Socialist Action 2020 Presidential Candidate Jeff Mackler: No to Trump’s Coup Threat!

Socialist Action is in no way indifferent to Trump’s threat to cancel the 2020 election or to ignore its results on election day should he lose, or attempts to undermine the right to vote by defunding the Post Office to make the prompt counting of ballots difficult or using U.S. Supreme Court rulings to approve racist gerrymandering of districts and other undemocratic measures aimed at reducing the vote of Black and Latinx people. While we have always exposed the reactionary nature of bourgeois elections and all their anti-democratic aspects, we are far from the point of ceding this institution to would-be tyrants like Trump.

In the same vein, we have absolutely zero confidence in the courts to uphold democratic processes, not to mention confidence in the Democrats, including their water carriers in the labor movement, to challenge in the streets any coup-like attempt to steal the elections. While we can say that the Supreme Court itself, despite its present 5–4 tilt to the Republicans, usually upholds the general interests of the ruling class as opposed to any minority current like Trump, we cannot sit idly by in anticipation of the court doing the right thing for the capitalist class it is beholden to.   

It is one thing to point out that today the ruling class has no need for a coup, that there is broad agreement among the ruling class that Trump must go, that he is an embarrassment, if not an obstacle to their general objectives, it is quite another to turn a deaf ear to Trump’s threats. That would be a serious error to say the least.

Should Trump continue to threaten the election or its results, we must stand in the political forefront against such a move without in any manner indicating political support to Biden and the Democrats. Indeed, should there be anything resembling an electoral coup, we can fully expect outraged millions to take to the streets, perhaps in numbers exceeding the millions that have done so to date. While it seems obvious that if Trump moves to declare himself re-elected in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, the Democrats are not likely to accept being out-maneuvered, as they did with Bush v. Gore in 2000, we put no faith in the institutions of the bourgeoisie to uphold the right to vote in any form. In that election, Bush had serious ruling class support and credibility, to the point that the Democrats understood that a challenge in the streets was the last thing they wanted. In any case, Socialist Action’s active participation, with our own line, in any serious effort in the streets to counter a potential Trump coup is mandatory. Yes, we will say — assuming this is clear — that Biden won the election and should be president, while at the same time exposing the totally corrupt nature of billionaire capitalist-orchestrated elections and Democrat Biden.

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