The US election has been the most polarised in living memory. With little genuine enthusiasm for Joe Biden, a record number of people (for a century at least) turned out to essentially vote either for or against Donald Trump.
With the count almost complete in several key states, it appears as if Biden has narrowly scraped through to take the presidency. Already, Wall St. bankers and big-business bosses are popping out the champagne. But for the working class and poor, there is little cause for celebration.
The election has thoroughly exposed the rottenness of US ‘democracy’. This is a system where ordinary people only get to make one decision every four years, whilst the rich spend billions to buy up those in power.
This limited right to vote was already routinely denied to millions, such as those who have served prison sentences or those without ‘adequate’ ID. Now Trump is attempting to disenfranchise even more by calling into question millions of postal votes. In doing so, and dragging the courts into the process, he is helping to undermine confidence in key pillars of the establishment.
Demonstrations and protests are erupting across the cities of America as people see how little the right to vote actually means. The rotten illusion of so-called ‘democracy’ is once again being exposed for all to see.
Millions of workers and poor will no doubt be delighted to see the back of Trump – if he is indeed forced out. But Trump’s exit from the White House will certainly not mean the removal of Trump and his ilk from US politics.
With Biden and the Democrats in power, nothing will be solved in the interests of the working class. Although Biden may enjoy a brief honeymoon, ultimately he serves the interests of Wall St. and big business. This means that far from solving the issues of unemployment, healthcare, racism, and all the other ills of capitalism, these things will be magnified over the coming period.
With capitalism in its deepest crisis ever, it will be the working class everywhere that will be required to foot the bill. As with both the Democrats under Obama, and the Republicans under Trump, the screws will be tightened on the working class, which will continue to see a collapse in its living standards.
Therefore, far from resolving the political polarisation and instability in the USA, Biden in power will only serve to intensify it. With Trump claiming the result as a fraud, he may well end up in a stronger position as leader of the opposition than if he had indeed won.
For a mass workers’ party
What this entire experience shows is the need for the working class to form its own political party. Although the choice at the election was ultimately between two shades of the right wing, an enormous layer is looking towards the left, as evidenced by the mass support for Bernie Sanders (before he capitulated to Biden).
Nearly half of Americans, including 70% of the youth, say they would vote for a socialist candidate, if one were available. It is therefore the urgent task of the labour movement to set about building a mass working-class, socialist party.
Only this can cut across the reactionary politics of both the Republicans and Democrats, and offer a way out of the nightmare of capitalism.