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writing for godot

Biden vs. Trump: More of the Same 'ol, Same 'ol?

Written by David Starr   
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 02:05

In the first presidential debate, Donald Trump's behavior was utterly disgusting with his constant interruptions of Joe Biden.

But still it is Biden vs. Trump for the office of the presidency. And it's nothing to get excited about.

Here we have two candidates representing the establishment, which means we probably won't get to see real, Left/Progressive change. Unless Biden, if he wins, has his feet held to the fire to produce such an outcome. After all, he had organized a task force with Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. And it is hoped that Sanders can be enough of an influence to put through Left/Progressive policies that could be part of the Democratic platform. But after the rejection of Medicare for All, it's a wonder how much influence Sanders can exert. (Biden says he will implement a Public Option. We'll see how far that goes.)

Except for tactical differences, there's nothing ideologically different about the Democrats and Republicans. They are both parties of capital. The Democrats do have some Left/Progressives, but it's the corporate/neoliberal/"Third Way" Democrats, who refer to themselves as "centrists," that have had control of the party. Since the late 1980s, the latter has moved the party rightward to attract Republican voters in the aftermath of the Reagan era. They have focused on big business and worshipping the "free" market to cure society's ills. As a result, they have gone along with massive deregulation over the years and have prioritized the interests of the billionaire class, while treating the traditional constituents of workers, African-Americans and women as secondary. And like Republicans, they are backed by wealthy corporate donors. They have, however, been liberal sometimes on social issues such as LGBT rights, reproductive choice, environmentalism and the support of unions.

I can't dredge up much excitement for the nominee of the Democrats. Biden has been on the wrong side of decision-making more than once. Biden sided with token Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill in the judicial Senate confirmation hearings of 1991; Biden supported the Iraq War even though there were warnings from the Left about how suspect the "justifications" were to invade, occupy and bomb; Biden supported a crime bill that especially had a negative effect on African-Americans (even though now he apologizes for taking this position); Biden was willing to cut Social Security; Biden supported NAFTA, which resulted in outsourcing U.S. jobs, and forcing Mexican farmers to give up their farms because they couldn't compete with U.S. agribusiness.

Biden seemingly takes an ultra-nationalist position on foreign policy. His hostility towards perceived enemies bares this out, which means Biden will probably continue U.S. exceptionalism. That goes against the wishes of many peoples worldwide who don't want their countries to be market satellites of the U.S.

Trump has been worse. His "zero tolerance" policy which cages immigrant families and separates children from their parents; Trump's conflicts of interests with his businesses while holding office; Trump's violation of the Emoulments Clause where he has taken favors from foreign entities; Trump's refusal to show his tax returns; Trump's incompetent handling of the covid19 virus; Trump's demeaning of women; Trump encouraging white supremacists; Trump taking an ultra-nationalist position on foreign policy, which Republicans are known for.

While there's nothing to get excited about, I still voted. My vote went to Biden because the Trump/Pence regime is that bad. My vote was more against Trump than anything else.

Biden has taken the position of going on a "centrist" path. This has generally failed in the past and yet Biden still doesn't get it. Taking the "centrist" path has meant going rightward, using "Third Way" policies. It also means compromising with Republicans although the GOP generally hasn't been in the mood to compromise. They are the Party of No. Appeasing the GOP should stop. Their determination to stick to their guns makes it imperative that a strong (not loyal) opposition fights back; not compromise to the point of caving in to their demands.

So once again it's voting for the lesser of two evils. Democrats and Republicans have been in control of government for over 100 years. Inevitably, this has to stop. There must be the emergence of a real working class party to challenge the Republicrats. Now that would be worth getting excited about. your social media marketing partner
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