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The repeat showdown for the White House between two decrepit old white men who can barely string two sentences together would seem like a Netflix comedy series if it weren't true. The livelihoods of working people are not a joke. While the population is faced with this political charade, everybody knows there are real issues at stake that neither candidate gives a damn about. There is massive anxiety over what the future will bring. Many can see that the U.S. empire is a sinking ship that wants to bring us all down with it. The economy sucks. People are riddled with debt. The war in Ukraine is unpopular. There is mass outrage over U.S. support to genocide in Gaza. Everybody knows Trump hates immigrants and black people, but they know Jim Crow Joe does, too.

The Democrats are in a panic because it looks likely that Biden will lose to Trump, and their dirty tricks aren't proving as effective as they used to be. They have tried to revive January 6 with cries about defending democracy against Trump and the Republicans. Workers are sick of this song and dance. Calls to “save democracy” fall flat when money is being thrown at war and genocide while the population's basic needs are not being met. Despite fear of another Trump administration, growing sectors of the multiracial working class are being taken in by Trump's “stick it to the establishment” rhetoric out of anger over getting screwed by the Biden government.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans agree on the fundamental question of maintaining the rule of the wealthy elite; they differ only over tactical questions, such as the most effective way to squeeze workers and enforce racial segregation. As the elections heat up, both capitalist parties will continue to stoke racial and other divisions, pitting black workers against white workers, black people and Latinos against migrants, you name it. Recall in 2020: If you love women, immigrants and black people, vote Biden; and if you don't vote Biden, you must be a racist. All this, in turn, emboldened Trump, who welcomed with open arms all those sickened by this liberal tripe. The capitalist rulers want you to think that the main division in this society is Democrat vs. Republican or “people of color” vs. white Trump supporters, all to distract from the fact that in the fight to survive, it's class vs. class.

Voting Biden is not a way forward for workers. Voting Trump is not a way forward either. There is another way! The SL/U.S. is giving critical support to the Party for Socialism and Liberation's Claudia De la Cruz/Karina Garcia 2024 presidential campaign because it draws a class line against the reactionary candidates Trump and Biden. In particular, Claudia & Karina are clear that there is no “lesser evil”: “Voting for Biden does nothing to defeat the enemies of democracy, shifts the entire political spectrum further rightwards, and in most cases won't even result in different policies than if Trump were in office!”

What sets the PSL candidates apart from others on the ballot (RFK, Cornel West, Jill Stein) is their combination of opposition to Biden/Trump with opposition to capitalism. Their platform titled “End Capitalism Before It Ends Us”—which calls to “seize the biggest 100 corporations” and “end the war on Black America” among other things—has a simplicity and appeal that anybody who wants real change for working people in this country would find attractive. Since the campaign provides a working-class alternative to the Democrats and Republicans, all workers should vote for PSL!

Democrats Only Make Trump Stronger

There is an urgent need for the strongest possible working-class opposition to the new administration, whether that be Trump or Biden. To have a fighting chance, this movement must wage struggle from outside and against the Democratic Party of economic ruin and Palestinian genocide—and the PSL campaign serves as a rallying point for just that. In order for the PSL campaign to achieve its full potential, it is necessary to understand the reason why Trump is on top in the polls.

The anti-Trump resistance that exploded on the scene in 2016 was organically tied to the Democratic Party from the outset. It fused around the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders. From this position, the resistance was never going to be able to advance the struggles of the workers and oppressed, whose interests run straight up against those of the ruling class. Improving conditions for the working class, making inroads against segregation and women's oppression requires direct confrontation with capitalist interests. But that's not possible while simultaneously extending a hand to the forces defending those interests.

Those who claim to be socialist and stand for “class independence” but embraced the anti-Trump resistance as a step in the right direction only helped pave the way for the current situation. The PSL did just that at the time and continues to push liberal movements today, which is a major reason that we give their campaign critical support.

Trump is justifiably hated by many who view him as a threat to their existence. He must be fought. But it cannot be on the basis of the losing strategy of the resistance, whose chief objective was to get Trump out by getting Biden in and, in the process, give more black people and other minorities a seat at the slave master's table. So, Biden got in. He got Kamala Harris in, a black and Indian woman reviled for incarcerating thousands of black and Latino youth while giving a pass to racist killer cops. However, liberal politicians brand anyone who criticizes her a racist or male chauvinist! That is the sum total of what Democratic Party identity politics gets you. Kamala Harris has more in common with the white supremacist in the White House than she does with black, immigrant or women workers.

Every movement during the original Trump years, from the Women's Marches and immigrant rights protests to BLM, is a testament to the fact that any and all alliances with the “lesser evil” are a dead end. Massive numbers of people were mobilized in the streets, but at the end of the day there was nothing to show for it in terms of concrete progress for workers, black people, immigrants, women. In fact, the only perceptible result was the Biden presidency—which has made everything worse and fueled renewed support for Trump.

Today, Biden's attempts to coax the working class with promises to tax the rich, enact the PRO Act, restore abortion rights and protect the environment are nothing but hot air to those who remember: Rail strike, squashed. Build Back Better, a dead letter. Abortion, overturned. Eviction moratoriums, gone. Poison water, still there. Four years ago, all the Congressional Democrats uttered, “black lives matter.” Today, there's not even a pretense to stand for anything black. The reason that neither Biden nor any of the “progressive” Democrats like Sanders or AOC ever make good on their campaign promises is that they are compelled to defend the interests of their class—they are part of the very forces responsible for exploitation and oppression.

Any politician can get up and say that they stand for the rights of women, black people and workers, but these are just empty words when their entire role is to preserve capitalist class rule. The Squad works for the party of the bosses, not the people. This is why they don't do jack in Congress except pass your enemy off as your friend. In order to maintain their privilege, the ruling-class oppressors thrive on these kinds of traitors to keep the workers movement down.

Your “progressive” and Uncle Tom black Democrats and your union bureaucrats all want you to think that you can fight the system from within the box of capitalism. You may as well lock yourself in a tent with a starving tiger. For workers and the oppressed to make any step forward requires a fight against the system responsible for racist reaction, wage slavery and war. It requires a fight outside and against the Democratic Party.

2023 Strike Wave Bribery

Last year saw a lot of combativity in the working class and an appetite to fight back against inflation and the attacks on wages, pensions and unions. The UAW strike was the most significant class battle. There is widespread recognition that the working-class vote will be decisive to the outcome of the election—thus, the photo ops of Biden and Trump with auto workers last fall during the strike.

The UAW strike had the potential to land a crushing blow to the Biden government and turn the tide for workers everywhere. We intervened to show auto workers that in order to win the demands that Fain set out to achieve, the struggle had to be broadened because the underlying problem is capitalism itself. To draw in Detroit's black population and really deliver a hard punch to the bosses who run this country, it was necessary to organize a general strike in the city to end tiers, reindustrialize and fight for black liberation. Here was a prime example of how workers struggle and black struggle go forward together or fall back separately.

In the end, Shawn Fain sold the strike short, and the tide was not turned. Why? Because Fain sought simply to rebalance the scales and not to rock the boat and cause trouble for Biden. His strategy meant he would not wage a real battle against the bosses and their racist divide-and-rule. Fain pushed the strike only far enough that workers gained some concessions without the bosses having to dig too deep into their pockets.

What has happened since the pickets were taken down? The strike gains immediately came under attack, while workers faced either layoffs or the same grueling daily grind to make ends meet. Nothing has changed for black people or working-class Detroit, which is still as segregated as ever. Meanwhile, the Stellantis CEO just got a 60 percent pay raise off the blood and sweat of auto workers, and Fain is the biggest foot soldier for Biden's re-election.

Through Fain and its other agents in the trade-union bureaucracy, the Biden administration has been able to temporarily stabilize things and get over the hump by bribing sections of the working class. However, it is not on firmer footing, and the capitalist rulers are well aware that what they are offering doesn't cut it. In auto, longshore, transit and every other industry, making a living increasingly means being worked to death. Workers need and want a fundamental change in their economic and social conditions, which poses a threat to the interests and existence of the entire capitalist class.

It is clear that, despite the setbacks and defeats, workers have not been broken. Right now, the masses are giving a big FU to Biden, and it intersects angst over where the country is headed. But if this sentiment is not put on an independent working-class path to push back against the capitalist offensive, it will continue to be channeled in one or another reactionary direction: the Democrats or the Republicans. This is why it is important to support a working-class alternative in the elections by voting PSL.

U.S. Imperialism: On Thin Ice

Working-class fears over the state of the country are not unwarranted. There is a fair bit of anxiety within the ruling class as well because it can't manage more than one crisis at a time. This is obvious to everyone. The U.S. rulers are losing out to Russia in Ukraine, overextended in the Middle East and scrambling to contain China.

Biden says that the U.S. commitment to the war in Ukraine will never waver, but it is. In particular, the Republicans see it as a pit of lost resources that could be used to fight on other fronts, like China. Support for the war within the population has also waned, especially given its economic impact. Genocide Joe's lavish spending on Ukraine has allowed Trump to absurdly posture as an antiwar candidate and made his appeal that much stronger.

While the Democrats and the Republicans may bicker over policy toward Russia, they stand as one when it comes to maintaining an imperialist outpost in Israel and targeting China. Biden, echoing Trump, has increasingly taken a more protectionist stance. Both talk about putting American workers first and promise economic prosperity. But for who? You can rest assured that it is Wall Street and the banks.

The U.S. empire is in decline, and both parties are hell-bent on saving it by tightening the screws on the working class. The “Bidenomics” plan to rescue the economy and bring back large-scale manufacturing is a pipe dream. Reindustrializing the U.S. requires going up against the system of private ownership that is a brake on productivity and responsible for the demise of industry in the first place.

A fight to expand industry to the benefit of the working class and provide everyone a good job with good pay would also strengthen the position of workers internationally who have a common enemy in U.S. imperialism. To throw off the grip of the U.S. empire, which is squeezing the life out of workers here and in the neocolonies, requires a complete break with the Democratic Party. By keeping the workers movement chained to the liberal wing of the ruling class, the trade-union bureaucracy has held back the anti-imperialist struggle and prevented the unity of the working class around the globe in struggle against U.S. domination.

To Free Palestine, No Vote to Genocide Joe

Currently, the loudest opposition to the Biden administration's foreign policy is over its support to Israel's slaughter of the Palestinians. Activists and workers are putting Biden in a tight spot over Gaza. In response, Democratic Party liberals and union bureaucrats have sought to pressure Biden for a cease-fire in order to pacify the outrage and prevent the kind of class war needed to stop the genocide and liberate Palestine. This is yet another way that activists and workers are being conned into staying within the Democratic Party fold.

What would that class war look like? For starters, anti-imperialist actions like workers here refusing to produce weapons for Israel or to transport them there. The biggest obstacle to these kinds of actions are the misleaders in the workers movement who support the Democratic Party “progressives.” The defense of Palestine is completely undermined by unity with the Democrats. You cannot defend Gaza, let alone fight for the national liberation of Palestine, and at the same time support the party overseeing the genocide in Gaza.

As the elections draw nearer and nearer, the “progressives” will become more and more openly supportive of the Biden White House. Once again, the argument will be “anybody but Trump.” Cornel West recoiled under this pressure and shot his own campaign in the foot after he was denounced as irresponsible by Sanders and other “progressives” for dividing the movement to defeat Trump. This is the entire role of the “progressives”: to keep discontent within the confines of the Democratic Party. The “uncommitted” campaign spearheaded by Rashida Tlaib is an example of just that. The PSL lauds this campaign as a way to send a powerful message to Biden. But what is the message to workers, students and all those outraged by the genocide? It is to channel anger into the Democratic Party, not toward socialism—especially when refusing to call out Tlaib and the other Democrats behind the campaign.

The PSL also builds illusions that the passage of the latest UN Security Council cease-fire resolution is a “major victory for the Palestine solidarity movement.” This resolution was only a cover for Israel to continue the slaughter. It also is a cover for the Democrats to continue to support Israel while appearing to be doing something about the genocide in order to boost Biden's electoral chances. Just a few days after the U.S. allowed the resolution to pass, the Biden administration sent billions of dollars of additional military aid to Israel. The PSL has a big contradiction. They want to end capitalism before it ends us, yet subordinate the movement to bourgeois forces, which are guaranteed to bury struggle against capitalism in defeat.

On the one hand, PSL cheerleads Arab nationalism and Hamas, which is a dead-end road for Palestinian liberation. They do this in accordance with specious liberal appeals that “only Palestinians can lead the struggle,” which can only serve to divide the movement on false lines. On the other hand, PSL stumps for the pacifist cease-fire movement. This movement, a bloc headed by “progressive” Democrats to persuade Biden to “do the right thing” by the Palestinians, has done nothing to stop or even slow the genocide.

The reason is simple: The U.S. imperialists back the Zionist state—and therefore the genocidal oppression of Palestinians—due not to moral failing but rather to their strategic interests in the region. At a certain point, of course, the U.S. rulers may well move to broker a cease-fire—but this will come when they judge that the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians has sufficiently secured their interests. The bottom line is, by playing both sides of the same bankrupt coin, PSL only undermines the very working-class unity and opposition that their presidential campaign is attempting to build.

How to Fight Back Against Reaction

Democratic Party liberalism is deadly to the struggles of the entire multiracial working class. The Democrats and the media have dusted off Hillary Clinton's 2016 playbook and are once again claiming that the biggest threat to American democracy is white rural rage, i.e., Trump's “deplorables.” This only fuels poisonous polarizations between black and white workers. The identity politics of the anti-Trump resistance, which alibis the racist Democratic Party by putting the blame for racial oppression on white workers, can only help to drive them into the arms of Trump.

These politics must be rejected to unite the working class across racial lines—which is both necessary and possible. White workers have a real interest in fighting against racial segregation, which is wielded by this country's rulers to keep the whole working class down. They will not be able to get the things that they need—such as high wages and quality health care and housing—without fighting for black liberation. In turn, black people need white workers to liberate themselves, which requires joint struggle for the revolutionary transformation of society.

Fed up with the Democratic road to nowhere, an increasing number of black people and Latinos have come out for Trump. Many say it is because they are in a worse position under Biden and want to hold on to what they have. The Democratic Party politicians who yesterday claimed to be the biggest defenders of immigrant rights are today trying to outdo Trump and inflaming poisonous divisions between migrants, black people and workers.

There were more cop killings of black people in 2023 under Biden than there have been in decades. But the massive protests that existed four years ago have evaporated. The entire left talks about the need to rebuild the movement against police brutality. But they seek to do it in a way that is entirely compatible with BLM's identity politics, which only serve to drive a wedge into the necessary alliance of the multiracial proletariat. Leftist groups like PSL say that BLM went downhill because the Democrats took it over. What they need is a long look in the mirror and to ask themselves: Why was there no fight by the left to break the movement from its liberal leadership?

The truth is that the politics of BLM have led to demoralization and racist reaction. From the get-go, BLM was a movement organized on the basis of an empty slogan to rally black people, workers and angry youth around the Democrats. For decades, every movement against police brutality has fallen down a rabbit hole. They have all pushed schemes to put more black faces in high places—to put black people in control of the police to become the overseers for the same capitalist government that enforces racial segregation and repression.

To reignite the movement against cop terror, the SL seeks to break it from the clutches of the liberals. Our goal is to advance the struggle by exposing the Democratic Party fakers who say they stand for black people but stab them in the back. We want to rebuild the movement in a way that explicitly goes beyond what is acceptable to these politicians. We encourage all those who want to fight against police abuse and to end racial oppression to take up our united-front call to “open all police archives.”

Many black people and minorities have heard time and again that the fight for voting rights has been too hard and too many have died for it to throw your vote away. Well, don't throw it away! Don't give the vote to the same capitalist system whose politicians are responsible for lynch rope terror and maintaining black inequality. A vote for PSL would be a blow against the class enemy responsible for racial oppression and segregation. It would help build the unity of the multiracial working class by organizing around a common cause to fight back against both Biden's and Trump's attacks. The more successful the PSL campaign, the better will be the position of black people, workers and all the oppressed to fight back against the new administration, whether it's Biden or Trump. Don't let the Democrats go unchallenged! Vote PSL!