2020 Elections: What is to be done?

Faced with the all-powerful, two capitalist parties’ domination of electoral politics, the revolutionary socialist left has long debated how to engage with the bourgeois electoral system in the U.S. Solidarity comes to this debate with a long history of work for and an organizational commitment to building a political force independent of the Democratic party. For many on the left the swing of the Republican Party toward white nationalism under Trump and the rise of “Trumpism,” has raised the stakes of this Presidential election in ways that requires a shift in strategy with a temporary focus on the electoral defeat of Trump through critical support of Biden.  For others, the dangers posed by Trumpism do not justify supporting the Democratic Party and they advocate support for the Green Party candidacy of Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker.  For both sides, building our movements is integral to bringing about real political change. Our recent poll of our members shows there are a variety of views on this election in particular.

We publish here several contributions to the debate about how revolutionary socialists should engage with the 2020 Elections. Readers, you are invited to send us your comments.  If you would like to contribute an article to this discussion, you can submit it at webzine@solidarity-us.org.  Please note that we have an editorial process for selection of comments and articles to help us have a comradely, well-rounded, representative and lively discussion.

  • Democratic Party dirty tricks against the Greens
    Angela Walker, 2020 Green Party candidate for vice-president. Democrats sued to keep her and Howie Hawkins off the ballot in Wisconsin. Voter suppression has become a real issue in recent years. Mostly, what we hear on voter suppression are Democrats correctly accusing Republications of […]
  • Trump’s Last Stand
    This article is part of discussion of a fluid situation in American politics. It represents the author’s analysis of a specific conjuncture at the time of writing. We will publish other assessments as the situation develops. Legal challenges notwithstanding, Joe Biden’s apparent victory in […]
  • Trump Can Steal the Election and the Left Must Mobilize to Stop Him
    A Critique of Kit Wainer’s Complacent View Kit Wainer’s essay “A very ‘American` coup” dismisses as alarmist and very very improbable a Trump success in stealing the election. Wainer bases his confident prediction on several arguments: That when it appears to his Congressional and […]
  • The Day After — America Hung Over?
    Trumpsters chanting “Stop the vote!” outside the central counting board in Detroit after an election official closed the door on them. Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    [This initial response was authored by David Finkel for the National Committee of Solidarity. We continue to follow events. By late Wednesday afternoon, with the Electoral College result appearing to swing narrowly toward Biden in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada, the Trump campaign is beginning to file stop-the-count lawsuits and a rightwing crowd is trying to break into the counting center at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit.]

    As the sun rises on a COVID-ravaged and politically fractured U.S. homeland the day after November 3, the main networks are telling us that the unresolved presidential election comes down to a two-states-out-of-three contest in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The results won’t be known till tonight at the earliest, probably later and not for days in Pennsylvania as late-arriving mail ballots need to be counted.

    In short, it’s all over but the counting, recounting and probably litigating. If America isn’t hung over this morning, it probably will be before it’s all done.

    We want to hear from members and friends of Solidarity about what’s happening in your communities during and after the election. Let us hear from you at webzine@solidarity-us.org!

    Here’s some of what we know:

    For the second straight election, U.S. voters have actually repudiated Donald Trump’s repulsive, racist and nativist message — but this time, contrary to expectations, by a smaller percentage than in 2016. At this writing (7 am Wednesday) Biden has 68,867,000 against Trump’s 66,643,000 votes — a margin of two million but way less than pollsters indicated. Of course, none of this matters in a system governed by the anachronistic Electoral College.

    As expected, Donald Trump made a “victory” declaration in the middle of the night and proclaimed “we’re going to the Supreme Court” to stop the vote count while he’s ahead. Importantly, it doesn’t look like the Republican leadership as a whole is backing up this widely anticipated Grand Theft Election gambit — at least for the moment. Prospects for a Trump-engineered “electoral coup” appear to have dimmed.

    By most indications, the Republican majority in the Senate will remain intact at least narrowly and the Democrats will hold the House of Representatives by a smaller margin yet to be determined.

    Third-party campaigns appear to have been pretty much overwhelmed by the polarization of the two main capitalist parties. The Green Party campaign of Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker is showing a 0.23% vote, but we’ll need more time to see where Green results may be significant in local or state races…

  • Fighting Back in Michigan
    George Floyd protest in Detroit (Photo: Steve Neavling, Detroit Metro Times) I’m a member of DSA Metro Detroit and of the Black Brown Alliance within that chapter. I write poetry and short stories, and have earned my living in media most of my adult […]
  • Strike for Democracy!
    The labor movement is facing an existential crisis on two levels. Most immediate is that posed by Donald Trump, who has already stoked the fuel of white supremacist terror groups, and who has made repeated suggestions that he will not step down from office […]
  • A very “American” coup

    Could Trump steal the election? This is a fear that has circulated around both mainstream liberal circles and much of the Left as well.

    Some have warned of the threat of a coup in the event of a Biden victory…

    Others are preoccupied with visions of Trump manipulating the vote count…

    Few, however, have explained a plausible path that Trump could follow that would allow him to overturn the results of the election…

    Image: Cover of the 1982 novel from which the title of this article comes

  • Mobilizing Veterans in Labor to Beat Trump and the GOP
    During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump dissed a Gold Star family that lost a son in Iraq. He called Senator John McCain, America’s most famous prisoner of war, a “loser” for being captured in Vietnam. When asked about widespread sexual assault in today’s military, he […]
  • Unions Are Beginning to Talk About Staving Off a Possible Coup
    “Therefore, be it finally resolved that the Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO calls on the National AFL-CIO, all of its affiliate unions, and all other labor organizations in the United States of America to prepare for and enact a general strike of all working people, […]
  • Solidarity and the 2020 presidential election
    As reported in Solidarity’s Election Poll, a Solidarity internal poll found that 47% of respondents supported voting for Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker running as Greens in the 2020 presidential election, 27% supported voting for Hawkins and Walker where the Democrats are assured of […]
  • Stay focused on the real fightback: the defeat of Trumpism will not come at the ballot box
    The 2020 election is shaping up as something more than merely a regular transfer of power election between the two major parties. Trump has leaned into overt racism at a time when many people thought these views were relegated to the dustbin of history; […]
  • Dump Trump, Fight and Force Biden: An Electoral Strategy for the Left
    In this election year, the anti-capitalist left needs, and some coalitions are already conducting, an activist Dump Trump, Fight and Force Biden (DTFB) organizing strategy. It could oust Trump and drive back his forces, expose Biden and the Democratic Party, and force a Biden […]
  • The curse of the 2020 elections
    In an August 22, 2020 article Solidarity’s Election Poll David Finkel, writing for the Solidarity National Committee, reported that 47% of Solidarity respondents supported voting for Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, 27% supported voting for Hawkins and Walker in “safe states” […]
  • Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?
    For the people of the world the real fascism of anti-democratic, brutal regimes supported by the U.S., murderous sanctions, and right-wing coups will continue unabated.  The reoccupation of the Executive Branch by the Democrats will not bring any change in U.S. behavior in the […]
  • Our Biden Problem
    This is a hard arti­cle to write. I wish our polit­i­cal land­scape were so much dif­fer­ent than it is, and I wish our polit­i­cal choic­es were bet­ter than they are. To say Joe Biden is not an ide­al pres­i­den­tial can­di­date — for the Left or for Black peo­ple — is an under­state­ment. […]