Candidates of an Illegitimate System

Clinton, Trump and the Orlando Massacre: We Need Another Way

June 20, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


BA elections quote with photos

On June 12, 49 people at a gay nightclub were murdered by a gunman claiming allegiance to the jihadist group ISIS. Both Trump and Clinton made a show of mourning the deaths and extending solidarity to the LGBT community—while each avoided getting into the deep roots of anti-gay violence in American society, and the depth of its links to all the reactionary religious fundamentalist movements right now (not to mention a system of imperialism that relies on and reinforces all kinds of patriarchal institutions and values).

And each proposed “solutions.”

Donald Trump seized on this to cast suspicion on every Muslim in the U.S. and all immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa—including, in his words, “the second generation.” He hammered at and doubled down on his anti-immigrant policies. The logic of Trump’s logic would be to put every Muslim into concentration camps—as this country did in fact do to people of Japanese origin or descent, including U.S. citizens, during World War 2, an act which Trump basically upholds. This is in line with Trump’s whole fascist persona and program.

What does it say about the legitimacy of the system as a whole when the candidate of one of its two major parties has built his candidacy on an openly fascist appeal? And what does it say about where things are possibly headed when, in the week after Orlando, his calls for openly fascist measures set the terms for political discussion and debate?

What does it further say about this system’s legitimacy when the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, put her emphasis on maintaining the intensifying U.S. military aggression in Syria? Yet it is precisely the U.S. wars and aggression in the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa (every single one of which Clinton has supported down the line), along with U.S. support for Israel (which Clinton unabashedly brags about), that serve to reinforce this jihadism even when it is violently opposing it through war.

And what does it mean when Clinton, who has a long history of supporting one repressive law after another, says that “here at home, we must harden our defenses”?1 What does it mean when she calls for giving the repressive, murdering police “the right tools, and resources, and training” and more access to “intelligence” (that is, spying and surveillance)? Make no mistake, these heightened powers of repression would be used very widely, including against progressive and truly radical people who oppose the unjust policies of this government, including its wars and domination in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, while also opposing Islamic fundamentalist jihadism. Yet such a movement against both these outmoded forces, coming from within the U.S. itself, could vitally contribute to a different future for humanity. And such repressive powers would also be used against every movement that is fighting against patriarchal gender oppression, against the oppression of Black and other oppressed nationality peoples, against the demonization of immigrants, and against the capitalist plunder of the environment—count on it.

In the face of this, as we wrote in our statement on the Orlando massacre, people must stand strongly with LGBT people against this attack, and the whole wave of anti-gay outrages in society, AND oppose “what will very likely be proposals to heighten the very repressive powers that defend this social system, or to demonize and repress Muslim people as a whole, or step up U.S. military aggression in the Middle East.”

Whether we are talking of jihadism, of the liberalism of a Clinton or Obama, or of the fascism of a Trump—these are all rooted in a worldwide system of exploitation, which grinds up billions of human beings every single day. There is only one REAL alternative to the merry-go-round madness of either jihadism or the worldwide horror of imperialism, and that is revolutionary communism as it has been reconceived by Bob Avakian. This movement aims to seize power: the power needed to enable masses of people to consciously and collectively go to work on actually transforming and overcoming ALL backward and oppressive economic and social relations, not just in the U.S. but all over the world. This movement aims and works to mobilize and lead millions to overthrow this system, at the earliest possible time. This is possible, and this is necessary.

In the face of that possibility in particular, we ask:

Where is the legitimacy of a system that gives you the choice between someone who’s a fascist in all but name, and a warmonger with a whole history of supporting repression, as the highest form of freedom?

A system whose time has passed.


1. See the transcript of Clinton’s June 12 speech on the Orlando massacre. Clinton has a long record of supporting or initiating repression against the people of the world. Here are just a few: She defended her husband’s draconian crime bills calling Black kids “super-predators.” (“Hillary Clinton’s Super Predator Comments—Full Context,” YouTube) She supported the USA Patriot Act, and has called for Edward Snowden to face trial. (“Hillary Clinton Is Wrong About Edward Snowden,” New Yorker.) [back]



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