Editorial: Tweedledum and Tweedledummer
On 8 November, American workers will be casting their votes for the next US President. Aside from the minor candidates, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, the contest is between Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s Frankenstein Monster, and Hillary Clinton, the devotee of US corporations and Wall Street.
Donald Trump, the billionaire political conman who poses as the workers’ champion, has been preying on the anger, insecurities and, in some cases, the desperation of American workers, many of whom are still suffering from the effects of the 2008 financial crash. He claims he will bring jobs back to the US and scapegoats immigrant and Muslim workers for America’s social and economic ills. He appeals to the more conservative voters by supporting gun ownership and opposing abortion. With the release of a video produced in 2005, which reveals Trump boasting that his celebrity status allows him to grope any woman he wants, many high ranking Republicans have dumped him. Further allegations by women, who have come forward to accuse him of sexual assault, have added to the discomfort of the Republicans.
Many in the Republican Party hierarchy have never favoured his candidacy, regarding him as an aberration. Yet, his populist style of politics has, in some form or other, been pursued by Republican and Democrat politicians in the past. He follows in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and George W Bush among others.
Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders, the so called ‘Democratic Socialist’ from Vermont, to become the first woman Presidential nominee. She has positioned herself as the progressive candidate supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and is pro abortion and is in favour of gun control. As a New York Senator, she voted for the Iraq War. However, her candidacy has been dogged by question marks over her use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State and controversies over foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. Despite this, her candidacy has received endorsements from high ranking members of the political and corporate establishments, including many Republicans. Her campaign has received donations from Wall Street interests.
Despite the animosity between Trump and Clinton that has been revealed in the election rallies and TV debates, there is one fundamental issue in which they both agree and that is in the need to support US capitalism. Whoever wins, the US government will continue to manage capitalism as before, promoting the interests of the US capitalist class at home and abroad. American workers will continue to work for their bosses, and if a profit cannot be made, then unemployment looms. Workers will still be sent to fight wars on behalf of the capitalist class. Sadly for the American working class, it will be business as usual when the new President takes office in January 2017.
Yet it need not be this way. American workers have another choice. They can unite with workers worldwide to gain political power and wrest control of the Earth’s resources from the capitalist class and convert them from private property used for the production of profit to the common heritage of all humankind.