Oct 12, 2020
The following article was the editorial in SPARK workplace newsletters of October 6.
So Trump was bit by the virus. It may seem like chickens coming home to roost, given how his irresponsibility put so many people at risk. But his hospitalization changes nothing about the situation confronting working people.
We face a virus that has already killed at least 208,000 people in this country. And Trump’s behavior certainly has been despicable, conning people into throwing away their masks, pretending the virus was nothing to worry about—when he knew better. But he is not the only one responsible for the widening path of the virus. Both parties, Democratic and Republican, repeatedly cut funds for the public health service in order to shower more money on the capitalist class.
We live in a society with a jobs crisis, and Trump certainly cut jobs at the hotels he owns. His administration cut government jobs, cut jobs at the VA hospitals, cut post office jobs. But Trump didn’t invent unemployment. He didn’t invent part-time or temporary work. He didn’t invent contract work. He wasn’t the only one to push fewer people to put out more work for less money. He wasn’t the first to hire immigrants, while pushing to keep their status “illegal.” He just used what had been done by all the capitalists before him.
We live in a racist society, and Trump was certainly vile in his attempt to stir up racist attitudes for political gain. But this society has been racist since its birth in slavery, reinforced by almost every political administration since. Trump based himself on the injustice produced by the so-called “war on drugs.” But that injustice was imposed long before him by legislation both Democrats and Republicans sponsored.
We live in a capitalist society that is rotten to its core. It is based on the exploitation of labor, for the benefit of the capitalist class. Its primary aim is to amass profit, draining off much of the wealth all working people create through our labor.
None of this has been changed because Trump got the virus—no matter what happens to him in the coming days or weeks.
In this capitalist society where money buys everything, there is no democracy for working people. Democrats and Republicans, who today ask for our vote in the election, tomorrow will work to serve the interests of the capitalist class, just as they did yesterday. These two parties are both responsible for the crises in which society is stuck.
Many people have given up on voting—out of disgust, or anger or feeling it doesn’t make a difference. Over time, non-voters have become the most important part of the population—bigger than the number who vote Democrat, bigger than the number who vote Republican.
Some people accuse them of throwing their vote away, saying they don’t use it.
But think about this: if you vote for one of these two big parties, thus reinforcing them, and afterwards they carry out policies harmful to you, haven’t you also thrown your vote away?
In both Maryland and Michigan there are parties on the ballot that base themselves on the needs and the interests of the working class. In both states, they took the name Working Class Party to show they owe their allegiance to the working class, the whole working class.
Both say that working people are not represented in today’s political system, that working people need their own party. Both say that workers will get that party only if they struggle to build it. Both say that workers have to fight against everything that divides us, especially racism.
Elections cannot change the situation we face, nor will elections let us overcome the crises that capitalism has sunk us in. To do that, we need to throw out the capitalist class that today drives society into disaster. We have to struggle to create our own society from the ground up.
But every vote for the Working Class Party will plant a flag. It will be a way to count how many workers want their own party, how many want to see a future their own class can create.