Eric Blanc, one of the leaders of DSA, has published an article urging DSA to campaign for Biden.
His point is that this time it’s different (which is also the title of an article in Foreign Affairs magazine, the journal of the influential Council on Foreign Relations). I agree with his analysis of the extreme danger of a second Trump term. This danger is magnified by how he would get into office – through the worst sort of maneuvering, voter suppression, fraud. Added to the danger is the fact that this would be a huge boost to the far right vigilante groups.
Blanc doesn’t mention the limited time the planet has to start to get global warming under control, but I suspect he wold agree about that issue.
I always thought that the DSA position on only supporting Sanders was somewhat childish. If you can support one Democrat, why can’t you support another? It’s not as if a President Sanders would be able to get a single piece of his legislation passed. I did not support Sanders because I don’t believe in supporting Democrats, and I don’t agree with DSA’s support for a whole host of other left liberal Democrats at the local and state level.
However, I do agree that “this time it’s different”. If Trump gets in again, I think it will almost certainly have to be through his suppression of democratic norms. Blanc points to the statements of several labor bodies on the issue. But the problem is that the labor leadership does not exactly have a track record of decisive and timely action. Missing among Blanc‘s calls is a call on the union leadership to act now to oppose Trump’s dictatorial moves. The labor movement – or even just one or two major leaders – can and should immediately organize public meetings in every area where they have a presence in order to build this opposition. These meetings would be the basis for construction of local organizing committees, complete with leaderships that are democratically elected. Coordinating bodies of these committees should be built at the regional and national levels, all of this on a democratic basis. Plans should be laid for marches and rallies in every area to oppose Trump’s plans to rely on the Supreme Court to undemocratically return him to office.
Along with this a clear program should be developed. These should include economic demands, demands around racial justice, and demands around health and the environment. (Regarding Covid, we absolutely must start to raise the environmental basis for this and other zoonotic diseases – factory farming and wild habitat loss!) Starting such a campaign now would actually do far more to even get out the vote than any direct appeals to vote. More important, it would also be the start of building an independent working class movement, one which could lead to the building of an independent, mass working class party.
The hour is late, but not too late.