We don’t have to choose between a racist war-monger or a racist wall-builder in November. Let’s build movements instead. Either candidate means disaster for workers and students. Trump is clearly a racist, xenophobic, megalomaniacal loser, and we needn’t fear that any of our readers will vote for him. However, Clinton may be even more dangerous. She represents the main liberal wing of American capitalists and has supported the wars in Iraq and Libya and wants more aggressive action in Syria. She has a long history of racism and sexism, supporting mass incarceration, NAFTA, ending welfare for poor women, and opposing health benefits for new and undocumented immigrant families.
Most importantly, we must understand that elections provide an illusion of power and democracy. They only allow us to choose between representatives of a system dedicated to profit and the private ownership of resources. The ability to maximize profits depends on racism, which divides workers, and minimizes wages and services. The ability to maintain production depends on control of resources on other people’s land, such as wars of conquest for oil, trade, and territory. No one who actually thinks this system harms workers and that it is discriminatory, oppressive and violent, will ever make it onto a ballot. Sometimes, reformers like Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein get some traction, but they do not oppose capitalism. They just want to tweak the system with regulations and reforms that are easily weakened or eliminated. Their campaigns provide false hope for a better society while diverting people from creating a new one.
Instead, we take inspiration from the demonstrators of Charlotte and Ferguson who stand up in the streets and refuse to rely on politicians or religious leaders to eliminate their abuse. We can build movements on the job, in school, in unions, churches and community groups to fight back and unite across gender, ethnic and racial lines. Workers have only won meaningful reforms as a response to revolts and mass movements, such as the abolitionist, revolutionary, civil rights, labor, women’s rights, and public health movements. Elections just try and fool us into thinking a politician will take the initiative to fight war, racism, and poverty. It just ain’t so.