Election 2016: Vote Socialist!
But for which one(s)?
The bourgeois parties have offered up two nauseating choices for the CEO of US imperialism. Is this the “best” the two ruling class parties have to offer? Trump, with his racism, homophobia, and misogyny, with his apparent serial sexual assaults and promises to take the US back to the “good old days,” serves to frighten the Democratic base away from third party options and into the camp an equally hideous choice, Hillary Clinton.
Secretary Clinton, in her role as First Lady under the regime of her husband. Offered her enthusiastic support for the crimes of his administration. While liberals were distracted defending Bill’s peccadilloes, they looked the other way while he gutted social programs and presided over the genocidal sanctions in Iraq that resulted in the death of one million, including half a million children. Bill Clinton’s crime bill gutted the right to appeal and laid the basis for the mass incarceration we see today. She and her husband, through their charitable foundation, looted Haiti.
As a Senator, Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. As Secretary of State, Clinton presided over the bloody regime change in Libya and the coup in Honduras. Her current saber rattling against Russia raises the specter of the cold war and the danger of a real war with Russia over control of the Middle East and its resources.
Socialists should never give their support, critical or otherwise, to the candidates of the ruling class parties. This includes support for so-called socialists running as Democrats. The role such “progressive” Democrats play is always to keep the oppressed and exploited subordinated to the ruling class.
Workers need a party of their own
The working class and oppressed in the US can only advance their struggles for liberation through a clean and definitive break with the politics of lesser-evilism and subordination to ruling class parties. This means building their own instrument for struggle in the streets and at the ballot box, a revolutionary workers party. Building such a party is a longer-term goal. Overcoming the disunity and fragmentation of the US left is an urgent task, but it won’t happen overnight. Unity cannot be achieved by ignoring the very real differences on the left either. What is necessary in the coming period is building the greatest possible unity in action, using the method of the united front, to build real opposition to the racism, exploitation and war inherent to this system.
We have no illusions that real change can be achieved through elections, but the left can use the electoral set-up to put their program before millions of people in ways small-scale propaganda efforts will never allow. Ultimately, the struggle for socialism depends on the independent mass activity of the working class and oppressed.
Unfortunately, most of the US left have either given in to lesser-evil logic or have thrown their support to the non-working class Green Party effort of Jill Stein. While Stein has raised some progressive platform points, the Greens are not an alternative for working class people. Further questions about Stein’s pandering to anti-vaccination activists and 9-11 truthers, as well as her running mate’s 9-11 “truth” writings and association with a holocaust denier should give the left pause.
Two left organizations, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Workers World Party, gave critical support to the ruling class sheepdog in the Democratic primaries. For this reason, we hesitate to call for a vote for their candidates.
The most consistent advocates of a clean break with the Democrats have been Mimi Soltysik and Angela Walker of the Socialist Party and Jeff Mackler and Karen Schraufnagel of Socialist Action.
Red Philly calls for a vote for socialist candidates in the 2016. Where the Soltysik/Walker ticket is on the ballot, vote for them. In other places, write in either Soltysik/Walker or Mackler/Schraufnagel. Let’s make this election the first step towards the construction of a real alternative.