The deep divisions in the Democratic Party continue to chafe as Bernie Sanders, who says he is a democratic socialist, is leading the party’s early primaries. His centrist opponents are desperate to prevent him from getting the nomination and stop his supporters from expanding their influence in a party that is a mainstay of capitalist rule.
Many are convinced that none of the party’s hopefuls have a chance at unseating President Donald Trump and are eager to find something new to try to oust him from power before November.
Both the Democrats and Republicans want to keep working people wrapped up in the capitalist party setup, whether there are two, three or more parties defending the bosses’ interests. They want to prevent us from organizing ourselves to fight together to change our conditions and defend our interests. And in so doing to develop self-confidence, courage and class consciousness. This is the road to defend our wages and working conditions from bosses’ attacks today and points in the direction of independent working-class political action.
This course of resolute struggle against the bosses and their government is presented in 2020 by the Socialist Workers Party presidential ticket, Alyson Kennedy for president, Malcolm Jarrett for vice president. They are the only candidates that act on the capacities of the working class to advance its interests by building a movement that can take political power into our own hands and put an end to the exploitative social relations bred by capitalism. Sanders and his socialist cohorts push an ideology aimed at reforming dog-eat-dog capitalist rule. It has nothing to do with building a movement of millions to fight for ourselves.
The centrist Democrats are working overtime to attack Sanders, fearing he’ll cost the Democratic Party not only the presidency, but any chance of majorities in the House and Senate. James Carville, long-time Democratic operative and former campaign manager to Bill Clinton, argued Sanders’ Nevada primary victory meant the race for the party’s nomination was “going very well for [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.” This is the same smear liberals have used for the past three years against Trump.
In the unabashedly pro-Democratic Washington Post, commentator Jennifer Rubin disqualifies Sanders for his “extreme ideology.” She demands the other contenders for the nomination stand aside and clear the path for Joe Biden. She says Biden — whose support has been plummeting — can reverse gear, win the nomination and save the party from Sanders, if he puts an “exciting” African American woman on the ticket for vice president.
Some party stalwarts are looking for ways to use the unelected “superdelegates” to rig the nomination against Sanders at the party’s convention — just as they did in 2016.
Sanders calls Cuba ‘authoritarian’
Sanders has come under attack in the media and in debates for having visited Cuba in 1989. When pressed on this on CBS’ “60 Minutes” TV program, he answered, “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know it’s simply unfair to say everything is bad.” He added that Fidel Castro “had a massive literacy program. Is that such a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”
Sanders has continued to be pressed on this by liberal Democrats and by Republicans alike. And he continues to denounce Cuba as “authoritarian.”
Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement led Cuban workers and farmers in a revolutionary struggle to overthrow the brutal U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship, transforming themselves in the process, and going on to take power into their own hands. In the face of Washington’s hostility they advanced the interests of the most exploited and put an end to the capitalist ownership of land, the factories and banks.
And they have defended those conquests ever since from bipartisan assaults by Washington. The U.S. rulers’ policy — aimed at overturning Cuba’s revolutionary government — will remain the same whether Trump, Sanders, Biden or any other Democrat or Republican is in the White House, as it has for 60 years.
Both Alyson Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett have been to Cuba and support for Cuba’s socialist revolution is part of the SWP’s campaign platform. They urge workers and youth to join this year’s May Day Brigade to Cuba to learn about the revolution firsthand.
Ongoing crisis of bosses’ two parties
As conflicts leading to the election sharpen, some pundits express fear that this will damage the capitalist two-party political setup. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Charles Lipson says these clashes are “deep and toxic for democracy,” and worries that unlike previous disputes they will not end whoever wins in November. Both of the bosses’ parties are fractured and will never be the same again.
The roots of the political crisis gripping the Democratic and Republican parties lies in the widespread alienation among working people from parties that haven’t lifted a finger against the bosses’ relentless efforts to offload the crisis of their system onto our backs. This is why millions of workers helped put Trump, a nonpolitician, in the White House in 2016 when he promised he would “drain the swamp” in Washington and work to halt the American carnage workers face. This year the socialist wing of the Democrats hope they can take over the party and make the same journey. The centrists believe this would mean the death of their party.
The crisis in the capitalist parties and the conditions workers face today also fuel interest in the Socialist Workers Party campaign. The party campaigns in cities large and small, and in rural areas, urging workers to break from the bosses and form our own party, a labor party, in order to find a road forward.