Donald Trump will not be president as of 12:00 p.m. January 20 and he knows it. All the centers of ruling class institutional power know that Trump’s assertions that he still has a path to victory are complete nonsense. The Republican Party establishment also knows this to be the case but none of the leaders of the party want to directly contradict Trump because he is profoundly popular with Republican voters. Trump does not have a strategy or a plan. Each day brings another effort by him to dominate the news cycle. Trump asserted that a voting machine system had “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide” but within hours his own Department of Homeland Security distributed a statement declaring that claim to be false although they did not mention Trump by name.
Trump is playing games. He’s also raising a lot of money. Trump is a con man and he is engaged in another con. He’s asking his supporters to donate money for the “legal defense” of the election process under the moniker “Stop the Steal.” In the fine print though, the part that almost no one reads, it turns out that the first $5,000 of any donation goes to Trump’s personal leadership PAC which is nothing other than a private slush fund. Millions of dollars have already been raised from the unsuspecting hordes of Trump fans.
On the other side, pro-Democratic Party non-profit organizations are also raising millions of dollars to “protect the election results” and sending alarming messages about Trump’s “coup d’etat.” Of course, Trump would be perfectly happy to carry out a coup to remain in office. Otherwise, he and his children will face multiple criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits for their financial crimes once he returns to civilian life. Many of these prosecutions and civil actions will be carried out at the state level by Democratic Party District Attorneys and state Attorneys General. Once a civilian, Trump will lose all immunities if and when he is prosecuted for financial crimes at the state level. Trump is certainly not above an illegal seizure of power to maintain his position but he lacks the support from within the capitalist establishment necessary to engage in such a far-reaching gambit. Thus, Trump is engaged in a giant farce.
The political character of a Biden White House
While the capitalist-owned media focuses on Trump’s failure to adhere to the accepted norms and allow the “peaceful transfer of power” from one ruling class party to another, the Biden administration is coming into formation.
It is critically important that class-conscious workers and socialists understand the political and social character of the Biden administration. This will be a thoroughly imperialist government. It will be staffed and led by neocon war hawks and agents of Wall Street banks and the military-industrial complex. The Biden administration will not be progressive. It is not of the genuine left, in fact, it is the byproduct of the Democratic establishment vanquishing Bernie Sanders on the eve of Super Tuesday and then offering the liberal wing of the party nothing after Sanders threw in the towel. This will be an arch-capitalist and imperialist government and thus an enemy of the working class and poor at home and will pursue an aggressive imperialist foreign policy internationally. To the extent that progressive reforms can be won in the coming period, it will be 100 percent the result of the struggle of the working class and oppressed communities and by an anti-imperialist movement.
Sprinkling the imperialist Biden administration with one or two liberal figures like Bernie Sanders in the cabinet, who would be functioning under the discipline of the executive as is required of all cabinet members, will not change the reactionary, imperialist character of the administration one iota. If anything, such a move may well be used by a capitalist government to provide a liberal cover for its own reactionary policies.
Back to the streets!
What is needed now is to begin to mobilize the people. The Democratic Party and the Biden administration must feel the pressure of the multinational working class. Organization and mobilization is the order of the day. In recent weeks, PSL members have been making banners demanding “Cancel the Rents!”, “Jail Racist Killer Cops!”, “Medicare for All!”, “Defund the Police!”, “Defund the Pentagon!”, “Full Rights for Immigrants!” and “End Fracking Now!”
We will take these demands and others to the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20, 2021. The only reason he’s president is that 70 million people voted to oust the reactionary, racist Donald Trump. Their votes were a referendum against Trump and not an endorsement of Biden or his reactionary program. It’s natural that people will be in a celebratory mood because Trump is leaving office, but Trump’s eviction from the White House will not prevent the eviction of millions of workers from their own homes. It will not provide affordable healthcare. It will not stop killer cops in their rampaging epidemic of murder against Black and Brown people. It will not move society away from the use of fossil fuels so as to sustain the planet and life.
Our work is to build a mass movement for immediate reforms. Many are achievable if the struggle is deep enough and broad enough. At the same time the PSL is also building the movement for socialism. Trump really is and was a symptom of a disease. Biden’s policies are a symptom of the same problem: capitalism. The solution lies outside of both ruling class parties. In fact, reducing “democracy” to selecting one of the two parties of capital to rule over society is the negation of democracy. We are organizing for the winning of necessary reforms while building the new mass movement for radical, transformative change. That is the task of socialists in the coming period.