Why I Am Not Voting In This Election, Why You Shouldn't Either... But Why I Will Defend The Right Of Black And Other Oppressed People To Vote!
By Carl Dix
November 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Download PDF for printing this statement
I am not voting in this election. I’m telling you not to vote. But I’m also gonna be defending the right of Black and other oppressed people to vote come Election Day, and doing that as part of organizing for an ACTUAL revolution—and I’m asking you to join me.
Let me break all that down.
Why I'm NOT Voting...
I am not voting in this election. First off, why the hell should I? Why should anybody, who wants to end oppression, vote? This system is responsible for horrors here and all over the world—from refugees dying trying to escape imperialist wars to people gunned down by police in the streets right here... from women being used, abused and degraded on a worldwide scale to the environment being destroyed. Voting is set up by that system and endorses that system. It’s like if during slavery they had let people vote for which slave master they wanted to be owned by—not only would you still be a slave, but then they’d use the fact you voted for one of the slave masters to say, “see, slavery’s not so bad—and by participating in choosing between slave masters, you’re agreeing with that.” We don't need a better form of slavery—we need a whole new world, without any kind of slavery, exploitation or oppression. We need a revolution—an actual revolution where masses of people OVERTHROW the system—to get to that world.
Voting keeps you in the world as it is. Voting isn't neutral—it does harm and it's designed to do harm. Not only that, any gains that people have made in this country have been won thru determined struggle, not thru elections. That's why we in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) say: “America Was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote For, this System.” And it's why we are organizing right now for an actual revolution at the soonest possible time and why you need to be part of this.
I know we're being told we should vote for Clinton to keep out Trump. And let's be real: Trump is a fascist who demonizes Muslims and immigrants, who hates and demeans women, and who totally disregards the humanity of Black people. He calls for letting these pigs run even more rampant against Black and Brown people. He trumpets “America Number One” “hate-riotism” and utterly disrespects, in word as well as deed, the rule of law. The fact that this unapologetic snorting pig of a fascist has been built up and treated as a legitimate candidate for president by this whole system, from day one right down to today, tells you a lot about how IL-legitimate this whole damn system is!
But Hillary Clinton serves the same damn system. Clinton is a proven war criminal. In the 1990's, her husband's administration, in which she played a key role, imposed sanctions on Iraq that caused the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. The Clinton administration considered this to be acceptable collateral damage. She brags about her role in the toppling of the government of Libya, which led to the deaths of many thousands and the further growth of reactionary Islamic jihadism. From the ’90s till now, she's loudly backed up Israel in every single move of aggression against the Palestinian people. In the 1990's, she called Black youth “super predators” who needed to be “brought to heel” and she supported flooding the streets with 100,000 cops and taking away legal rights from defendants. These moves more than doubled the number of people in prison from a little less than a million to over two million! That’s something that Donald Trump could be and would be proud of —and he was back then, even praising Hillary Clinton and calling Bill Clinton a great president back in 2008—before these “thieves fell out.” She is a monster who brags about her blood-soaked expertise to be the commander in chief of this empire. And to boot, she's refused to call out Trump for what he is—a goddamn racist-fascist—and has said that she'll respect the results if the fascist wins!
The truth is this: whoever wins will shed whatever blood it takes to serve this system, to keep this capitalist-imperialist global empire in effect—here and around the world. Clinton and Trump are criminal choices of a criminal system, and people need to reject them both.
Bob Avakian, the architect of the new synthesis of communism and the leader of the revolution, puts it like this: “Choosing between oppressive rulers will not stop them from ruling over and oppressing you and committing horrific crimes against humanity. This is true of all the major presidential candidates, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and it will be true of anyone who becomes president, or occupies any major political office, under this system. What supporting these people does accomplish is making you complicit with these crimes.”
But Why I'm Defending the Right to Vote
In an unprecedented move, Trump has refused to agree to accept the results of the election, asserting that the only way he could lose is if massive voter fraud stole the election from him. And he has called on his supporters to go into and “monitor” polling places in Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, and Detroit—i.e., cities with large numbers of Black and Latino people, as well as people from countries with large numbers of Muslims. This comes down to calling the dogs into the street against Black people, against immigrant citizens, against anyone whose skin isn’t white. And a number of fascist groups have taken up this call and are organizing to go to the polls to intimidate people on election day.
This kind of voter intimidation has a long ugly history in this country. Black and Latino people fought and died for the right to vote—up against threats, lynchings, KKK terror, and persisting down to today's voter ID laws, which disproportionately target Black people and other people of color. Donald Trump now revives this and threatens to take it to a whole other place.
We can’t let shit like this go down.
Any attempt to take away people's basic rights, like the right to vote, not only insults and denies their humanity, it comes down to trying to beat down and degrade them so far that they could never raise their heads. If this foul plan succeeds, it will further fuel the fascist forces who want to see Black people back in slave chains or dead, immigrants out of the country, and other “minorities” “in their places.” On the other hand, if we beat this back, if we reach out and win support in all kinds of places as we do, if we make clear that this is not part of keeping the world as it is but fighting for a whole new world through revolution, then we can turn this attack around.
I will call out and fight against any attempts to deny or restrict the rights of Black people and other oppressed people to vote. And I will stand together with those who want to genuinely fight these attempts to deny the rights of oppressed people to vote.
Again, I will do this as part of ORGANIZING FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION. REVOLUTION, and nothing less, which is what's needed to end these horrors. And be clear: the conflicts among the ruling forces are sharp and no one knows where all this will go—but if you really want a better world, you can't respond to this by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers! Be part of the revolutionary forces, taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.
This revolution is possible. We've got the leadership, in Bob Avakian (BA), who has brought forward a new communism, and the Revolutionary Communist Party that he leads. We've got the vision and plan for REAL emancipatory society, where people have the right not just to vote but to remake all of society on the path to ending all exploitation and oppression, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA. We've got the strategy to win which you can check out in “How We Can Win.” What we need now, as we head into what will be heavy times whatever happens on November 8, is YOU!
Throughout this week and on Election Day, I will be building a fight to stop the attacks on people's right to vote as part of building this revolution. And I will be there after, whatever happens, fighting to wrench a whole new world out of this rotten one.
Be there with me.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.