Since 2016 the US has faced a resurgent far right after the election of Donald Trump. Right wing populists and religious fundamentalists have targeted progressive policies. The focus on the Trump seems to permeate various levels of political and public life. Popular protests appear dedicated exclusively to “Fuck Trump.” The philosophy of “lesser-evilism” prevails. Trump’s opponents temptations to fall into the temptation of appeasing anti-Trump Republicans such as the Lincoln Project. Trump and Biden feed off one another. American workers face a series of stormy struggle over the coming months and years. The demand for an independent socialist party of labor must grow.
A restlessness and discontentment is permeating the American working class. Trump was not only able to capitalize on the dissatisfaction with the status quo, he was able to articulate a simplistic approach to the country’s problems. He appealed to sentiments against high taxes, government bureaucracy and themes about “less government” and a “America First” and projected an image of decisiveness. Trump tapped into the populist sentiments of the ordinary people who feel bullied by big government and pessimistic about their future and economic security. There is an enormous working class discontent in the country. Thus far it is blind and mirdirected, that is, politically, it is safely canalized into the bourgeois parties. But this discontentment is not yet a radicalization of the working class.
Another presidential election year and again we are asked to choose the lesser of two evils. Proponents of “lesser evil” politics make the assertion that Biden would be better than Trump. Neither candidate denies that he is interested in preserving American capital’s position on top of the global marketplace. Choosing the lesser evil just brings more of the same. Isn’t it shameful for antiwar activists to support a Democratic Party candidate who pretends he is antiwar? The Democrats are just as driven to cut back the gains of minorities and the working class as the Republicans; they just use a somewhat different approach. And they get away with their attacks more easily than the Republicans because the social movements of the various minorities misleaders are in bed with them. Much of the ruling class conclude that the Trump administration has not overcome what it seen as the incompetence and corruption that had led to disasters.
Populists speak to the “common man” and “the average American” in terms of their need to fight an attack on the “middle class,” a term used to engulf a variety of different social strata. By not addressing the working class as a distinct class with a distinct material situation, populists attempt to effectively connect with the feelings of workers while submerging the basic class divide in society. Populism caters to this mass anger and anxiety by championing the struggle of the “people” against the big corporations and the rich and calls for a fairer balance between rich and poor within the capitalist system. For all its appeal to “middle-class working men and women,” populism represents no solution for the plight of the workers, the poor or the oppressed. Today’s populism aims to head off a class upsurge, not promote it. In sum, populist politicians can promise change, but delivery is incompatible with the system they defend.
The Republican agenda seeks to divert mass anger away from economic woes by beating the drums for patriotism. The populist Democrats are just as wedded to re-channeling mass anger through their own nationalist prism. Many so-called socialists habitually prop up capitalist politics. The Democratic Socialists of America long advocates of working within the Democratic Party,
Unlike those on the left who see the Democratic Party as a lesser evil that can be influenced from within, the World Socialist Party of the United States (WSPUS) regard the party as unreformable and committed to the continuance of capitalism. We reject the slippery slope of Democratic Party reformism. Our job as socialists includes exposing our fellow-workers slavish acquiescence to the Democratic establishment. The members of the WSPUS cannot vote for a Democrat or Republican candidate, as each party represents the policies of the ruling class. We reject “critical” support for Biden. First and foremost, the Democratic Party must now be dismissed — in its entirety. No more excuses. To this very day, all the rotten excesses of the Trump administration has never been effectively opposed by the gutless Democrats. Protests and demonstrations must continue — simply because they must. If Planet Earth is to survive, progressives must ready themselves to chart a new course.
We understand that whether Democrats or Republicans win will make no basic difference in their lives. We can instead build toward a hopeful future. We want my grandchildren to have a better world. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have to break those oppressive chains of capitalism to create a world in which each person is given the right to whatever he or she needs to grow and thrive and to fulfill his or her potential—a world in which each person contributes to the good of all according to his or her own unique and individual talents and abilities. You may say we are dreamers, but why not dream of a real solution to end human suffering and to save the Earth from the destruction that will most certainly occur if capitalism is allowed to continue its rule. The only real solution is a world socialist revolution that does away with capitalism altogether. This is the only solution that will make life better for everyone. We intend to prove to our fellow-workers the need to dump its illusions in capitalism itself.