We are glad to see Trump and his venal administration of grifters removed from political power. They were an unequivocal cancer on American society, openly espousing racist, sexist, and homophobic venom to a hooting base while cynically enriching themselves and their hangers-on.
That being said, we do not celebrate the election of Joseph Biden. Biden is beholden to members of the corporate ruling class, just as Trump was. On the day Biden takes office, our struggles and fights will remain the same. Biden is not going to be our savior. He is not the champion of working people. He will not be significantly more sympathetic to our fights for racial, gender, and economic justice than Trump.
We have no beef with Biden voters, many of whom believed they were earnestly fighting the encroachment of fascism. Our task as organizers is to allow them to see that Biden, along with other Democratic Party operatives and office holders, from Rahm Emanuel to Jim Clyburn, do not work in the interests of the 99%, and that while Trump may be gone, Trumpism continues to spread in the conditions laid by the neoliberal programs that the Democratic Party has embraced since the 1980s.
To that aim we suggest some warnings:
- Be wary of claims to the effect that Biden’s so-called “moderate” stance is what netted him the Presidency. The evidence suggests that community organizers, many of them black and brown, worked the hardest and achieved the most in promoting Democratic turnout. Furthermore, the evidence is overwhelming that the down ballot candidates on Democratic tickets that did the best were those that supported Medicare For All, a $15 minimum wage, and other policies for community justice.
- Similarly, be wary of conservatives and/or Republicans, specifically those that align with the “Lincoln Project,” who are claiming victory in the election and are subsequently issuing demands of the Democrats and/or jockeying for influence.
- Pay careful attention to who Biden appoints to his transition team and his cabinet. He has already signaled his favor towards deficit hawks including Larry Summers and corporate figures such as Meg Whitman and Jamie Dimon.
- Lastly, be wary of celebrations around representation that weaponize identity politics as a means to enforce imperialism and the status quo. The patriarchy should be abolished, but electing a cop to office isn’t how to get there. Here in Asheville, we will soon have an all-female City Council for the first time ever. But this doesn’t mean that the Council will necessarily serve the interests of the city’s working class women.
Finally, we want to reiterate what organizers and intellectuals from Linda Sarsour and Angela Davis to Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Ruth Wilson Gilmore have been stating for four years, that a politics of solidarity is all that can reverse decades of neoliberalism and austerity politics that have alienated and impoverished Americans, making the country’s soil even more fertile for a politics of hate and demagogery that has fallen hard on the country’s poor, Black, POC, indigenous, undocumented, women, gay, lesbian, and transgender people.
To that end, these are the goals that we, the Asheville DSA, will be fighting for alongside the 90,000 DSA members across the country:
- Medicare For All: A guarantee of mental and physical health care for all, free at the point of service.
- Union Rights: A right to organize one’s workplace democratically, anywhere in the country, and especially the South.
- A Green New Deal: A guarantee to a future, a future that is being hijacked by energy companies and global financial institutions that are fully aware of the threat of climate catastrophe.
- Abolition: An end to the police and prisons as institutions, to be replaced by community justice initiatives that empower people instead of protecting private property.
- COVID Relief: The prioritizing of lives over GDP growth in the face of a deadly pandemic, to include $2,000 monthly checks to all Americans as well as emergency public health measures.
Locally, this means that our work in Asheville continues, and will include such campaigns as:
- Supporting the Mission Hospital nurses, who have just won a historic labor vote to organize under the National Nurses United, and will now be undertaking contract negotiations as well as joining the NNU’s continuing fight for Medicare For All.
- Fighting to defund the Asheville police, and to bring justice to Asheville’s BIPOC community, which will include holding the City Council to its promises for reparations, and destroying the city’s monuments to terror, such as the Vance Memorial.
- Working in coalition with organizers, community members, and newly elected progressives on initiatives that might include fare free transit, an expansive housing policy that balances ecological concerns with community demands for mixed use, walkable neighborhoods, and affordable housing, and shifting towards community budgeting that takes power away from developers as well as the tourism industry and vests it with Asheville’s working people.
We join others in our community in happiness that Trump is being removed from power, but we know that the struggle continues on! Our chapter has grown in the four years of Trump’s presidency. We made new organizing connections, strengthened bonds of solidarity, and increased our political education. Do not let the election of Biden weaken your resolve to continue fighting for a better world. We need it now more than ever.
Join Asheville DSA as a dues-paying member today. And then attend our “Beyond Biden” discussion on Monday, November 23rd, at 7pm on Zoom.