The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
Trump and Clinton:
Enemies of the Working Class

Oct 17, 2016

Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and television celebrity is doubling down on his despicable appeal.

When Trump was confronted with evidence that he had not paid federal or state income taxes for decades, he bragged that made him “smart.” When Trump was exposed for boasting about using his celebrity status and power to sexually assault women, he denigrated and insulted women – even more. When he said that the Central Park Five in New York were guilty, Trump showed how ready he is to provoke racist violence. The courts had exonerated those five men in 2004, despite the fact that Trump had tried to whip up lynch mob hysteria to get them executed by the state or murdered by vigilantes.

Trump is a vicious enemy of all working people. He seeks to widen the divisions inside the working class. He encourages racist and sexist violence, and attacks on immigrants.

But Trump has been able to maintain a base of support – especially among millions of white workers and poor people, not to speak of some black and immigrant workers. They have been driven into his arms by the long history of betrayals by other politicians, Republican and Democrat, both. They may not all go for Trump’s racism, xenophobia and misogyny, but they are being marked by it.

The fact that this electoral base exists and is widespread is the mark of how dangerous the political situation has become. That danger will not go away after the election.

Repulsed by a Trump and everything he represents, many working people will decide to vote for Hillary Clinton. But Clinton is no protection for working people.

Certainly, Clinton is not a disgusting human being like Trump. In fact, she is a very competent and efficient defender of the interests of the capitalist class, at the expense of the entire working class. And you don’t need tens of thousands of hacked private e-mails recently published by WikiLeaks to see this clearly.

As a U.S. Senator, Clinton voted for the taxpayer-funded bailouts of the banks and other big corporations during the 2007-2008 financial crash and deep recession. That is, Clinton voted for workers to pay to rescue companies and banks from the very collapse that they themselves caused. So, while millions of workers lost their jobs, homes, income, as well as vital social services and support, the capitalist class emerged with higher profits and more wealth than ever.

As a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, Clinton also supported the disastrous and bloody U.S. wars, invasions and bombings of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Clinton, like other U.S. officials, claimed these wars were to stop terrorism. But, in reality, they have been used to impose the domination of U.S. imperialism. U.S. military terror against ordinary people has only accelerated the terrible spiral of ever more terrorism and violence.

In other words, the very capitalist policies that Clinton supports worsen the conditions of the working class. It is these worsening conditions that Trump and his ilk exploit and play on to gain support.

Ultimately, Clinton and Trump are not so different. They are two sides of the same capitalist coin. Workers have every interest to turn thumbs down on both Trump and Clinton.

But how to do it in a country dominated by only two big parties? In fact, there are candidates who make clear their allegiance to the working class. In seven states, Alyson Kennedy and Osborne Hart of the Socialist Workers Party are on the ballot for president and vice president (Utah, Louisiana, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington and New Jersey). And in three states, Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly of Workers World are on the ballot running for president and vice president (New Jersey, Utah and Wisconsin). In other states, like Michigan, Moorehead and Lilly have gained enough signatures to be write-in candidates.

These candidates will not win. But a vote for them can send a message to other workers that they are not alone, that there are plenty of others who feel the same way they do, that they understand that to protect their interests, workers have to get together to fight for policies that serve the working population.

There are also candidates in local elections that openly declare they want to see a working class party. For more information about them see pages 4-5.