Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president, talks to truck driver David Wardle while on his doorstep in Manchester, England. Capitalist candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, inset, before Sept. 26 debate for the two main bourgeois presidential candidates.
The Socialist Workers Party, the only party that speaks in the interests of the working class, was excluded, as were bourgeois candidates from the Libertarian and Green parties.
Clinton credited President Barack Obama for bringing economic recovery after the 2008-2009 downturn, saying, “We have come back from that abyss.”
This is not the world most workers live in.
Trump gave a more realistic description of factory closings, the weakness of the vaunted recovery and the danger of another financial collapse. “We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble,” he said.
Trump’s remedy? Give capitalists “incentives to build new companies or to expand” by sharply cutting taxes on the wealthy and easing regulations.
“The debate demonstrates once again that the U.S. rulers have no solution to the historic crisis of the capitalist system, and the deepening disaster it means for working people,” Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, told the Militant Sept. 27. “Clinton denies the crisis, while Trump proposes to solve it by largesse for the bosses.
“My party has campaigned door to door and talked with thousands of workers who want to discuss the way out of this intolerable situation. We explain that the workings of capitalism lead to depression and war, and only the working class can solve it by unifying in struggle against the grinding depression conditions we face and organizing to take political power.”
Clinton and Trump vied to show their desire to serve as U.S. imperialism’s commander in chief in its endless wars abroad.
Clinton vowed to “intensify our airstrikes” in Syria and Iraq. She said she would continue Obama’s assassination policy, pledging to “take out” Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “I was involved in a number of efforts to take out al-Qaeda leadership when I was secretary of state,” she boasted.
“President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq,” Trump said. Washington should have “taken the oil” from Iraq to stop the formation of Islamic State, he proclaimed.
SWP opposes Washington’s imperialist wars“The Socialist Workers Party calls for an end to Washington’s wars and all U.S. troops out of the Mideast,” Kennedy said. “U.S. imperialism’s 25-year war in the region has meant death and destruction for millions of our fellow toilers in those countries.”
The debate took place against the backdrop of days of protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the Sept. 20 police killing of Keith Scott.
Trump said the protests show the need for strengthening the cops for more “law and order in our country.” He announced he had just been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and called for increased use of unprovoked “stop-and-frisk” cop searches.
“We have to work with the police,” Clinton said. “We have to make sure they respect the communities and the communities respect them.”
Trump reminded Clinton she had referred to African-American youth as “super-predators” in 1996, when she defended the draconian sentencing laws of her husband’s administration.
“The Socialist Workers Party calls for charging Charlotte police officer Brentley Vinson for the killing of Scott,” Kennedy said. “My running mate Osborne Hart is in Charlotte today joining the protests and campaigning in working-class neighborhoods.”
Throughout the debate Trump painted Clinton as a corrupt insider. She said he was unfit to be president.
The New York Daily News, which backs Clinton, interviewed several people the day of the debate. “I’m unimpressed, to say the least,” Dylan Marshall of Weehawken, New Jersey, said. “I don’t believe that either party has a clean interest in running the country.”
“I’m not sure if I’m even voting,” said college student Amanda Velez. “The elite people choose. We just vote to make it seem like we’re doing something.”
Socialist Workers Party campaigners heard similar comments campaigning in working-class areas across New York and New Jersey over the last few days.
“The Socialist Workers Party is part of the working class,” Kennedy said. “We back and build solidarity with any fights that break out today — from Charlotte to the fight against the bosses’ lockout of Honeywell workers in Indiana and New York.
“But there is not yet any sustained labor resistance or mass social struggles, that is yet to come,” she said. “What’s happening is far-reaching discussion on all these questions on workers’ doorsteps and in their living rooms. The SWP is joining these discussions and finds an unprecedented openness to the revolutionary working-class program we put forward.
“And a growing number are responding to our invitation to join in campaigning with us,” she said.