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Vol. 80/No. 43      November 14, 2016

(lead article)

‘The Socialist Workers Party is your party!’

SWP launches 10-day effort to broaden reach

Militant/Maggie Trowe
Socialist Workers Party member John Benson, right, talks with welder Denny Chaney, member of Boilermakers union, in front of Chaney’s home in Memphis, Tennessee, June 4. SWP is putting discussing revolutionary politics with workers at center of its political activity.
As the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election comes to a close, the crisis of both capitalist parties is deepening. Whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump is elected, the new president will be the first in U.S. history starting their term distrusted by the majority of the population.

The election won’t end the widespread discussion and debate among working people about how to deal with the impact on them of the grinding economic contraction and financial crisis of capitalism that continues to unfold.

As this unfolds the Socialist Workers Party is expanding its political activity in the working class centered on discussion with workers at their doorsteps about the crisis of the capitalist system, and what working people can do to fight in their own class interests.

Party members are organizing a special 10-day effort Nov. 3-12 in cities, towns and rural areas, where they will engage in the widespread political debate going on among workers. They are explaining how the crisis facing working people is rooted in the dictatorship of capital and the need for the working class to fight to take political power.

Party branches nationwide have cancelled Militant Labor Forums for the weekend before the election to put more time into these door-to-door discussions with workers.

Interest in a working-class party

The 10-day effort will serve to further place these discussions in the working class at the center of the ongoing activity of SWP members. Leaders of the party will travel to cities where there are branches to help lead in taking advantage of the broad openings among working people for this kind of discussion, today and in the years to come, about working-class politics and the fight for socialism.

The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes is now available (see excerpt ). It will be an invaluable tool in advancing this discussion and drawing workers toward the party.

As they knock on workers’ doors, Socialist Workers Party members find more and more interest in finding an alternative to the bosses’ parties. “Is that against Clinton?” Jim Kusek asked SWP presidential candidate Alyson Kennedy when he overheard her explaining The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record in Lomita, California, Oct. 29.

“Yes, both the Democratic and Republican parties are against the interests of working people,” Kennedy said. “Workers are facing the effects of the deepening economic crisis. The reason we are having these problems is because of capitalism. We need to look to our class to chart a way forward.”

Kusek agreed.

“The working class is the issue in this election,” SWP vice-presidential candidate Osborne Hart told students at a Vanderbilt University campaign debate in Nashville, Tennessee, Oct. 24. Others on the panel included Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party; Heather Scott for the Libertarian Party; and Howard Switzer of the Green Party.

“The capitalist rulers and their representatives like Clinton and Trump fear us. That’s why Clinton describes us as ‘deplorable’ and ‘irredeemable,’ it’s why Trump seeks to scapegoat and divide us,” he said. “The system of capitalism which they defend is in a historic crisis for which they have no solutions.”

Deepening crisis in capitalist parties

When revelations showed Trump joking about groping women and getting away with it, and when he responded to a firestorm of criticism by attacking women as “nasty,” his poll numbers fell. Numerous Republican elected officials said they couldn’t support him. Their party was fraying at the edges.

The main liberal capitalist media outlets — from the Washington Post to the New York Daily News — have carried out a relentless hysterical attack on Trump. But this week their spotlight was on Clinton when FBI Director James Comey announced the agency would resume a review of the former secretary of state’s email practices after thousands of emails were discovered in a separate inquiry into former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

The Clinton campaign responded by sharp accusations at Comey for trying to influence the election and having a “blatant double standard” in investigating Clinton’s emails while refusing to look into alleged Trump ties with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Comey Oct. 30 accusing him of criminally covering up “explosive information” about ties between Trump and Moscow.

But the next day President Barack Obama defended Comey as “a man of integrity.” And Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she continued to have confidence in him.

This comes on top of continuing evidence that the Clintons — Bill and Hillary — used public office to increase their wealth and enrich their family foundation.

The “Occupy Wall Street” wing of the party — led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had his campaign for the Democratic nomination scuttled by a dirty campaign led by party leaders, and liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — has moved to increase its influence.

In an Oct. 27 Boston Globe op-ed, Sanders said a new Democratic administration had to have a treasury secretary “prepared to take on the greed and illegal behavior of Wall Street, not someone who comes from Wall Street or will leave office to go to Wall Street.”

Warren sent Obama a letter accusing Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White of being too close to big business and called for her ouster.

The divisions in the Democratic Party, and the fights that are coming, are clear.

With the race tightening, Clinton backers are now saying it really doesn’t matter if Trump wins the popular vote, because he can never win in the Electoral College.

Trump has said the election is “rigged.” And it does happen. Study the history of how then Mayor Richard Daley’s Democratic machine in Chicago found enough votes in city cemeteries to give John F. Kennedy Illinois — and the presidency — in 1960.

But whoever wins, the ruling capitalist families will control the White House. The economic, political and moral crisis of capitalist rule will deepen. And the burgeoning discussion in the working class about how to stop the attacks of the bosses and their government, and their expanding wars abroad, will continue and deepen.

The 2016 election will be history, but the SWP will keep on expanding the party’s reach, knocking on doors, joining the discussion and showing by its actions that the SWP is the party the working class needs.

Sam Manuel in Atlanta and Deborah Liatos in Los Angeles contributed to this article.

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