‘And this is the importance of the American presidential elect… that it is an event of the first order on the world market.’ - Frederick Engels, 1892.
The World Socialist Party of the United States (WSPUS) does not endorse any candidate in the presidential election to take place this November 3.
The American people have rarely faced a presidential election with such difficulties and problems surrounding them. U.S. capitalism today is faced with many problems: Foremost being the COVID-19 pandemic but also the environmental crisis, trade competition with other countries, the challenge of the China’s rising power, and the decline of U.S. diplomatic influence in the developing and undeveloped world. These problems have all severely aggravated a faltering economy, while massive problems like racism, pollution, and social discontent keep mounting up. The rule of the corporate elite has brought civilization to the edge of total disaster and they are genuinely in a quandary about what to do about the situation, being deeply divided among themselves.
By the time the elections actually takes place, tens of millions of dollars will have been spent in the campaigns and uncountable amount of overage carried across the media for this most important political event in the land. Both of the major two political parties are the parties of Big Business, and their presidential candidates, while mouthing concern for the problems confronting the people, inevitably offer solutions that primarily benefit Big Business. CEOs decisively influence the selection of the candidates, finance and direct their campaigns, and make sure that their interests come first. Neither of the business parties will ever bring fundamental change for the working people – this is something only socialism can do.
This year, if one wishes to vote, there is the choice of casting a ballot for Trump or Biden, a decision based on the assessment that one of the candidates will make an important difference in office compared to the other. Another choice is to vote for an alternative candidate, such as from the Green Party or Libertarian Party even though they have little chance of actually winning. The WSPUS counsels our fellow-workers not to vote for any of them. The working class needs to establish socialism, and in order to achieve this end the working class must break from the capitalist parties.
Are there real appreciable differences exist between Trump and Biden? In our view, there are none. While there are shades of differences between the two on international and domestic matters, they have many more similarities and represent generally similar approaches to running the U.S. government. Many of the supposed differences between the two actually are just fabricated campaign controversy and posturing. Is Trump really such a reactionary fascist that we must vote for Biden? That’s the line being actively promoted by many progressives such as Noam Chomsky. Has there really been any exreme departure from the current way the U.S. is being run. Trump’s main advisers include numerous Wall Street and corporate executives. These men are the ones who shape policies.
Obama bailed out Wall St. Trump does the same. Obama deported so-called illegal immigrants. Trump does the same. Obama launched military offensives. Trump does the same. Bill Clinton cut welfare. Trump does the same. Bill Clinton introduced racist law and order legislation. Trump does the same. Bill Clinton imposed draconian sanctions on America's foes. Trump does the same.
Foreign policy under the Trump administration was dictated by current conditions and the general interests of the U.S. as a whole. China’s emergence as an important factor in world affairs cannot be ignored by the U.S., and normal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China promote stability in the world. Rhetoric does not substitute for pragmatism. Trump’s and Biden’s economic policies both center around “revitalizing” or “reindustrializing” American industry by helping business invest more and boost productivity. Both have advocated tax breaks to business and eliminating or easing government regulations on industry. For sure on social issues, Biden appears to support minorities and women more than Trump, but when Vice-President he did little in reality. As Kamala Harris pointed out, Biden allied himself with segregationists. Biden supported laws that resulted in the incarceration of many African-Americans. In foreign policy matters, Biden shares with Trump the same general trend towards a more confrontational approach with America’s enemies such as Iran and the same appeasement approach to Israel and Saudi Arabia. There will be no cuts in the funding for the Pentagon or reduction in contracts with the armament industries. It is mistaken to accuse Trump of being a fascist as it ignores Biden’s complicity and culpability in the right-wing shift of American politics.
The working class should not support either of the presidential candidates despite voices calling for a vote for the lesser evil. The policies of Trump and Biden may not be identical but they differ as do the two butts on an ass. Nothing is more pitiful than the concerted attempt of the Democrats and the Republicans to find differences which can justify the fiction that political life consists of the choice between them. The question facing working people is: Will the candidates offer anything that will help the working class and the fight for socialism? The experience of most workers in the U.S. is that the outcome of recent presidential elections has meant little in affecting their lives in any positive and basic way. This is one of the main reasons why worker participation in the elections has dropped steadily. Millions of people will not vote for any presidential candidate, as they know from the past that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties today have any fundamental differences. The working class gains nothing by voting for Trump or Biden, both contestants for the presidency are detrimental to the working class, both represent the continuation of capitalism. Non-support for both candidates will be a sign of a rejection of capitalist politics. This is why all working people should cast no vote for any candidate on Tuesday, November 3rd.