May 19 Discussion on the 2024 Elections

You Are Invited to
Solidarity Members’ Discussion
on the U.S. Elections:
Sunday, May 19th

THE SOLIDARITY NATIONAL COMMITTEE has opened a membership discussion on the 2024 U.S. election. Several members have contributed to the listserv so far and we encourage additional contributions.

We are scheduling a discussion for Sunday, May 19 at 2PM EDT. [We are having it earlier than usual because one of our panelists (Kit) is in Europe so there’s a big time difference.]

Our chair and panelists (Marsha, Dan, Howie and Kit) reflect a range of views inside our organization. Our goal is to assess U.S. politics particularly on the national level aa the electoral season moves toward the summer Republican and Democratic conventions.

How does our movement work, particularly around reproductive justice, immigration issues, labor rights and support to Palestinians and Ukrainians intersect with the election period? What does it mean to endorse a candidate? We welcome comrades’ questions as well as positions and do not plan to vote at the end of the session. Comrades may recall that in the 2020 election we took a “straw poll” on options and published positions on our website. That might be a possibility this time around, to be determined in the fall as events unfold and our discussion develops.

Solidarity has consistently maintained our call for independent politics as an alternative to the two capitalist party “duopoly” in U.S. politics. On local and national levels we have supported, for example, Green Party campaigns and candidates as well as formations such as the Richmond (CA) Progressive Alliance. Again this year we want to learn about independent political efforts locally and assess the potential for the Green Party’s state and presidential campaigns as well as Cornel West’s independent candidacy. Meanwhile there will also be a number of important referenda on the ballot.

The well-known dysfunction in the U.S. political system is both influenced by, and an accelerant of, political turmoil. That’s especially so as the genocidal U.S.-Israel continues and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders an invasion around the edges of Rafah, a city with more than a million civilians. With the end of the primaries, where the “Uncommitted” registered their protest votes, the Biden administration hoped the ceasefire marches and rallies would diminish along with ceasefire demands at city council meetings. But then amazing encampments sprung up on hundreds of universities and colleges. Students demanded an end to campus complicity with Israel. While the genocide in Gaza proceeds, politicians and university administrators focused on shutting encampments down under the pretext of safety, fear of “outside agitators” infiltrating and charges of antisemitism.

If Biden believes he has thrown a bone to the ceasefire crowd by pausing an arms shipment, he is mistaken — even if Ted Cruz declares Biden a Hamas supporter. In fact, the Biden administration’s (attempted) capitulation to the right wing emboldens them while further alienating an already discontented Democratic voter base. That’s particularly true as Biden comes up with additional ways to deport people.

A distinctive question that began to arise in 2020, which we discussed at the time, is more acutely posed this time: To what extent does the full ascendance in the Republican Party of the Trump cult, backed by the most extreme corporate lobbies, Christian fundamentalism and overtly white-supremacist and identifiably fascist elements, represent a qualitative threat to the survival of basic democratic rights? What is an appropriate socialist response to this menace? Does it require strategic swing-state voting for Biden even in spite of his administration’s appalling record most importantly on immigration and partnering in Israel’s Gaza genocide.