What does the U.S. ruling class want from the 2020 elections?


By David Sole

On August 11 the Democratic Party announced their candidate for Vice-President of the United States to be California’s Senator Kamala Harris. Harris, a former prosecutor and Attorney General for California, joins former Vice-President Joe Biden to complete the Democrat’s ticket challenging Donald Trump in the November 3 national elections.

Harris, whose mother was from the nation of India and whose father was Jamaican, immediately became the subject of intense discussion in the major, bourgeois media as well as social media. Biden, of course, was the establishment candidate trotted out to squash the mass movement that supported Bernie Sanders, an avowed “socialist.” Far from being progressive, Biden is widely recognized for his pro-war policies over decades and conservative positions going back to opposition to bussing for racial integration in the 1970s.

Rather than counter-balancing Biden’s conservatism, Harris was chosen to reinforce this record. Commentators in many publications hailed Harris as being a popular choice throughout Wall Street. Her “law and order” history as prosecutor and state Attorney General along with her solid record supporting imperialist U.S. foreign policy, complete the Democratic Party leadership’s commitment to completely break with the strong left wing of that party on the ground. It is assumed that progressive and even radical people will be forced to vote for Biden-Harris as “anyone but Trump.”

This thinking is precisely why the Democrats have lost so many presidential races over the past decades. Rather than inspire the masses of poor and working people, who make up an overwhelming majority of the electorate, the top leaders of the Dems select candidates who cannot and will not promote a movement that could evolve into a mass movement for social change. They rather lose to the Republicans than risk a movement that could get out of hand and develop into a serious class struggle.

It is possible that the voters will turn out in large enough numbers to defeat Trump at the polls. His revolting personality and policies make that entirely possible. A large portion of the capitalist ruling class probably would like to see that, and consider Trump to be a destabilizing factor internationally as well as domestically. The program put forward by the Democratic National Committee which everyone knows contains promises not often kept after an election didn’t even include national health care, something urgently needed, especially in face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it is entirely possible, also, that once again 50% or so of the voters, mainly poor, will stay home, seeing nothing being offered to them. This could allow Donald Trump to win another election. This may be less likely than in 2016, but cannot be ruled out.

The ruling class in the United States is perfectly willing to accept another four years of Trump. After all he delivered a tax cut to the wealthiest that some estimate worth a trillion dollars. His outrageous cuts to environmental protection, health and safety, the postal service, etc. have also fattened the corporate fat cats beyond their wildest dreams. And so far he has done that without provoking mass protests or uprisings. Even the mass demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd have generally focused on local policing policies and tactics, leaving Trump relatively unscathed.

So whether the Democrats win or the Republicans prevail the ruling class will continue to enrich themselves while workers and oppressed people will continue to lose ground….



Green Bay, WI August 13, 2020

Photo: Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

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