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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Hobson’s choice

WE’RE NOW INTO the campaign season of US politics and as the spin from both wings of the American ruling class drifts over the Atlantic the pundits of our venal media try to make sense out of the lies and smears coming from the Republican and Democrat camps.

Last weekend the Trump administration’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, claimed that the drop in the unemployment rate to 8.4 per cent in August and the addition of 1.4 million jobs was evidence that the American economy is recovering from the worst of the turmoil inflicted by the coronavirus plague.

“The American economy is rebounding,” Mnuchin said, adding that Donald Trump “is going to get it back. The economy is continuing to recover, and we won’t quit until everyone is back to work”.

But this was ridiculed by Senator Kamala Harris, the running mate of Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, last weekend. She described Trump as “an abject failure and incompetent” in handling the economy during the pandemic and said Trump only gauges how well the economy is doing “on how well rich people are doing”.

While that’s undoubtedly true much the same could be said about the Democrats. The Biden camp have made no substantial promises to American workers in this election. Biden talks about tackling the coronavirus pandemic which The Donald has done little or nothing to halt. But he’s got no plan to end the health care crisis. Biden has even said that as president he would veto a Medicare for All bill, should one reach his desk. His campaign is essentially simply a call to get rid of Donald Trump.

Trump, of course, is a deeply divisive figure who has enraged millions of American workers by his support for racist cops following the upsurge on the street after the Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in May. Nor is he a man of peace.

Trump’s track record may not be as bad as Obama’s or that of the Bush clan. Trump did break the deadlock with Democratic Korea with face-to-face talks with Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But what little he promised he failed to deliver.

Trump supports Zionist Israel, and its oppression of the Palestinian Arabs, to the hilt. He’s stepped up the blockades against Venezuela and Iran and launched a trade war against People’s China. US troops are still in Afghanistan, Iraq and northern Syria. American dollars have financed the reactionary cliques that have come to power in parts of Latin America in recent years while US ‘military advisers’ prop up feudal Arab tyrants and Ukrainian reactionaries.

Joe Biden’s no better. Biden criticises Trump for being soft on China and Democratic Korea. He supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government and, like Trump, he’s a staunch supporter of Israel.

America’s communists are divided. The Communist Party USA and the Freedom Road Socialist Organisation are supporting Biden to get Trump out while others, like Workers World, believe that the only campaign that really matters is on the street.

Trump and Biden are neck and neck in the opinion polls. No one can safely predict the outcome of the November poll. What is certain is that neither candidate poses any threat to the interests of America’s ruling circles. Whether the massive wave of unrest that is sweeping America at the moment can provide the basis for a militant, working-class resistance to the capitalist class in the United States remains to be seen.