Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Support a recount but no Clinton no Trump

No                                         No       
The struggle for a recount of the Presidential vote in three states is continuing; it is led by Jill Stein of the Green Party and has since been followed by independent recount requests in two more states, Florida and Nevada.

The Republican’s oppose the recounts efforts because it "won" the undemocratic Electoral College and it they want their man, the degenerate con man Trump in the White house. The Democrats are quietly supporting the recount but in reality do not support it because as a party of the capitalist class and the entire electoral system to which they are wedded, do not want to weaken this system. Specifically they do not want to weaken the un-democratic Electoral College as this keeps the vote of the urban working class underweighted compared to the vote of the rural small town middle class and helps capitalism stay in power.

There is an ongoing debate inside the Green Party on this issue. This debate is healthy and hopefully will help the Green party on another front, that is, to see that the party can have debate and differences of opinion and grow stronger. . 

But first of all to the general issue of the elections and the call for a recount as clarity is necessary on this in order to not foster illusions in the electoral process in capitalist society. The reality is that all elections in capitalist countries are fraudulent. It is only a matter of degree. The US is one of the most fraudulent with its electoral college, its highly concentrated capitalist media, its gerrymandering, its elimination of people who have felonies from the voter roles, its lack of a mass workers party.

And we should not forget that Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, was arrested both in 2012 and 2016 when she tried to take direct action to get into the debates shown on national television.  Which candidates and parties can participate in these debates is determined by a commission composed of representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties. In other words, only the capitalist parties and their policies are debated on national television.

However in spite of all this it would be incorrect to conclude that people who are against capitalism should not participate in elections. Elections are in reality a struggle for ideas and consciousness. The different wings of the capitalist class here in the US, through their different parties and control of the mass media seek to convince the majority working class population that they cannot change things and so should just let the people that know how get on with it. One result of this is that only about 50% of the population vote. This in itself guarantees a fraudulent result and with the Republican Party especially making more and more people ineligible to vote, all US elections are fraudulent. There is also the gerrymandering. This adds to the fraud. 

For those of us who support and maintain this blog and who oppose capitalism this is our position on voting in capitalist elections. Can voting in capitalist elections end capitalism? History answers this decisively. On all occasions when the working class rose up and sought to overthrow capitalism the capitalist class turned to violence, either fascism or military dictatorship to prevent the will of the majority to end capitalism from being carried out. So not only are elections in capitalist states such as in the US fraudulent, they also are not vehicles through which the working class can end capitalism. So then the question is raised. What is the point in participating in elections? The point is this. 

Elections present a huge dialogue about society. What should be done? How should society go forward etc? Unfortunately this dialogue in the US is extremely limited. This is because there is no mass workers party to contest ideas and policies with the capitalist parties, so all we have here are mass capitalist parties arguing amongst themselves about which section of this class will govern society for the next period.

But nevertheless, there are months and months of discussion and dialogue about the country and policies and what is going on. It would be a very bad mistake for anti capitalist forces to boycott this dialogue.  Those of us who oppose capitalism have a responsibility to take part in this dialogue and fight for our ideas. The struggle against capitalism is the struggle for the consciousness of the working class. Elections allow anti capitalist forces to participate in this struggle. 

It would only be correct to boycott capitalist elections if another system was available. Such as one when democratic working peoples councils arise presenting which could build another society, a period of dual power. It is clear this is not the case at the moment. So it is incorrect and irresponsible not to, participate in elections.

So because there is no mass workers party to contest ideas and policies with the capitalist parties, this dialogue in the US is extremely narrow.

Now to the present debate in the Green Party that is leading the recount struggle to see if there was fraud in the original counting of the vote. Some say that calling for a recount could only help Trump. If the recount is lost he will stay in power and say “look I won.” He will of course continue to lie about losing the overall vote. If the recount would be won, which is unlikely, Clinton the US capitalist representative and warmonger would end up in the White house. So why support the recount some of the main the opponents of the recount in the Green Party argue. The authors of this Blog disagree with this opinion.

Here are our thoughts. Though we can’t rule much out these days, it is unlikely that the recount will unseat Trump. But fighting for the recount weakens Trump whether it would unseat him or not. It weakens him because it keeps reminding people how he did not win a majority of the vote. Also his hypocrisy when after saying before the election he was prepared to challenge the vote if it was close he actually lost the vote to Clinton by over 2 million and now is whining about the recount. The recount also strengthens the Green Party as it shows it was prepared to step forward and challenge the bully Trump. This is good.

Jill Stein and the Green party have received more publicity with the recount than she or the party did during the elections.  Prior to the announcement of the recall efforts, Facts For Working People produced a flier calling on a massive protest and days of direct action during inauguration week. You can download a pdf of it here.

However let us look more closely at the issue of the Green Party recount. 

Facts For Working People supports a recount. To the extent we have influence we want to make this clear. But we do not leave it there, we support a "Recount Plus."  Here is our Recount Plus.

#  Yes to the recount.

#  But no support for Clinton.

#  For new elections.

#  These to be held on the basis of one person one vote and votes for all over 18 years.

#  End the Electoral College. 

#  End the removal of voters from the rolls because of felony records. 

#  Scrap the gerrymandered districts. 

#  Have a special country-wide vote advocating that all lobbying of politicians is banned and becomes a felony.

#  A special conference of the Green Party to which it invites the rank and file of the trade union movement and turns itself into a workers party.

This is the position of this Blog on the recount.


G de Leon said...

the recount is a distraction resulting from the GP's fixation with electoralism. it's another example (if needed) that the GP is not a member driven socialist party and that "members" with your viewpoint (which i share for the most part) are a sliver within the GP.

jill stein and her campaign committee made this decision without consulting "members" of the GP. the main focus of activists in this period has to be building solidarity with Standing Rock and other direct oppositions to the neo-liberal (austerity) agenda of the us government.

by not focusing on Standing Rock instead focusing on a recount that would, if successful, assist the other capitalist party (arguably the greater eeeeevil) in the period between the election and the recent "victory" (in reality a short lived lull) over the Dakota Pipeline, the GP effecdively took itself off the political map.

Anonymous said...

The recount did not weaken Trump.

It strengthened him.