Watching the election results, and like the overwhelming majority of thinking workers, yes, I do hope that Trump loses. That is starting to look like it is more possible and it’s turning out exactly as the talking heads and recent history, especially 2018, indicated. That is, the in-person election day votes will tend to go to Trump and the early votes and mail-in votes will tend to go to Biden. It’s the election day votes that are counted first.
What is really shocking, though, is the fact that it’s so close! Already the Republicans-turned-Biden-supporters are using that. I just heard the reactionary, anti-worker former governor of Ohio, John Kasich, speaking on CNN. He’s supported Biden all along because of the instability that Trump has created for US capitalism. Kasich is emphasizing the closeness of the election but also the strong divisions in the population. He’s saying that, if Biden wins, he will have to “bring us all together.” What that means is that Biden will have to make concession after concession to racism, to anti-labor policies, and to the corporate drive to destroy the environment in the name of profit. It is exactly such an approach around which Biden has built his career. He has already hinted that he may include Republicans in his administration, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he brings in Kasich.
So, if Biden wins, this will mean a defeat for the working class. However, should Trump win, it would be a defeat of epic proportions. Meanwhile, several groups of labor leaders have passed resolutions saying they will organize a general strike should Trump try to blatantly steal the election. It’s starting to look like outright theft in the form like a mugging is unlikely. (Picking the pockets has already happened in the form of removing millions of voters from the rolls.) These same union leaders will be breathing a heavy sigh of relief. It would be bad enough if Trump wins, but even worse – far worse – would be if the union leadership actually had to call out the membership to engage in an unprecedented action! Who knows where that could lead? Why, it might actually lead to a new wave of rank-and-file labor radicalism!
The other important point is Trump’s message last night. If he loses, it will be because the election was stolen, he said. He may or may not initiate a court challenge, but his words will be taken to heart by the violent vigilante groups. Especially since Trump and Trumpism has not been rejected by the overwhelming majority of the US population, these groups and individuals will be infuriated, especially since the absorb every lie Trump says like it is the word of god. They will represent a serious danger in the days, weeks and months to come.
Additional note: I’m not sure it’s correct to say that if Biden wins it will be a defeat for the working class. That’s because I’m not sure it will mean further demoralization. It could be just the opposite to some small degree. The main thing is that, as Oaklandsocialist has advocated, we should be encouraging and helping the more conscious and courageous of the rank and file members of the unions to build opposition caucuses, link these caucuses up together, and campaign to make the unions really fight not only for their members, but for all workers.
Categories: 2020 elections