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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

The nightmare of Trump is over!

by Monica Moorehead

TENS of thousands of Americans took to the streets for hours in jubilation and celebration when it was confirmed that the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket had defeated Trump. Not only were downtown areas taken over but also neighbourhoods, block by block, where traffic came to a standstill with horns blaring.

Although most of them were young people, all ages participated regardless of nationality and gender. People could hardly wait to let off steam after waiting for what must have seemed like an eternity – if only five days – to see if the four-year nightmare of Trump would come to an end.

And who could blame them, for he had insulted and degraded the dignity and integrity of so many sectors of the working class inside and outside the USA. These include immigrants, Black and Latino communities, women, LGBT people and people with disabilities – anyone and everyone who has felt marginalised by Trump’s racism and misogyny felt exuberated to be seen and heard. Even other world imperialist leaders, though with a diplomatic tone, expressed relief at seeing Trump ousted.

And whilst many carried Biden/Harris placards and waved the Stars and Stripes, there were many holding Black Lives Matter (BLM) placards as well as carrying the names and images of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, murdered by the police this last spring. There were also signs saying that the election was not about Biden/Harris, but about the defeat of Trump and that the struggle will continue.

There was also the recognition of history being made with Kamala Harris being the first woman and the first woman of colour to become a vice-president elect. Whilst describing herself as a Black woman of Jamaican heritage, her family roots also come from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There were thousands of women, including Muslim women, carrying signs expressing equal if not more support for Harris winning than Biden.

hatred and disgust

While there was a wide gauntlet of political views of people who poured out in the streets there was one view that united them all – their utter hatred and disgust for Trump.

Close to 145 million people voted in the presidential election with Biden/Harris winning more than 74 million, the most in any US election. The turn-out was 66.3 per cent, the highest since the 1908 election. And more than 100 million votes were cast early, compared with 47 million in 2016. Biden was able to garner more votes than any US presidential candidate with the help of an additional six million more voters compared with the 2016 election.

The ‘defeat Trump’ sentiment was in essence a referendum rejecting his mis-handling of COVID-19 and his white supremacy where police brutality is concerned. For months, Trump downplayed and dismissed the severity of the pandemic at ultra-right-wing campaign rallies, where his supporters did not wear face masks and there was no social distancing, until he and others in his administration tested positive. To-date, close to 240,000 people have died in the USA from the coronavirus.

Trump openly backed police assaults and arrests of activists in solidarity with the BLM movement following the Floyd killing. Every police ‘union” endorsed the re-election of Trump.

Voter registration increased dramatically during the BLM-led protests. In the first half of June, more than a million registered to vote compared with 1.5 million during the whole month of June 2016. Before 1st June there had been a decline in voter registration due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The threat of voter suppression was on the minds of these voting-rights projects and rightfully so. Trump cried voter “fraud” in cities such as Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Detroit with large Black and brown populations who voted early by mail to help defeat Trump. Some of his supporters went to voting centres to try to intimidate and physically stop poll workers from counting votes.

With the changing of the guard in the White House, there is the immediate question of how will Trump’s neo-fascist base react to the defeat, especially with his not conceding defeat? How will the workers, organised and unorganised, along with revolutionaries and socialists, respond to any right-wing attacks? These questions and many more will be answered in due time.

The electoral defeat of Trump has invigorated the more than 74 million people who voted for Biden and Harris, but it can’t be discounted that 70 million people voted for Trump. What also can’t be discounted is that an election cannot vote away police terror, mass incarceration, unemployment, evictions, hunger, lack of health care and the general mass suffering of the people. Only an independent, revolutionary struggle for socialism can bring about real equality and insure all human needs are met.

Workers World (USA) abridged