TRUMP’S DEFEAT AND THE PROGRESS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN LEFT

TRUMP’S EXIT FROM THE STAGE REPRESENTS A SERIOUS BLOW TO THE IMPERIALIST STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED STATES. A SERIOUS BLOW TO THE POLITICS OF WAR IN THE WORLD, AND TO THE INFLUENCE OF THE LARGE INDUSTRIAL AND FINANCIAL MULTINATIONALS.  EVEN IF THEY LEAD TO NO GREAT IMMEDIATE CHANGE, THESE ELECTIONS ARE GOING TO HAVE CONSEQUENCES. CONSEQUENCES FOR THE POWER STRUCTURES IN THE USA, IN LATIN AMERICA, IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND EUROPE – AND CONSEQUENCES FOR THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA-CHINA.

In the United States, a very significant polarisation has developed under the Trump’s presidency. This was expressed in the election: Trump got 73 million votes, which is more than in 2016, but the Democratic Party got 81 million. A real popular avalanche, with participation at more than 70%. Such a social mobilization was made possible by the left opposition in the Democratic Party under the influence of the world process.

On a par with almost all the electoral systems in the capitalist countries, the US’ is designed to prevent the full expression of the working class and popular masses. The electoral colleges are such that the working-class areas always end up in the minority compared with the other social sectors.  Add to this the rule of ‘the winner takes all’ that gives the victory to the party the party that comes first, even with the smallest of margins. Finally, the way voters must check on their registrations causes many of them to give up [1] although postal voting made things easier this time.

Voting in these conditions demands a strong wish to participate and decide. On this occasion, this will was boosted by the great activism of the avant-garde made up of communists, socialists, environmentalists, pacifists and grassroots trade unionists. It was stimulated by the left of the Democratic Party which had long ago created an important movement in support of Bernie Sanders. In the 2016 primaries, Sanders had already come close to a tie with Hillary Clinton.

Demonstration of Black people against the murder of George Floyd
Demonstration of Black people against the murder of George Floyd

The popular mobilisation that has spread throughout the US despite the pandemic is another important aspect. The left has been the backbone of the major mobilisations of recent years against the multinationals and financial speculation (Occupy Wall Street), against racism and police repression (Black Lives Matters) – for civil rights, for the eradication of homophobia, for the national “Health For All” campaign, to defend and complement the timid ObamaCare.

Twelve million infected, 225,000 dead!

The global situation and the spread of the pandemic have upset the plans of the Trump administration and US leadership. The policy that consists in denying the pandemic and putting the economy above health, is an attack on the lives of the masses on a par with Trump’s contempt for the immigrants and the black population.

Forty millions people in the United States have a miserable level of health care, and several million more do not even get it. Those hit the hardest by the virus are the poorest sectors of the population.  In cities like New York and Chicago, the highest death toll was among the African Americans and the Latinos. In spite of 12 million infected and more than 225,000 dead, Trump never changed policy.

Along with the hundreds of victims of the fascist repressive gangs operating in total impunity, the police murder of George Floyd sparked a massive backlash across the United States. Sectors of the workers’ movement and petit bourgeoisie joined these great mobilisations. They even had the support of some police forces, who ‘gave the knee’ instead of repressing the demonstrators, showing how they too repudiated this crime. These mobilisations had repercussions even in the Pentagon which decided not to send the army to the streets.  Repercussions could be seen at judicial level too when some of the police involved in Floyd’s killing were (initially) condemned and jailed.

In these conditions of increasing violence, mobilisations, unemployment and misery, the Trump administration did not deliver on any of its promises. Instead of full employment, 40 million jobs have been lost. The shaky economic stability was achieved at the cost of the poorest. In foreign policy, the Trump administration continued the previous American policy: More pressure and sanctions against Iran, Cuba, Venezuela. In the Middle East – and even after some acknowledgement of defeat in Syria – the US gave more support to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and kept their troops in Iraq and Syria.

There was the assassination of Qasem Soleimani (the general of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. The head of the pro-Hezbollah Iraqi militia Abu Mahdi was murdered too, as well as Mohsen Fakhrizadéh, the scientist in charge of the Iranian nuclear program. These events expose the Trump presidency’s drive to break the front Iran-Syria-Lebanon-Iraq-Yemen, and the impossibility of the withdrawal of the US military forces.

In Europe, “Operation Defender Europe 2020”[2] went on through the development of the pandemic. This military exercise continues alongside the plan to modernise the military arsenal of the NATO countries, the new bases for “remote warfare”, the new nuclear bombs (B61-12s) and the new F-35 bombers. This is how the US and NATO continue almost clandestinely their war preparations mostly aimed at Russia. Trump broke the US-Russian agreements on medium-range nuclear missiles (INF) without any evidence of a threat from Russia. It was not Trump but the Pentagon that took all these decisions.

There is global support for the Venezuelan Revolution:

In Latin America, the Trump administration failed to roll back the Maduro’s government despite its increased sanctions, its oil blockade, its permanent and armed provocations (and through the Colombian military) along with its attempts at overthrowing the Chavist power. In June, five Iranian tankers delivered fuel and equipment to Venezuelan ports to help restart the Venezuelan refineries.  This is a very daring act on the part of the Maduro government. It is expresses the support gained by the Bolivarian revolution globally. The military agreements with Russia and China reverberate from the Middle East to Latin America.

Imperialism has failed in all of its objectives, as much under the Trump presidency as under his predecessor Obama. A very deep process of maturing is taking place in the North American masses. Strong of these influences they received from the world, they mobilised against Trump’s fascist policies.

With his very important ties to the military industry, the new President Biden is going to pursue the policies of Trump.  He is not going to find this easy, however. Facing him, he is going to find a US population that has been in the streets for many months in search of more democracy, participation and social justice. This is why, for the moment, he proposes to return to the Paris Climate Agreements and set-up some health plan against the pandemic. Don’t count on him however to cut down on the war preparations, military spending, the defence of “the US national security” wherever the US capitalist interests are, which is all over the world.

Include the people of the United States in the organisation of a World United Front:

US people reject Trum

The Biden administration is going to have to deal with the defeat of the United States, and their allies, and their NATO partners, in the war on Syria. Because there, it is Russia that has played the essential role.  The Biden administration is going to have to face the important role of Iran in the war in Yemen, as well as its participation in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

Changes await too in the balance of power in Latin America. This shows in the victory of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) in Bolivia, and the decision in Chile to ditch the Pinochet Constitution.  Now there is China, the world’s second economic power, the only country expected to return to economic growth this year after having successfully mastered the pandemic crisis.

Such is the panorama offered by the balance of forces at this present moment in these historic US elections. To measure the importance of this crisis for the capitalist system, this panorama must be viewed globally.

One must include the people of the United States in the organisation of a World United Front where all the forces of progress are made to converge: Workers States, Revolutionary States, progressive governments, left-wing parties, trade unions, social movements – to elaborate a world program of social transformations that allows to put an end to the capitalist system.

Posadists Today
6 December 2020

Featured Image: 
Women's mobilisation in Washington in October 2020

[1] Different States have different deadlines for electoral registration. Some require between a fortnight and a month in advance of the election. US citizens living in ‘outside territories’ cannot vote in presidential elections and have no full representation in Congress. Some of those outside territories are Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 

[2] This enormous military deployment started in 2020 from the United States. It swept through Europe and coordinated the 21 Nato countries of the European Union stopping – for the time being – at the Russian borders. This exercise was, and still is, accompanied by “Operation Defender Pacific 2020” also directed at Russia (and undoubtedly China) “from across the Indo-Pacific Theatre’, as set out in its propaganda literature.