What the Presidential Elections of 2016 mean for us
As the election approaches, our Tribuno audience faces difficult choices. After eight years of failed promises for immigration reform, do we support Hillary Clinton just because Trump, the Republican candidate, seems so bad?
Advanced technology and globalization are wiping out millions of jobs, both in the home countries of immigrants and in the U.S. Wages for those still working are driven down to starvation levels. Millions are homeless. Half of the U.S. population lives in poverty — not just immigrants, but also U.S. born workers.
The economic crisis and destruction of human lives rooted in labor-replacing technology is destabilizing the country and the world. The existing system can no longer provide basic necessities to millions whose labor is not needed. Besides the victimization and attacks on these workers, as police killings and pogroms against the homeless show, the immigrants are being used as scapegoats.
Under the guise of bankruptcy, state-appointed “emergency managers” privatize public property, violate civil rights in the name of “fighting terrorism,” subject our youth to police violence, imprison millions including immigrants and attack our voting rights. The government is targeting activists, including DACA and DAPA immigrant youth, by bringing false charges against them.
Many workers, even including some Latinos, have been misled into seeing Trump as representing the hope of jobs coming back. But his campaign is actually helping to build a fascist social movement whose purpose is to divide and control all workers, including the white and U.S. born workers, while keeping the corporations in power.
A large section of the working class has used the Sanders campaign as a vehicle to fight for its demands for food, housing, health care, education and more. The rising demand that the government be taken away from the billionaires and that its power be used to resolve the people’s problems, and the open discussion of socialism prompted by the Sanders campaign, are important. This opens the way for discussion about what it will take to reorganize our society in the interests of all of humanity.
While there is no question that Trump must be defeated, the reality is that the Democratic and Republican parties are twin parties of the corporations. Worse still, the Democrats are liars and thieves. Not only did they not deliver on immigration reform, Obama deported more immigrants than the Republicans. For a very long time, the Democrats have not been the party of the poor and minorities that they claim to be. Hillary Clinton, the favored candidate of the Democratic establishment, has received at least half a million dollars for speaking to Wall Street banks. In leaked transcripts she promised not to do anything major that goes against corporate interests.
The significance of this election lies in the unprecedented nature of our times, and that a section of the working class has taken a step, through the Sanders campaign, towards declaring its political independence from the ruling class parties. The effort to push this independence forward must continue now and after the election.
Revolutionaries can advance this process by putting forward the demand that the government guarantee the basic needs of all, including immigrants. We need to form our own party, through which we can make a real fight for a society where the abundance produced guarantees peace and prosperity for all, in a country that is of, by and for the people.
In the setting of globalization, workers have no country. It is time that we look for ways to unite as a class whose interests are opposed to the corporate power that threatens our world and humanity.