Trump’s crimes and the 2020 elections

BY: Beth Edelman| February 28, 2020
Trump’s crimes and the 2020 elections


We the people in the US face an extraordinary political circumstance—the 2020 elections. Across the country thousands of candidates will be on the ballot on November 3. There will be contests of great importance to the working class and people generally.

There is a candidate who, by virtue of his unrivaled power, has created the framework for our political life for many years to come.

No legitimate answer exists as to what would happen should Donald J. Trump win the election. But we do know that he and his supporters are totally in the right wing corner and unresponsive to political opposition.

Briefly I will review some of what DJT has done in three years. He has increased the already enormous military budget, continued the renewal of the nuclear arsenal, and withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. DJT has withdrawn from the tension-reducing nuclear treaty with Iran and increased drone attacks and support for war and reactionary policies.

He has reduced or eliminated regulations on workplace safety and thwarted unions in their duties to protect workers on the job. Federal government employees have found themselves seeking legal and political redress from Trump’s anti-union assault.

Trump has revoked over 100 environmental regulations and has done nothing to mitigate the global climate crisis. Some of the rollbacks, like the rescinding of Obama’s methane-flaring rules, exacerbate the crisis.

Since day one Trump and company have sought to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), reduce Medicaid to miserly block grants, and make all of us pay for having pre-existing medical conditions. For over three years this administration has been in court trying to whittle away the ACA.

DJT has altered the legal system of immigration in violation of international law. Trump has forced into detention camps immigrants seeking safety from violence, hunger, and terror.

DJT has given license to the overt and sometimes violent expression of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, white nationalist, and unadulterated fascist ideas.

In brief Donald Trump has used his presidency to unite and corral the right, ultra right, and assorted fascist elements in a political coalition.

Trump and his Republican Party have attempted to render their opposition powerless.  Republican operatives continue to toss millions off state electoral rolls, remove polling places in Black and brown neighborhoods and preparing the way for thugs to operate. The congressional impeachment and trial in the Senate have further exposed Trump’s effort to stay in power by any means necessary.

Let’s be clear.  From the beginning of the DJT candidacy, the neo-fascists and ultra-righters smelled an opportunity; here was a demagogue, a man of money, a front man for the Wall Streeters, right wingers, and supporters who long for a docile work force, a placated population, and unparalleled control over nearly everything. DJT has produced for them. They are worried about the possibilities produced by millions organizing for change but delighted about the profits, deregulation, and lower taxes. An incumbent with a hammer and toolbox filled with vile politics and power is a good bet for them. What could go wrong?

A caution: politics, like many other circumstances in life, is fluid. Change is a product of the relationship of forces, size, strength, position, and unity. Predicting the outcome of many months ahead is useless.

The big question—what must be done to end this reign of insanity? I think this is being answered.

From the day after November 8, 2016, Trump’s opposition showed its muscle and potential. From the protest against Trump’s Muslim travel ban, to the organizing to relieve the horrors being faced by immigrant workers from Central America, to the youth climate marches, the resistance to Trump and company has been growing. Women’s organizations, equal rights organizations, unions, and advocacy organizations have moved to actively oppose Trump’s policies. New organizations have galvanized millions, and politics has become a full frontal experience for US workers. And yes, there is room to grow.

Many observers describe our politics as divided. Trump and supporters of right-wing politics are one force, while African Americans, union members, women, Latinos, youth, and working-class people generally are the opposition. What does this vast and multi-layered movement need to consider and do to win in November? What does the left need to think about and do now?

We Communists always argue for unity. We explain that, fully united, the working class and people’s movements can be victorious. We talk about the enemy—who and what is the opposition. Our analysis for the 2020 struggle and election considers the right, ultra-right, and neo-fascist forces. Housed in the Republican Party, these forces maintain a committed base of loyal, racist, anti-immigrant adoring crowds. In the wake of the acquittal of Trump by Senate Republicans there is a push to confound and confuse. With support from the top of the heap the 1% are betting that they can continue along this road.

Politics is about this moment. As Trump and company up their game, so do the forces arrayed against them.

This primary season has produced the broadest field of Democratic candidates in memory. Each presidential hopeful takes the stage with assurances from supporters, including those in the organized working-class movement. That alone explains the varied responses to candidates.

Each labor sector assesses their issues, which informs their preference for a candidate. As worker’s organizations they consider what is the overriding issue, task, concern, imperative of this election. Looking at the results in February, there are differences of opinion in the primaries but little difference on the general election.

As a Communist I’m interested, and watchful; not drawing too many big conclusions—at least, not too early.

One idea stands out. One idea will make a difference. That idea is unity. We often speak of the need for unity—but less often talk of what kind of unity. I want to suggest some of the content of the calls and actions for unity:

*Unity of the working class and people generally against Trump and company for democracy

*Unity of whites and people of color against racism and oppression

*Unity with immigrant workers seeking a better life

*Unity of organized and unorganized workers

*Unity with women against misogyny

*Unity with the young generation

*Unity in defense of LGBTQ rights

*Unity against global warming and for the right to live




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