With the conclusion this week of the Democratic National Convention, the two major capitalist parties in the United States have formally selected their presidential candidates. In the face of an immense economic, social and political crisis, neither Democrat Hillary Clinton nor Republican Donald Trump has anything to offer but austerity, war and the continued assault on democratic rights.
The conclusion of the two conventions makes all the more clear the critical importance of the campaign of the Socialist Equality Party and its candidates, Jerry White for president and Niles Niemuth for vice president. The SEP is fighting to build a socialist leadership in the working class to prepare for the inevitable social upheavals and struggles that will follow these elections, whoever is elected.
The Republican convention earlier this month marked a turning point in the decay of American politics, with the nomination of a semi-fascistic billionaire who is basing his campaign on national chauvinism and “law and order.”
The Democrats and their political supporters, including Bernie Sanders, insist that the only way to stop the danger posed by Trump is to back Clinton. All “lesser evil” arguments, however, ignore the fact that Trump is a product of the same degenerate political system as Clinton, which has brought the world unending war, corporate and political criminality and the greatest levels of social inequality since the 1920s.
Trump is only able to position himself as an opponent of the status quo because of nearly eight years of the Obama administration, which has seen the super-rich attain new heights of opulence while every index of social suffering—falling wages and median incomes, chronic unemployment, child poverty and shorter life expectancy—has worsened.
At their convention, the Democrats proved completely detached from the social reality confronting the masses of working people in the United States. They pitched themselves to the most complacent and comfortable sections of the middle class who agree with Obama’s claim that “America’s pretty darn great.”
The convention was carefully scripted to frame the election of Hillary Clinton as “historic” because she would be the first female president of the United States, recycling the same narrative used eight years ago to market Obama.
The Democrats combined every form of identity politics with the fervent promotion of militarism and war. The nationalist jingoism on display culminated in the blood-curdling speech by former Marine General John Allen Thursday night, when calls for “No More War” by some Bernie Sanders delegates were drowned out with rabid chants of “USA, USA, USA!,” the same slogan heard last week at the Republican convention.
While the convention excluded any serious discussions of the war plans that are being drawn up, the character of a Clinton administration can be seen by the campaign that is being whipped up to prepare the population for war against Russia, with incalculable consequences. In denouncing Trump as an agent of Putin, Clinton’s supporters in the media and political establishment are managing to frame her campaign as a critique of the Republicans from the right.
The Democrats are returning to their historical status as the chief party of imperialist militarism, with Republican neo-conservatives who spearheaded the criminal invasion of Iraq now flocking to her campaign. Within the military brass and foreign policy circles, Clinton is considered a far more reliable and hawkish commander-in-chief than Trump.
Meanwhile Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders—his “political revolution” against the “billionaire class” completely denuded—has prostrated himself before Clinton. As the SEP warned, Sanders did everything in his power to deliver his supporters into the clutches of the representative of the “billionaire class” who as a senator voted to authorize the war in Iraq and as secretary of state spearheaded the wars in Libya and Syria.
In an election year dominated by the growth of social opposition, the American people are being presented with the “choice” between Clinton and Trump. What an indictment of the entire political system in the US!
The growth of anti-capitalist sentiment in the US and around the world will not be stopped by the opportunist maneuverings of Sanders. As for the Green Party, which is being promoted by the groups that had backed Sanders, it is a capitalist party, hostile to the working class and the struggle for socialism. Wherever they have come into power, as in Germany and Australia, the Greens quickly abandoned their pacifism and embraced militarism and austerity.
To fight for its interests, to oppose inequality, war and dictatorship, the working class needs its own party, and that party is the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP is running in these elections to fight for a genuine socialist program. The fundamental problems confronting the working class cannot be solved outside of a struggle to unite all workers—of every race, gender, ethnicity and nationality—in the United States and around the world, in a fight against capitalism, an economic system that subordinates everything to the interests of a tiny corporate and financial elite.
We call on all our readers to join us in this struggle. While the dangers are immense, so too is the strength of the working class, united in revolutionary struggle. The task is urgent, and no time can be lost. To fight against war and barbarism, against inequality and dictatorship, make the decision support our campaign and join the Socialist Equality Party.