Workers need our own party, a labor party!

Rulers’ response to 2020 vote shows fear of working class

By Terry Evans
November 23, 2020
Workers march in Ilion, New York, Nov. 7, demand Remington Arms Co. honor union contract, give severance and vacation pay after plant shut down. Millions in U.S. have lost jobs.
Utica Observer-Dispatch/Alex CooperWorkers march in Ilion, New York, Nov. 7, demand Remington Arms Co. honor union contract, give severance and vacation pay after plant shut down. Millions in U.S. have lost jobs.

The 2020 presidential election is over say the Associated Press, CNN and other liberal news media. They’ve declared Democrat Joe Biden the next president, weeks prior to states certifying the vote; or the results of the recount underway in Georgia; or the resolution of legal challenges to vote counting mounted by President Donald Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell points out that Democrats who denounce Trump for refusing to concede at this point, had “just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”

Democrats claim Trump’s decision not to concede is unprecedented. They’ve “forgotten” Al Gore’s challenge to the 2000 election result — which the same liberal media cheered — that postponed election results for over a month.

The Democrats, middle-class left and some “Never Trump” Republicans complain Trump’s refusal to concede is a threat to democracy. Groups like ShutDownDC threaten to do whatever it takes “to force Trump from office.”

Their threats are dangerous for the working class. There is enough time to resolve the election result and hear the legal challenges before Inauguration Day in January. Working-class parties like the Socialist Workers Party are more than familiar with Democrats and Republicans rigging ballot rights.

The real target of the liberals and middle-class radicals is the working class. They are astounded their pollsters got the election so wrong. They say the 71 million people who voted for Trump means that working people are becoming more right wing and racist.

This isn’t true. Millions of workers are looking for ways to fight against the capitalist crisis today. Hundreds of thousands joined protests against police brutality in cities, towns and rural areas across the country in early summer.

Whoever is finally declared the victor — Trump or Biden — will govern like all their Democratic and Republican predecessors, advancing the interests of the ruling capitalist families, at home and abroad.

Workers had no mass party of their own, so millions saw their only option as a search for a “lesser evil” among the bosses’ parties, hoping to find some respite from the deteriorating conditions of life we face, or to stay at home.

Workers face economic, social crisis

Working people face a deep crisis with millions out of work and a pandemic whose deadly effects are exacerbated by the failure of the for-profit health insurance industry to provide the treatments workers need.

Over 21 million are still getting by on jobless benefits, with millions more out of work but not counted in official statistics. And bosses from the airlines to oil refineries to small businesses predict more layoffs and bankruptcies.

Those of us at work face a relentless assault on wages, safety and working conditions, as bosses fight to compete and make profits off our backs.

The repo man is back, seizing cars, appliances and more. Government measures to postpone evictions are expiring and millions face losing their homes. Inflation in food costs and other necessities is growing.

Alyson Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett, the Socialist Workers Party presidential ticket, campaigned on the need for workers to have jobs and to join fights over wages and working conditions, bringing solidarity to these struggles. Out of these actions, workers can build and strengthen our unions. They said working people need our own political party, a labor party, to lead workers and farmers to take political power into our own hands.

Washington fears working people

Liberal euphoria over Biden’s presumptive victory will dwindle much more rapidly than their anxiety about the 71 million who voted for Trump. They consider his voters not only stupid but also dangerous.

Even after four years in office, Trump got “more votes nationwide than he did in 2016,” complains Monica Hesse in the Washington Post, proving the “bad parts of America are not blips, they’re characteristics.”

“I am still stunned,” moans New York Times columnist Charles Blow — who views all politics through the prism of race and sex — that more Blacks, Latinos and women voted for Trump than in 2016. This was especially true in South Texas, where Trump did very well in counties that are overwhelmingly Latino.

Moreover, Trump’s working-class voters aren’t “going anywhere,” grumbled Margaret Renkl in the same paper. “And it’s not remotely clear what the rest of us can do about any of that.”

None of their contemptuous attitudes are new. After the 2016 election Socialist Workers Party leader Steve Clark wrote that Hillary Clinton’s rebuke of those who wouldn’t vote for her as “deplorable” was an example of the fact that “the U.S. rulers and their government have begun to fear the working class.”

“[B]ecause they recognize that more and more working people are beginning to see that the bosses and their political parties have no ‘solutions’ that don’t further load the costs … of the crisis of their system onto us,” Clark wrote in the introduction to The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People, a book SWP members campaign with today.

Crisis of bosses’ parties deepens

If Biden takes office, he faces sharpening rifts within the Democratic Party. Democratic socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says if Biden makes cabinet appointments her wing of the party disapproves of or refuses to push a more radical program, fights in the party will intensify.

Blaming Ocasio-Cortez’s wing of the party for the Democrats’ loss of seats in the House, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger told an acrimonious meeting of Democratic Party leaders, “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again.”

While the Republican Party made gains in the House and appears likely to hold its majority in the Senate, political differences between Trump and other Republican leaders portend fissures to come.

These divisions reflect the crisis facing the capitalist rulers. What is most important are the steps working people make to counter the bosses’ offensive against our class and all those oppressed and exploited by capital, and the fight for our own political party.