling class could deepen and crack further. Such crisis can act as a jolt on people, jarring them out of their normal way of looking at things and leading them to question and resist what they normally accept. We need to come from behind to be ready to seize on whatever does happen to hasten REVOLUTION, preparing and organizing masses of people to respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.
This means confronting the actual situation and fighting to take things as far as possible, including in the current Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour, working to bring into being a revolutionary situation—a situation, as the Party statement How We Can Win says, “Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.”
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