Election Aftermath Underlines Need for Real, Working Class Democracy

On Nov. 3rd and in the following days, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of the Democratic Party emerged as the victors of the 2020 presidential election, but despite the record turnout, in the midst of a historic pandemic no less, peace and quiet eludes these United States. Even before the results were announced, the Trump campaign issued conflicting statements depending on the results in different states. Where Trump was inching ahead of Biden, the conservative call was “Stop the count!” and where Trump had been beaten, as in Wisconsin, Trump and his team demanded a recount. These Republican Party cries are based on declaring “voter fraud,” which has long been a conservative dog whistle, both as an excuse to pass restrictive voter ID laws and to deny embarrassing defeats in the popular vote — as we have seen in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Despite the best efforts, however, of the Trump legal team, no voter fraud has been found by independent electoral authorities. 

Trump’s supporters need his claims to fan their fervor, as only a thousand of them turned out at the White House the day after the election in solidarity and the “Million MAGA March” held on Nov. 14th attracted a mere 5,000 participants instead of the planned million. But the underwhelming and pandemic-defying marches aside, what has Trump done in the face of his defeat? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when asked if the State Department would aid the Biden team in the presidential  transition responded “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” Indignant remarks aside, Trump has also dismissed his Secretary of Defense for reasons unreleased, all of which may be indicative of a disruptive and chaotic lame duck congressional session that will do its best to obstruct and forestall the incoming administration elected via a popular majority. 

So it has become painfully clear to American workers, in this new surge of COVID-19, that the spectacle of bourgeois elections can no longer be tolerated.

And how has the president-elect courted the public in the aftermath of his electoral victory? After being declared the projected winner by most pundits, Joe Biden called for a “time of healing” and for a cessation of “divisive rhetoric” — all akin to every other instance of Democratic triumph in which they’ve tried to immediately conciliate and cater to the increasingly reactionary Republican Party. But rhetoric alone has not been the only white flag raised by this lesser of two evils. In building his cabinet, Biden and his team wasted no time in denying progressive champions Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren positions on his team much to the dismay of their supporters who voted Blue in hope of bringing them to a greater level of influence and authority. Who instead has been selected for Biden’s White House? Cecilia Muñoz, former Director of Intergovernmental Affairs under Obama and an advocate for the deportation of migrant families, has been chosen for the new administration’s transition team. The Biden Administration also will be making history by appointing the first female head of the Pentagon, Michele Flournoy, a “politically moderate” former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration who “favors strong military cooperation abroad.” The capitalist press has heralded both picks as examples of how Biden “breaks barriers” as once again the Democrats prove that illegal war, torture, any kind of oppression, really, is acceptable if the executors of that oppression are diverse. 

In the aftermath of this election, with the highest voter turnout in American history, we must soberly appraise the spectacle, because Donald Trump, one of the most xenophobic, racist and sexist presidents in living memory, received the most votes of any sitting president in American history, and his supporters, COVID or not, facts or not, will take and have taken to the streets to demand the retention of their petulant post-president who is already grasping at straws to stay in the White House. And yet the victorious Democrats cannot help from throwing about in all kinds of reversals and turnarounds. So it has become painfully clear to American workers, in this new surge of COVID-19 and with record unemployment, homelessness and debt, that the spectacle of bourgeois elections can no longer be tolerated, the reactionary right must no longer be entertained and compromised with, and that the people must no longer be ignored.

Categories: U.S. News

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