In Case of Trump

Editor’s note: The following perspective contains language, translated accurately from the original article, that readers may find offensive.

According to U.S. public opinion polls, 63 percent of voters are opposed to Hillary Clinton; 67 percent are opposed to Donald Trump (but this rises to 77 percent if only women are considered). Although the numbers vary, on average about 49 percent of voters do not vote in presidential elections, since voting is not compulsory.

Clinton, who for a long time carried out Barack Obama’s policies as his secretary of state, stands for continuity in the imperialist, Zionist, pro-war policies of U.S. transnational corporations, in finance, in big money. She is the candidate of the Israeli Nazi-fascists and the U.S. establishment.

Trump, on the other hand, is an international real estate speculator. He has the support of the pro-fascist tea party and of marginal sectors of big business that, like him, are isolationists, because their fundamental interests lie not in the international sphere, but in the domestic market. And he mobilizes the most backward sectors of the white working class—illiterate, reactionary, and nationalist—who feel that they have been damaged by the crisis in the country, as well as by economic and financial insecurity. They would have us believe that they are paying the bill for the benefits of the capitalist system that are going to African-Americans, Latinos, and immigrants.

Labor unions make up only 11.3 percent of the economically active population, 6.6 percent in private industry (50 years ago the number was 35 percent). The establishment of the AFL-CIO (the highly bureaucratic trade union confederation that practices business unionism) supports the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders, the social-democrat Independent senator, is not associated with this group, but running against Clinton in the Democratic primaries, he got more than 12 million votes, reflecting the rejection of both traditional political parties by a large, more highly educated youth sector, and with strong participation by women.

Through his political campaign, Sanders succeeded in re-opening a space in the political sphere for socialism, which through the candidacies of Eugene Debs had been strong before, and less strong after, World War I. In addition, Sanders showed that it was possible to be an independent and yet have great success outside of, and in opposition to, the capitalists’ two political parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. That independence could give rise to a real third force in politics, not centered in the existing institutions, and not here just for this election. If that were the case, it would be possible to begin to overcome the great tragedy that the de-politicization and acceptance of capitalism by the three major groups of oppressed people and workers in China, in Russia, and in the U.S. represent because that conservatism and that passivity impact European workers, Asian workers, and workers from dependent countries today as powerfully as it influenced workers before the U.S. Revolution, the French Revolution, and, centuries later, the Russian Revolution.

The great waves of history act over many decades, but they lose momentum. On top of these great waves there are other, smaller scale waves, driven by the winds of local, social forces. It is from this perspective that we have to analyze an election victory by the imperialist and Zionist Clinton or by Trump, which would only be a prolongation of the great reactionary wave that has swept over the world since the 1980s. What is new, however, are the 12 million votes cast for Bernie Sanders in a country where ideology is based on individualism and egoism, and where since even before World War I (1914-1918), rejection of socialism and anti-communist repression have been seen.

It’s unlikely that, to take on the challenge of Trump, all those votes will go to Clinton. Given that many African-Americans and Latinos do not meet the legal requirements to vote, and that Trump has the support of the most aggressively reactionary Protestant churches, as well as 63 percent of the poor white working class, it is possible for this “McHitler” to win the election, with terrible consequences for all of us. (Remember: Hitler didn’t come to power by a coup; rather, he won the elections, and then, from within the liberal capitalist institutions, he imposed his dictatorship.)

Putting the brakes on Trump by deciding after thoughtful deliberation to vote for Clinton, in order to fight after the election against the big money that supports both candidates, could be the first step in the creation of a new party. Independent of moneyed interests, this new party could include Sanders’ voters and a large number of workers and intellectuals who can’t vote, or who will choose to abstain.

In the 1930s, when the unions were powerful and workers were radicalized, Trotsky called for building a workers’ party based in the labor unions. In other words, an independent party which, in spite of its bourgeois leadership, would help workers break away from capitalist ideology. A new Sanderist social democratic party would be neither anti-capitalist nor revolutionary. However, it would raise the spirits of European workers, above all those in the United Kingdom, and would be an important ally for Mexican and Latin American workers. Aiding in the building of this is what must be supported beyond the election, in which it will be necessary to vote for monsters in order to avert a worse monster.

The great Argentine writer Leopoldo Marechal said, “We come out of mazes at a higher level.” In other words, we rise above what we are currently facing, in order to open up new horizons. Defeating Trump has to create the basis for leaving the unfriendly and difficult battleground of the election behind, precisely to organize and politicize the oppressed and exploited in the United States, and to directly address economic, political, and social problems. The United States is getting ready for a new, smarter phase in the struggle against capitalism.

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