SEP2020 Civil War theme: Resolving the US political crisis
The Socialist Equality Party 2020 ran two candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States. Joseph Kishore is the long-time Party Secretary and he lectures alongside David North, the esteemed founder of World Socialist Website and scholarly author, at political conferences. Norissa Santa Cruz is a scholar and author of many articles on socialist issues affecting women, immigrants, and workers’ rights. In 2020, the party platform continues to focus on popular socialist themes such as healthcare-for-all, equal pay, workers unions, adequate labor protections, fair housing, investment in infrastructure, divestment from war, and so much more.
What made their platform intriguing is the SEP2020 focus on civil war themes. The World Socialist Website is the party’s main organizing arm, thanks to a longtime presence on the internet, and there is a huge following of visitors checking out its news feeds, and it has served as the voice of the people in expressing the concerns of the direction which America is headed. For instance, in the previous election in 2016, Jerry White and Niles Niemuth focused on the risks of World War III, at a time when US foreign policy was particularly shaky.
Visitors were likely skeptical in June 2020 when the SEP first predicted the instability of the 2020 US Presidential Elections. The rise of COVID19 pandemic, the dilemmas raised, the inept response and corrupt underpinnings of the Trump Administration should make the Democratic Party’s Joe Biden a sure win. Yet the SEP2020 not only raised the spectre of civil war, it hosted webinars on the topic including with David North himself, academics, writers, and the candidates during the several months leading up to the November election.
At the same time, the WSWS.org also undertook a relaunch of its website, which may have struck followers as a distraction from party organizing for the election. Nevertheless, according to the founder, the October 2020 relaunch was necessary to ensure that the audience can be reached in today’s increasing reliance and use of mobile devices. Together with the civil war themed election, however, it sometimes seemed as if the SEP election focus itself might be derailed.
Close examination and hindsight indicates an overarching vision that reveals how deeply fractured American society is becoming due to twenty years of over-investment in wars, surveillance, arms production, and other defense spending. As each 2020 civil war themed prophecy came true, Asian Green News (AGN) is still at a loss to explain the prescience of those early predictions, how it was known, how they came to pass, and why it is ongoing.
U.S. Presidential candidate Joseph Kishore explained it this way in “The Civil War Election: A discussion on the US political crisis” in a live discussion on September 27, 2020:
“We speak about the civil war election…This is an election which is really unprecedented in American history. The next several weeks will see the unfolding of a political and constitutional crisis of enormous scope. And by referring to the Civil War Election we’re seeking to draw attention to the fact that underlying the political crisis in America is an incredible growth of social tensions and class struggle with revolutionary implications…” (https://youtu.be/B3GrZbSWNIU)
To be sure, only two months after the lockdown began protests and rioting by the Black Lives Matter movement. Amid this growing unrest, Make America Great Again (MAGA), the sea of red-cap Trump2020 patriots, held back-to-work strikes agitating for the reopening of factories. Meanwhile sporadic riots, interracial street fighting, and legislative stonewalling has led to the impression of the world’s greatest nation having come to a standstill. The engines of capitalism had slowed to a halting first-gear grind.
The SEP’s argument is that this is intentional. Race politics are a convenient scapegoat and distraction from the issues at hand. But never had it been stoked to this extent by a living President in the White House. Although tenuous, there are ties between President Trump, several members of his inner circle, Republican Senators, and the sponsoring of racist hate groups, such as the Proud Boys. Since the January 6, 2021 riots, several groups are now identified by the FBI as domestic terrorists. In fact the SEP predicted that Trump would not accept the election results.
U.S. Vice-presidential candidate Norissa Santa Cruz also described the attempt to trample on democratic and constitutional norms:
“The Trump Administation is going to pursue through unconstitutional means Trump’s victory, so we don’t know what’s going to happen come Election Day, but part of this analogy to the Civil War is that there really hasn’t been another election as contested as there has been since the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. But the difference is that the two irreconcilable class forces in society today compared to the Civil War between the Industrial North versus the Slavocracy in the South: today those two irreconcilable class forces are the ruling elite which both Biden or Trump represent…As we’ve stated we’re facing a situation which some—there are 50 million in America alone who are on the verge of hunger…” (https://youtu.be/B3GrZbSWNIU)
The outstanding mechanism which the conservatives use and echoed by conservative media is the rhetoric of deflection, denialism, and distraction. Time and again, Trump pointed out the health of Wall Street to counter-argue that the economy is doing greater than ever before. MAGA supporters are directed to heap blame upon Democratic politicians and foreign countries such as China. They are not directed toward real, positive, engaging actions they can take such as volunteering to serve the poor in their communities.
A generation ago, it was impossible to imagine that the American public could be so dumbed down as to blindly follow all the twists-and-turns of a mad leader, yet today, thanks to technology, artificial intelligence has prevailed over common-sense. Of course to many who hope for some kind of return-to-normal in America, Democratic President Joe Biden did present a viable democratic platform, especially with his Build Back Better program for America, his talk on healing, the need for unity, to defend the truth, and to lead by example.
However as each of the prognostications made by the SEP in September 2020 came true, the average reader is knocked off their feet. Even now it is beyond common understanding based on any analysis by the corporate media. Here is what the SEP found as early as October 11, 2020 in “The Sickness in the White House: A discussion on the US political crisis” an online discussion which was livestreamed (https://youtu.be/UgG147s1XMc):
“We published a statement about two weeks ago in the aftermath of the debate between Trump and Biden in which we analyzed the political strategy of Trump, which was revealed very clearly in the debate itself. This was the debate where Trump said of his far right supporters that they should “Standback and standby”—an open appeal for the preparation of far right violence, then again threatened that he would not accept the results of the election. And we in that perspective drew out what was Trump’s strategy. And we said the strategy is very clear. First, we said the strategy is motivated by the phrase, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” We said the strategy had four basic components. First, it was before the election to create as much disorder, violence, stoking of far right groups claiming that the whole process was rigged, and creating as much violence and turmoil in advance of the election as possible. Second, we said that on election day itself, Trump would declare that…if the results were against him they were invalid; he would capitalize on the fact that mail-in ballots were delayed; and declare himself the victor. Third, he was calculating that in the aftermath of the election he could utilize the Supreme Court to challenge any results that went against him and rubberstamp his efforts to stay in power. Of course that is connected to the attempts to ram through the nomination of Trump’s Supreme Court pick which begins this week. And we said the fourth element of that strategy was his reliance on the fact that the Democratic Party would really say nothing.” —Joseph Kishore, SEP candidate for US President
Shortly after began revelations of in-state coup attempts and threats against Democratic judges, state governors, city mayors, and other officials. Much of this again was muzzled by the mainstream media. After November and the shaky election results began the planned Stop the Steal rallies and demonstrations supported by the Trump campaign. This DC-based progressive journalist watched the entire spectacle unfold on January 6th 2020 on Capitol Hill, which was widely broadcast by far-right vigilante media such as the Ultimate Podcast Report, and Status Coup. For Hill reporters, the underpreparation by the capitol police and scores of police attaches in the vicinity seemed painfully obvious and even calculated.
Even the aftermath of the Inauguration, which was a somber ceremony attended by tens of thousands of propped up American flags, and a magnificent night-time display, the risks of the domestic unrest remain. AGN has observed a number of remote far-right remnants, semi-permanent visitors who spend their days outside, wandering around federal buildings talking on their smartphones—rural bearded ruffians who seemed to have adopted DC as their second home. Along K Street and 16th, for instance, impromptu corner rallies are held by Proud Boy affiliates, bearded vigilantes from Virginia truck in via plumbers’ vans, hop off, and hop back on before arrests can be made. The situation is severe enough that the lights in the White House go dark early and stay off for the rest of the night.
It is an uneasy situation at best where the last President may still be holding court at his winter White House, Mar a Lago, still convening with super-rich conservatives and business leaders, foreign dignatories and their wives, and issuing secret directives to keep the red MAGA spirit alive. A number of patriot outlets are enthusiastically reporting on any appearance by the Trump clan, on political conservative fundraisers, and on seemingly spontaneous night-time rallies.
According to the SEP, this is not due merely to the failure to impeach Trump by both the House and the Senate for a second time, but the fact that none of the GOP leaders involved in supporting the riots have been forced to testify under subpoenas. It supports the argument that the Democratic Party would rather endure far-right conspiracies and internecine strife among the working class than admit to capitalism’s deep failure to address the needs of the working poor where there are massive numbers of unemployment, underemployment, housing crisis, growing household debt, inability to obtain healthcare, inability to obtain social assistance, deaths from the pandemic, media indifference, and a lackluster economy.
The Socialist Equality Party candidates believe today’s dire socioeconomic situation is tied with a need for political change, a sea-change beyond the duopoly and focused on building collective social responsibility from the ground up. Time and again the SEP candidates are expressing how building such a socialist movement cannot occur without a basic knowledge and understanding of the science of socialism in a global context; the histories of political struggle in Russia, China, Latin America, Cuba, North Korea, Mexico, Germany, France, and the United States are the living laboratories by which humankind can develop better political strategies and methods—and identify the tactics used by fascists leaders. It was only the phenomenal growth of socialist movements that spurred the development of The New Deal during the 20th century. Today, there is evidence that capitalist democracy is on its last legs, which is why dictatorship and oppression is on the rise.
“And there’s a deep growth or profound growth of social and political opposition in the working class and among youth, including the ongoing demonstrations over police violence. And that is what the Trump administration is responding to, and what underlies this profound crisis of bourgeois democracy. When we say that the strategy of workers has to based not on the arithmetic of the election but the logic of the class struggle, it is because the issues facing workers in the United States and around the world are not going to be—in this election are not going to be solved on an electoral basis. They have to be solved through the development of the class struggle: through the independent intervention of the working class against the Trump administration. There has to be a fight against the administration and its conspiracies. But it’s not, it can’t be done through the Democratic Party. The working class has to intervene with its own program, with a socialist program, and through the methods of the class struggle. And that’s the orientation that we have in this election campaign….the building of a leadership within the working class.”
–Joseph Kishore, SEP candidate for US President, Sept 27, 2020 in “The Civil War Election: A Discussion”
Even if viewers and the electorate cannot entirely agree with the Socialist Equality Party platform, their ideals are in fact routinely recycled around the left and even adopted by pseudo-leftist parties which in turn often feed back into the Democratic Party. The best way to learn more about the SEP2020 is to visit the WSWS website, and its relaunch which includes a new History of the Fourth International, and Mehring Books. SEP2020 is encouraging all people, but especially young people to join and help organize. Because of the expense of the relaunch, and the nation-wide tour by the SEP candidates, generous monthly donations are also appreciated.
SEP2020 Civil War Theme: Resolving the US Political Crisis (Article Reading)