An analysis by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) on Donald Trump's becoming the President of the USA.
ICP, 16 November 2016
The two party system in the U.S. is a major roadblock for genuine socialist parties that pursue class policies. The "lesser of two evilism" is a very dominant mindset among the U.S. voters. Despite that, as the leading force in the communist movement, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) has managed to significantly increase its votes in the 8 states it was on the ballot. While in 2012, PSL had got close to 9 thousand votes, in 2016, just in California, it received close to 70 thousand votes.
PSL ran its election campaign based on the following 10 point program:
1. For the earth to live, capitalism must end
2. Make a job a Constitutional right
3. Make free health care, free education & affordable housing Constitutional rights
4. Shut down all U.S. military bases around the world—bring all the troops, planes & ships home
5. End racism. Stop police brutality and mass incarceration
6. Defend our unions
7. Equality for women and free, safe, legal abortion on demand
8. Full rights for all immigrants
9. Full federal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people
10. Seize the banks—Jail Wall Street criminals
PSL had issued a statement after the elections and had commented on Trumps' victory as follows:
"Donald Trump is the next President of the United States. It is of utmost urgency that all progressive people take to the streets in defense of immigrants, Muslims and people of color, and to advance an alternative vision of working-class unity and solidarity in the struggle against the ravages of neoliberal capitalism. That is the only way to counter Trump’s demagogy, and expose the fact that he has no real program to improve the living conditions for those who are looking to him to bring change."
We are also publishing a short analysis of the election results by Brian Becker of the PSL:
"By the time they are all counted Hillary Clinton will have about one million more votes than Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
But, no matter, even though he lost the popular vote Trump is the next president and Clinton already conceded defeat. Sound confusing. It is is not just confusing. It is a bizarre. The US electoral college that actually elects the president is an archaic relic; a political system created originally to meet the needs of the slaveocracy when it was still the dominant wing of American capitalism.
The 535-member Electoral College is weighted in such a way that gives preponderant influence to the southern states and rural states with small populations.
This is it how it breaks down: some states, like California and New York for instance vote reliably Democratic while other states in the south and lower midwest consistently vote Republican. Then there are about thirteen states that are called swing states because their vote could go either way. The votes in the swing states are the only ones that matter in determining the final outcome of the electoral college. Trump won narrowly in the swing states.
How could a racist, sexist xenophobe, a billionaire reality TV star with off-the-charts unfavorable ratings, who lacked the support of the political establishment and the ruling class, win the presidency?
The biggest single cause of Clinton’s defeat was the fact that more than six million fewer Democratic voters went to the polls in 2016 as compared to the election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012.
Trump won as a result of the complete and utter failure of the Democratic Party and Wall Street elites to address the biggest issues facing large parts of the working people in the country. That elite took large sections of the electorate for granted, including their own base. Bernie Sanders would have crushed Trump in the general election but the elites vanquished his insurgent campaign and put forward a candidate that epitomized the status quo, while treating working-class communities with extreme arrogance. Trump, the racist and sexist, actually won a greater percentage (29%) of the Latino and (8%) African-American vote than Romney did in 2012.
But 93% of counties nationwide are economically at or below where they were in 2008. Under Obama’s two terms in office, the stock market has tripled in value but wages are stagnant and economic polarization is well documented. This was the sentiment that powered the Bernie Sanders rebellion within the party but the DNC put it down. Then Clinton ran to the right from the moment Sanders was vanquished in July and ever since the entire election cycle has been devoid of any meaningful discussion about the core issues facing working-class and poor people in the United States.
This election result was about poor turnout in the swing states from working class people who vote Democratic. Millions of poor, oppressed and working-class young people, who came out for Obama in large numbers in 2008 and 2012 were not motivated or inspired by Clinton since she was seen as a dishonest representative of Wall Street and the corrupt Washington political establishment. Moreover, Clinton is associated with the criminal invasion of Iraq and the central force in Washington demanding the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya. By wrapping herself in 2016 with all of the main representatives of George W. Bush's Neocon elites Clinton also completely alienated millions of of anti-war Americans who voted for Third Parties in spite of their deep seated opposition to Donald Trump and his ultra-right backers."