The 2024 presidential campaign is well underway, with Donald Trump, Joseph Biden, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and more announced or just running. Biden threw his hat in the ring via video, evidently not wanting to make any gaffes in person.
There is more disdain for the Democrats and Republicans, and the candidates they’re offering, than in years. That won’t stop the capitalist rulers and their media from going all-out to convince working people we should hold our nose and pick a “lesser evil” from their two main parties.
The campaign takes place as the ruling capitalist families face a deepening economic crisis of their system as prices continue to rise at the same time production and trade begins to contract. Their answer is to assault our wages, working conditions, health care, and the constitutional freedoms we need, as well as prepare for new wars. Workers face rising insecurity, falling life spans, declining birth rates, rampant drug addiction and other reflections of the effects of the crisis on our lives and our families.
Despite Biden’s insistence that he is labor’s “best friend ever” in the White House, workers remember how he led a bipartisan coalition to bar rail workers from striking last fall and shoved down their throats a contract the majority of them voted down.
More working people today are open to discussing why neither the Democrats, Republicans nor any third capitalist party can be bent to serve the needs of our class. Socialist Workers Party candidates and campaigners find real interest when they explain that workers need to break from the bosses’ parties and build our own party, a labor party based on the unions.
Crisis in bosses’ parties
The liberal Washington Post is nervous about Biden’s presidential campaign. He is “harming the presidency and the nation,” its editors complain. By refusing to ever hold press conferences, he’s failing to “instill confidence that he can do the job.”
The only thing the Democrats agree on is that Trump must be stopped at all costs. They became apoplectic when CNN bosses, Democrats’ longtime cheerleaders, had the effrontery to invite the former president — and his supporters — to a live New Hampshire “Town Meeting” in prime time May 10.
Giving the former president airtime was a “disaster,” Republican Never-Trumper Peggy Noonan said in the Wall Street Journal. She bemoaned the fact that the Republican race in 2024 is “all about Trump’s fate.” She concludes that right-thinking Republicans have to start a “brawl” with Trump and destroy him.
Biden calls Trump’s supporters “MAGA Republicans” and “fascists,” just like Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables.” For his part, Trump harps away on the illegitimacy of the 2020 elections.
None of this has anything for working people.
In their fervent drive to find a crime to pin on Trump, Democrats are attacking free speech and making a mockery of the right to be innocent until proven guilty. Safeguarding these vital protections is central to workers’ efforts to build unions, stand up to oppression and to defend our own class interests in the political arena.
New York State Judge Juan Merchan upheld an unprecedented order demanded by prosecutors that bars Trump from seeing, disclosing or commenting on evidence that will be used against him when he goes on trial there. Trump faces the far-fetched accusation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that he violated federal campaign finance laws by falsifying his financial records to cover up hush money payments to Stephanie Clifford with the nefarious aim of influencing the 2016 election.
Of course he wanted to “influence the elections” — he was a candidate! But violating national campaign finance laws is a federal crime, not actionable in New York City, and federal prosecutors refused to file such charges.
The judge’s order prevents Trump from reviewing material prosecutors say is “sensitive,” without his lawyers present, and only with the permission of the prosecution.
Bragg insisted the order be imposed on Trump, claiming the former president is a special case undeserving of constitutional protections because he has “a singular history of attacking witnesses.” To the contrary, the Sixth Amendment says anyone accused of a crime has a right to confront their accuser. They must have access to all evidence against them. The judge’s gag order is a blow to these protections.
When the rights of a capitalist politician are curtailed, you can be sure the same and more will be done to working people.
Both Democrats and Republicans seek to restrict access to the ballot for independent capitalist third parties like the Greens and Libertarians. New Mexico became the most recent state to raise petitioning requirements in March. In their fierce partisan rivalry, the two traditional parties of the bosses want no one to siphon off votes.
More importantly, they will use these restrictions to try to limit the hearing the Socialist Workers Party gets for its call for labor to break from the bosses’ parties and form a labor party, based on the unions.
If you want to help foil their attack on rights, contact an SWP campaign office, listed in the directory.