Archive | November 7th, 2020

Postmaster General DeJoy Defies Federal Judge as Mail-In Ballots Surge for Biden

BY: Harvey WassermanTruthout

Voting Wrongs

At a critical turning point in the 2020 election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a close Trump consigliere, has defied a federal court order meant to track down and deliver some 300,000 mailed-in ballots.

In turn, federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has warned DeJoy that “someone might have a price to pay” for the postal service’s refusal to sweep some 300,000 votes stranded in swing state post offices and deliver them to election boards for counting, where they may, in fact, make a critical difference in the outcome of this astounding election.

As the battle for the presidency boils down to uncounted mailed-in ballots, Trump’s deconstruction of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken center stage.

The spread of the coronavirus long ago made it clear this election would be deeply impacted by tens of millions of mailed-in ballots.

Throughout his mercenary presidency, Trump has escalated his assaults on the Postal Service. Republicans of his corporate ilk have long wanted to dismantle the USPS, largely to destroy its powerful union.

They’ve also wanted to benefit huge private delivery companies like FedEx and UPS. DeJoy’s own business, XPO Logistics, recently landed a $5 million contract with the USPS. (DeJoy claims he has divested his stake in the company, but the reality is unclear.)

When the coronavirus hit, the Postal Service became a political football. Throughout the U.S., concerned citizens worried that suffering through long lines to finally arrive at cramped voting centers would expose them to potential illness. As lines backed up in Wisconsin for this past spring’s primary, reports of infection ran rampant. Some reports claim at least 71 deaths were the tragic result.

Since the 1980s, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington State and Hawaii have automatically mailed ballots to registered voters. The systems work extremely well. After the fearsome warnings spread from Wisconsin’s primary, California, Nevada, and a number of other states jumped in.

In swing states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republican legislatures demanded voters fill out applications online or by mail to get their ballots. The requirements can be complex and confusing, apparently aiming to restrict the popular vote.

As Trump assaulted the Postal Service (which he termed “a joke”), he openly feared being overwhelmed by absentee ballots. If everyone could easily vote by mail, he complained, Republicans would never get elected.

Trump himself has voted absentee since occupying the White House. (He officially lives in Florida.) But he complains vote by mail is somehow different. (It isn’t.)

So he threatened to sue Nevada when it announced it would join five other states in mailing ballots to all registered voters. Those votes are now being hotly disputed.

Trump also threatened to cut election board funding in Michigan for daring to mail ballots to all registered voters. “Michigan sends absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” he tweeted. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”

Through the summer, DeJoy brutally gutted much of the USPS’s highly evolved functional core, removing sorting machines, trashing long-established procedures, firing essential long-term personnel and removing postal drop boxes throughout the country.

As USPS revenues plummeted due to the virus, and as service deteriorated, Trump made little attempt to hide that the dismantlement was being done at least in part to undermine the service’s ability to deliver ballots that he thought (correctly) might threaten to end his presidency.

The USPS is one of the U.S.’s most cherished institutions, regularly listed as the public’s favorite government-related operation. Anger over its dismemberment has been palpable.

“In the Postal Service’s 240 years of delivering the mail, how can one person screw this up so fast?” Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D- Massachusetts) asked DeJoy amid angry congressional hearings in August. “What the heck are you doing?”

DeJoy told Congress his “cost-cutting” measures were necessary and offered assurances that the fall election’s ballots would be efficiently handled.

But very long delays prompted election protection advocates who’d supported voting by mail to push early voting or depositing ballots in official drop boxes.(Ohio and Texas responded by limiting drop boxes to one per county.)

Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper told DeJoy: “For anyone thinking of voting absentee, the effect of your changes is to move Election Day from November 3 up to something like October 27.”

As Trump’s Republicans demanded ever-more stringent deadlines for receiving ballots at postal centers, the courts finally stepped in. As of November 3, USPS records in various states showed more than 300,000 absentee ballots had been received but had not gone back out to the election boards.

Such numbers could easily determine the presidency, especially in the swing states. (As of this morning, Michigan’s margin of victory for Joe Biden is around 35,000, Wisconsin’s around 20,000 and Nevada’s less than 10,000.)

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington, D.C., had ordered on September 28 that the USPS cease its delivery cutbacks before the election.

On November 3, Judge Sullivan ordered DeJoy to sweep Postal Service facilities in a dozen key districts where those 300,000 ballots had been reported undelivered. Sullivan’s order included processing centers in Detroit, Houston, Atlanta and Philadelphia, as well as in central Pennsylvania, south Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, Wyoming and Alabama.

Sullivan particularly focused on districts with low on-time delivery records, including Philadelphia and Detroit.The whereabouts of those 300,000 ballots remains a matter of dispute, as does their potential impact on the outcome of the presidential election.

But DeJoy’s USPS proceeded to ignore Judge Sullivan’s ruling, citing “physical and operational limitations.” The service also complained that complying with the order might disrupt its regularly scheduled service.

Sullivan responded with fury. “I’m not pleased about this 11th-hour development last night,” he said in a hearing Wednesday. “Someone might have a price to pay.”

But the whereabouts of those 300,000 ballots remains a matter of dispute, as does their potential impact on the outcome of the presidential election.

That the ballots might be missing is “inaccurate,” says a USPS spokesman. The service took “extraordinary measures” to deliver those votes.

In a court filing, the USPS said that many ballots may have been delivered without being scanned. But if they were not marked as sent, zealous Republicans would be happy to toss them all as lacking a proper postmark or date stamp.

Some of the USPS’s harshest critics now tend to believe such problems may be overstated, and that the Postal Service — which has been reporting to Judge Sullivan — may be its own worst enemy. Vice’s Aaron Gordon downplays the situation as a product of the USPS’s own questionable reporting.

But Democratic governors in the key swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina have vowed to count all votes.

And in an election where razor-thin margins can make all the difference, and where Trump supporters — some of them armed — are demanding to “stop the count” (see Florida 2000), the questionable whereabouts and date stamping of 300,000 votes becomes a matter of life or death.

Thus, Judge Sullivan is not happy. DeJoy, he says, “is either going to have to be deposed or appear before me and testify under oath … about why some measures were not taken after the court issued its injunction.”

DeJoy might also be asked about how those missing mail-in ballots — which have trended heavily for Joe Biden — might affect the electoral fortunes of his boss and benefactor, Donald J. Trump.

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Celebrations Break Out in Major Cities Across US Following Trump’s Defeat

People gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election near the White House on November 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
People gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election near the White House on November 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

BY: Igor DeryshSalon

Joe Biden has finally been elected as the 46th president of the United States, according to the Associated PressCNNThe New York Times and other major media outlets. On Saturday morning, after the former vice president took a 34,000-vote lead in Pennsylvania — just above the 0.5% threshold that would have dictated a recount — AP called the Keystone State, and the presidential election, at 11:28 a.m. Eastern time. With that, Donald Trump’s contentious and divisive presidency apparently draws to a close.

According to numerous reports from news sources and social media, celebrations of Biden’s victory have begun to break out in major cities across the country, on a beautiful fall day on the Eastern seaboard and throughout most of the nation.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will address the nation at 8 p.m. Eastern time from outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, according to the AP. All major broadcast networks and news networks will carry the speech live.

President Trump was reportedly playing golf at a course he owns in Virginia at the time Biden was declared president-elect. He has not yet conceded defeat, in yet another departure from the norms of electoral politics, and there are no signs he will do so anytime soon.

The president issued a statement in his typically combative and borderline-nonsensical style soon after the AP election call, which began: “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed.” The statement observed that Biden “has not been certified as the winner of any states,” which is true — because no states certify their final votes for several weeks after Election Day. Trump further alleged that his campaign “has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” without clarifying what any of those might be.

Representatives of Trump’s campaign, led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, were holding a news conference in Philadelphia to discuss alleged voting irregularities in Pennsylvania at virtually the same time as the AP announced Biden’s victory. Giuliani appeared taken aback by the news that all the major news networks had called the election, and the press conference rapidly veered off the campaign’s apparent script.

This long-delayed moment brings an end to an extraordinary five-day vote count during which time seemed suspended for many Americans, while rumors and conspiracy theories flowed freely on social media. Results have remained in doubt in several states ever since election night — and at this writing, Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina have still not been called by any major media organization for either candidate. (Biden was declared the winner in Nevada shortly after the Pennsylvania call.) Biden holds a narrow lead in Georgia, which is heading for a recount. Trump seems certain to win Alaska and likely to win North Carolina, but those states may not report final vote totals for days or weeks.

As a result, the final electoral vote total will not be clear for some time. The AP currently has Biden at 290 electoral votes, because that organization called Arizona for Biden several days ago, whereas other media outlets have not done so. The New York Times credits Biden with 279 electoral votes. (At least 270 are required to win the election.) Biden’s final total could be as many as 306 electoral votes, while Trump will likely finish with at least 232. The final result could well wind up as a virtual mirror image of the 2016 count, won by Trump over Hillary Clinton, 304 to 227.

In any event, Biden has won a conclusive victory in the popular vote, in an election with a remarkably high turnout. With vote counting not yet complete in a number of large states — including New York, California and Illinois, where millions of Democratic-leaning votes remain uncounted — Biden currently has about 74.5 million votes, or 50.5% of the total, to 70.3 million for Trump, or 47.7%. Both candidates in this race received more votes than any previous presidential candidate in U.S. history, one of many reasons why the 2020 election will long be remembered as an extraordinary event.

Multiple news outlets have reported that Trump has told friends and advisers he has no plans to concede. Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates responded to the reports by predicting the president would be escorted from the White House if he refuses to leave.

“As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election,” Bates said in a statement. “And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

A statement from the Trump campaign on Thursday protested the “false projection of Joe Biden as the winner” and argued that there were “irregularities” in Pennsylvania and Nevada that might affect the result, though the campaign’s legal challenges have thus far fallen flat. The campaign also predicted a victorious recount in Georgia and an “outright” win in Arizona, although both those outcomes seem doubtful — and have now been rendered irrelevant. At this point, there is no realistic way for Trump to overturn the verdict of the voters in numerous states.

Biden’s long-expected victory comes after Trump’s repeated and blatantly false claims of voter fraud in states where Biden has won or holds the lead. On Wednesday, the president even attempted to declare victory, via Twitter, in states that had not been called, and where he has now been conclusively or apparently defeated. Trump has also demanded that officials “stop the count,” though there is no legal reason to halt the counting of valid votes.

Although some Republicans have echoed Trump’s false claims about the vote count, other GOP lawmakers have begun publicly speaking out against his inflammatory rhetoric.

“The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are not substantiated,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said on Friday. “I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.”

“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who said he cast his vote for Ronald Reagan. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”

Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer said the suits were legally “meritless” and only intended to “create an opportunity” for the Trump campaign “to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process.”

Some Trump allies have even floated the idea of Republican-led state legislatures appointing electors that would override the popular vote result in their states to back Trump. Although the Constitution allows for that possibility, nothing similar has occurred since the 19th century. Republican legislative leaders in Pennsylvania again rejected that idea on Friday.

“We have said it many times and we will happily say it again,” state Senate leader Jake Corman and House leader Kerry Benninghoff, said in a joint statement. “The Pennsylvania General Assembly does not have and will not have a hand in choosing the state’s presidential electors or in deciding the outcome of the presidential election.”

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Progressives Helped Defeat Trump. They’re Readying Bold Demands for Biden.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris leave the stage after addressing the nation at the Chase Center November 6, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris leave the stage after addressing the nation at the Chase Center November 6, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.

BYStaffCommon Dreams

After days of uncertainty amid concurrent global crises, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the closely-watched contest that denied President Donald Trump a second term Saturday morning, after votes tallied in the battleground state of Pennsylvania pushed Biden over the 270 electoral vote threshold.

According to NBC News: “The former vice president amassed 273 Electoral College votes after winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, according to NBC News, surpassing the 270 needed to win the White House and defeat President Donald Trump.”

The Associated Press, which put both Arizona and Pennsylvania in Biden’s column, also called the race:

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The determination in Pennsylvania put Biden at 273 electoral votes to Trump’s 214 — a deficit the president has no way of overcoming even as five other states — Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina — continue to process their results. Adding Arizona’s eleven electortal to Biden’s column, put his electoral count to 284.

Shortly after the news broke, Biden said in a tweet addressed to the nation that he was “honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.”

“The work ahead of us will be hard,” he added, “but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have place in me.”

Progressives immediately celebrated Biden’s victory and expressed elation over Trump’s pending departure.

“This nightmare is coming to an end. Despite every attempt to silence our voices and block our vote, the will of the people won,” declared George Goehl, director of the grassroots advocacy group People’s Action.

“We, the voters, decided this!” said Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America director for 350 Action, in a statement when the news broke. “By working together, our unapologetic movement for people and planet has been steadfast and patient as our votes were counted. People power stood up to Donald Trump’s fascist vision for America and elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House. The government we chose must be sworn in because this is the people’s democracy.”

Naomi Klein@NaomiAKleinThe fall of tyrants must be celebrated, it’s a human right! Profound thanks to all the grassroots groups who did deep organizing to make this happen and who will be pushing hard every day for the new admin to do whatever it takes to get us all to safety.4:43 PM · Nov 7, 2020

The subject line in an email from the Sunrise Movement was expressive: “We fucking did it.”

“Excuse my language,” said the group’s executive director Varshini Prakash, “but we fucking did it. It’s official. We WON.”


Ilhan Omar@IlhanMN
US House candidate, MN-5Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on your historic win! We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen. Let’s get to work!

“We won. And this is a big win,” said María Urbina, acting co-executive director and national political director of Indivisible. “A record number of voters turned out amidst a pandemic to express the will of the people, and to put a historic ticket in the White House by clear margins. Come January, we’ll move forward together to swear in a President and Vice President who are serious about governing and will be expected to deliver on an agenda of dignity and justice for all.”

“Together,” Urbina added, “we can make good on the promise of an America that works for all of us, that prioritizes the most vulnerable, and that ensures we can all live with dignity. For now, we celebrate. This victory belongs to all of us.”

Biden’s victory comes in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and related economic crisis, a monthslong national reckoning over systemic racism, seemingly endless U.S. war, and the global climate emergency. There have been more than 9.7 million Covid-19 cases and nearly 236,000 deaths in the United States out of over 49 million infections and 1.24 million deaths worldwide.

On top of that is the broader crisis of Trump’s presidency, which has featured rollbacks of environmental and public health protections at the behest of deep-pocketed polluters, a “pro-corporate, anti-worker agenda,” efforts to degrade the rights of historically marginalized groups, inhumane immigration policies — including forcibly separating migrant children from their parents at the border — and constant lies.

Since Election Day, Trump has escalated his attacks on American democracy by falsely declaring victory early Wednesday, tweeting disinformation about the election, and delivering on Thursday evening what one reporter called “the most dishonest speech he has ever given.” His campaign has also filed multiple lawsuits this week related to the race, validating pre-election warnings that he would try to steal the vote to retain power.

The president’s actions sparked nationwide demonstrations demanding election officials “count every vote.” Amid fears that Trump may refuse to concede, Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement on Friday that “the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1942, Biden studied history and political science at the University of Delaware then earned a law degree at Syracuse University. After practicing law as a public defender and at a firm, and entering local politics in Delaware’s New Castle County, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972.

Biden represented Delaware in the Senate for nearly four decades — with stints chairing the Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees — before serving as vice president for both terms of President Barack Obama’s administration. After declining to run in 2016, Biden beat 27 primary competitors to secure the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, was among his primary competitors. Born in 1964, Harris hails from Oakland, California. After graduating from Howard University, she earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings. She was district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general of California before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016. She will be the first woman, as well as the first Black and South Asian American, to serve as vice president.

Since Biden selected Harris in August, progressives have pledged to continue engaging with the pair and pushing them to embrace bold, popular policies including Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. As climate campaigners have pressured Biden and Harris to pursue more ambitious proposals, they have also emphasized that “Trump’s climate policies are a raging dumpster fire.” On Wednesday, the U.S. ditched the 2015 Paris climate agreement at Trump’s direction; Biden has vowed to reenter the accord.

While progressives — including former primary rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — have rallied behind Biden’s bid to oust Trump, the future president has also faced extensive criticism for his political track record on numerous fronts, such as his support for the Iraq War, his primary role in the 1994 crime bill, and his refusal to back universal public healthcare or a ban on fracking for fossil fuels.

“The evident defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives,” Norman Solomon wrote in a column for Common Dreams early Friday. “Now, on vital issues — climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power, and so much more — it’s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party.”

Some news outlets, such as Vox and Business Insiderdeclared Biden victorious on Friday morning, based on a determination from their election-calling partner, Decision Desk HQ, at 8:50 am ET that the former vice president had won Pennsylvania — hours before other election-calling operations or major news network announced a winner.


Vox@voxdotcom
BREAKING: Joe Biden is projected to win the #2020Election, per Decision Desk. The former two-term vice president and 36-year Senate veteran will be the 46th president of the United States. https://vox.com/2020/11/6/21534594/joe-biden-wins-2020-presidential-election?utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

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“The race is over, as far as our call is concerned, because of the vote totals coming out of Philadelphia this morning,” Drew McCoy, the president of Decision Desk, told Vox senior politics correspondent Andrew Prokop. “It became pretty obvious that as the remaining votes across the state and in Philadelphia are counted, Biden’s lead will continue to grow.”

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Guantánamo Prisoners Sent to UAE Risk Forced Expulsion, Secret Detention

Activists from the Guantanamo Justice Campaign, a group calling for the U.S. to close its Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and for the British government to lobby the United States to this end, demonstrate in orange detainee jumpsuits outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
Activists from the Guantanamo Justice Campaign, a group calling for the U.S. to close its Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and for the British government to lobby the United States to this end, demonstrate in orange detainee jumpsuits outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

BYAisha ManiarTruthout

One of the very last actions of the Obama administration, on his last day in office in 2017, was to transfer four prisoners from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay — one to his native Saudi Arabia and three for resettlement in a third country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This brought the prisoner population down to 41, a number that has only fallen by one since then.

The men were among 196 prisoners resettled by the Obama administration upon transfer from Guantánamo, effectively but not recognized as refugees, often as a result of the U.S.’s foreign policy and wars. Transferred from Guantánamo in Obama’s attempts to close the facility, for many of these men, who were never charged or tried and were cleared for release, freedom has remained elusive. This is the case for most of the 23 transferred to the UAE between November 2015 and January 2017.

On October 15, 2020, a group of UN Special Rapporteurs expressed concerns over the situation of the remaining 19 transferred prisoners who remain in the UAE, all of whom have been subject to indefinite and arbitrary detention at secret locations since their arrival there and now face the prospect of forced expulsion to their home countries (Russia for one of them and Yemen for the other 18). The experts state that the Yemenis were “were allegedly forced to sign documents consenting to their repatriation, or otherwise remain indefinitely in Emirati detention.”

The other prisoner, Ravil Mingazov, was the only Russian prisoner not to return home in 2004. His seven returnee compatriots have faced ongoing, continuous persecution, both in the Russian Federation and abroad, resulting in one being shot dead by the police and spurious charges and detention for others, including a life sentence for one of the former Guantánamo prisoners. Mingazov has insisted on never being returned to Russia.

The UN experts expressed concerns for the 18 Yemenis in view of the ongoing war in the country. Obama ceased the transfer of Yemenis from Guantánamo in 2010; this was later extended due to the war. In view of the international law principle of non-refoulement, the forced transfer of any of the men would be illegal.

The latest statement follows concerns the experts raised with the UAE authorities in July. Since their arrival in the country, all the men have been held at unknown locations with limited access to family (some visits have been permitted) and legal and medical visits. Some of the men allege they have been tortured at UAE facilities. At least two of them have gone on hunger strike in protest in the past year and there are reports of the men being held in solitary confinement. None have faced any charges or prosecution in the UAE.

Guantánamo prisoners cleared for release were transferred to the UAE in three groups between November 2015 and January 2017, including the largest single transfer of 15 men (three Afghans and 12 Yemenis) in August 2016. At that time, the U.S. thanked the UAE for its “humanitarian gesture” but the risks of transfer there were already evident, as what had become of the prisoners transferred in November 2015 was unknown. U.S. officials allegedly assured prisoners and their lawyers that they would be released from a residential rehabilitation program and reintegrated into Emirati society and allowed family reunification, but that has not happened for any of the men. U.S. lawyers for the men wrote to the UAE authorities on three occasions without a response.

Some blame the Trump administration for failing to track resettled prisoners. However, the UN experts’ demands include that “the UAE authorities disclose the terms of the resettlement programme (with the United States),” an agreement made with the Obama administration. They state, “We are seriously concerned about the secrecy surrounding the terms and mode of implementation of this resettlement programme agreed between the UAE and the United States.”

Transfers of prisoners from Guantánamo by the Obama administration, in some cases, involved trade deals and other benefits; for example, the company of a former political strategist to the Obama administration, who helped to broker the 2009 transfer of Uighur prisoners to Bermuda, won a consultancy contract with the Bermudan government in 2017. Uruguay’s sale of oranges to the U.S. resumed in return for accepting six Guantánamo prisoners in 2016. In spite of the Uruguayan government’s apparent displeasure at hosting the men, it has insisted on several occasions on having one prisoner, Jihad Diyab, a Syrian refugee, returned to the country after his attempts to flee abroad. With many prisoners released by both the Bush and Obama administrations still subject to surveillance and restrictions in various countries, it is possible, as one former U.S. official put it, that “this seems like the UAE is imprisoning them on behalf of the U.S. government.”

The UN experts, in their July 2020 communication, also raised the case of Afghan national Haji Hamdullah, who was one of three Afghan nationals resettled in the UAE and returned to Afghanistan in December 2019. Hamdullah “was forcibly repatriated to Afghanistan, without security assurances, despite his claims of risking torture and ill-treatment in Afghanistan.” He died in Kabul on May 4, 2020.

In a January 2020 interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency news outlet, Hamdullah said, “Worst was our stay in the UAE. It was un-Islamic and against human rights. We were told in Guantánamo about transferring us to the UAE, and a rosy picture was painted for us for our six-month stay in the UAE, so we approved and agreed to this offer by the U.S. Foreign Ministry.” He urged the Afghan government to take action against the UAE.

It is possible that the terms of the U.S.-UAE resettlement agreement mean that the prisoners would only be allowed to remain for a limited period. Senegal agreed to resettle two prisoners on humanitarian grounds in 2016, but they were unlawfully transferred to their native Libya, exactly two years later in April 2018, where they promptly “disappeared.” While some states have reportedly been given cash incentives to accept prisoners, the UAE instead has seen its stock as a global political player rise, including in the war in Yemen, with U.S. backing over the past five years.

The risk to these 19 men cannot be underestimated and is not without precedent. They remain at risk whether they stay in the UAE, subject to a regime of continuing secret indefinite arbitrary detention, or return to their home countries, where they risk further persecution and, potentially, death.

Given that Guantánamo remains open after almost 19 years, it is clear that both the Republicans and Democrats have a poor record on the treatment of the prisoners and a weak grip on human rights. While closing Guantánamo has not been an election issue since 2008, its continuing existence remains a stain on the U.S. In a year that has seen millions of U.S. residents receive little more than complacency from their government in the face of a global pandemic, and as millions file for unemployment and other basic benefits, the question of whose interests Guantánamo protects and at what cost needs to be raised. Demands for the closure of Guantánamo and the release of the remaining 40 prisoners must ensure that prisoners are released to safety and are genuinely set free.

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Joe Biden Declared Winner of 2020 Presidential Election

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden addresses the nation at the Chase Center November 06, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

BY: Chris WalkerTruthout

Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially been declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to secure victory over incumbent President Donald Trump.

Biden was declared the winner after the Associated Press announced he had won Pennsylvania, securing the additional electoral votes that he needed to win the race.

The night prior, Biden had stopped short of declaring an official victory, but said he expected to win. He called for bridging political divides in the U.S. in his remarks.

“We have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting, unending warfare,” Biden said on Friday evening. “No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”

Biden’s victory followed several days of ballot counting in a number of swing states.

Biden currently leads Trump in vote totals in the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. If he can maintain his current numbers there, he will likely receive over 300 Electoral College votes in total.

The news of Biden’s win was generally met positively by progressive organizations and leaders, with the caveat that he should be held accountable once in office.

“Don’t let this moment placate you,” Black Socialists in America tweeted. “The social and economic systems that have led to our present conditions and the fascists who have exploited them aren’t going away anytime soon.”

“Black People. It’s time to celebrate us,” wrote the Movement for Black Lives. “Our vote. Our movement. Our power. We organized. We mobilized. We defeated Trump!”


Movement 4 Black Lives@Mvmnt4BlkLives
Black People. It’s time to celebrate us. Our vote. Our movement. Our power. We organized. We mobilized. We defeated Trump! #WeDidThat

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“There is still work to do. There will always be more work to do,” writer Rebecca Nagle said. “But one way you make that long-haul sustainable is by celebrating the wins when they come.”

“It’s ok to celebrate the fall of a tyrant. Goodbye Trump,” added the Democratic Socialists of America.

“Now it’s time to survive the next part. These next few months will be very hard,” said Kelly Hayes, host of Truthout’s “Movement Memos” podcast. “But today, I’m gonna try to be kind to myself and let my tense muscles relax a bit. No one who tells you there’s no time for that cares whether you endure in this work or about you as an individual.“

Revelers reportedly packed the streets of New York City to celebrate the electoral outcome, honking car horns, clapping and cheering loudly.

Similar celebrations were seen on the streets of Washington, D.C., and crowds reportedly started gathering outside of the White House to commemorate Trump’s loss.

Trump’s defeat is indeed a historic one. In the history of presidential elections, only 10 presidents who ran for reelection have ever failed to win a second term. (Trump will become the 11th.) Since the middle of the 20th century, only two presidents who had previously won office to the presidency (excluding Gerald Ford, who became president after Richard Nixon resigned) have lost reelection bids — Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.

The election is historic for another reason: This is the first time in U.S. history that a woman will be part of a winning presidential ticket. On January 20, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) will become the first woman ever to serve as vice president.

Harris called Biden on the phone Saturday to celebrate their win.

Biden himself celebrated by issuing a statement on Twitter.

“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden wrote. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.”

The president-elect will reportedly address the nation regarding his election win later on Saturday evening.

Although news organizations were largely in agreement about the outcome, Biden’s win may be contested. Trump has said in the past few days that he plans to contest the race in a number of states, and that he may ask for recounts in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia (in spite of his aversion to recounts four years ago). He may also seek a legal challenge into the validity of vote counting itself, as he’s said many times,falsely, that the votes counted made before November 3 but counted after Election Day were illegitimate.

Indeed, immediately after the announcement was made, Trump, who was reportedly golfing at the time, issued a statement expressing the strong likelihood he would bring about a challenge to the validity of the election.

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: They don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump’s statement read. “Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media. Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

But experts disputed the errant arguments Trump and his surrogates have made in recent days alleging fraud. Attempting to stop vote counting, or to disqualify votes that were counted after November 3, will be a difficult case for the president to argue, as there is no evidence that such votes violated the laws of those states in any way.

“Unless something new happens, I don’t see a viable path for Trump to litigate his way out of an Electoral College loss,” Richard Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, said to NPR.

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Tens of millions locked out of U.S. “democracy”

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Kaleigh O’Keefe

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Tens of millions of residents of the United States and its colonial territories are legally or practically barred from voting every year. People experiencing homelessness, living with felony convictions, non-citizen immigrants, disabled people, and residents of U.S. territories are all denied the basic democratic right to participate in elections. 

All disenfranchised people are equal members of the communities they live and work in, expected to pay taxes and follow state and federal laws just like everyone else. They suffer the consequences of laws passed by politicians they have no legal power to vote for or against.

Disenfranchisement through racist criminal “justice” system

More than five million people in the United States — 2.3 percent of the voting age population — are barred from voting for being convicted of a felony crime. Laws vary state to state but only two states, Maine and Vermont (and the colonial territory of Puerto Rico) have no restrictions. The rest vary from reinstituting voting rights after release from prison to denying voting rights to those out of prison but still on felony probation or parole. Eleven states never give back the right to vote, even to those who have successfully finished all their sentences. 

The Sentencing Project estimates that one in 16 Black people of voting age is disenfranchised, although seven states — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming — each double the national average to more than one in seven. More than 1.1 million people are still banned from voting in Florida, despite a 2018 referendum that aimed to restore these basic rights. 

Liberation News spoke to Julio “Ceschi” Ramos, a musician from New Haven, Connecticut who was unjustly convicted of a felony, “In most cases if one cannot afford a proper attorney, they will settle for a bunk plea deal that marks them with a felony for life … Once entire marginalized communities have been marked as felons and laws have been set in place that forbid felons from voting, we inevitably see entire communities having their basic constitutional liberties revoked.

“At the very least, this leads to these communities feeling disempowered, apathetic and stunted. At the worst, this is a subtle, legal perpetuation of Jim Crow era law. In certain states felons have been forced to pay to regain their right to vote, just one of many predatory examples of how capitalism perpetuates inequality,” Ramos added.

People experiencing homelessness and housing instability

People experiencing homelessness are not legally barred from voting since the 1972 Dunn v. Blumstein Supreme Court ruling declared durational residency requirements unconstitutional. When registering to vote, someone without a home can write down a shelter address or even a park bench or street intersection, wherever they sleep at night. In many states though you also need to write an address where you can receive mail, and without a stable address to receive election notices, people with housing instability can be wiped from the voter rolls.

In this year’s election, access to a mailing address is more vital than ever. As of October 30 more than 95 million have voted early, two-thirds of which have been by mail. If someone without an address wants to vote, they will have to take the risk of voting in person while many states are seeing new spikes in COVID-19 transmission and death rates.

Two thirds of states also require some form of photo ID to register to vote, which many experiencing homelessness do not have.

Almost half a century after Dunn v. Blumstein, most people without homes still do not vote. Only 10 percent of homeless people voted in 2012, even though an estimated 60 percent should be legally eligible. More than half a million people in the United States are homeless while there are more than 17 million vacant homes.

Non-citizen immigrants work, pay taxes, but cannot vote

About 7 percent of people in the United States are non-citizen immigrants, which includes permanent, temporary and undocumented residents.

It was not always the case that non-citizens had no right to vote in the United States. Originally, in order to vote one need only be white, a man, and own property. Up through the 1920s non-citizens could even hold public office. Citizen voting laws first appeared in some southern states leading up to the Civil War in an attempt to prevent the abolition of slavery, and have been escalating ever since.

Today, only about a dozen cities and townships allow noncitizens including undocumented immigrants to vote in local elections. None allow them to participate in national elections.

“Immigrants should be able to vote because we contribute to the day-to-day functions of this society,” Teresa Páez, who works in clinical research, told Liberation News. “I work in healthcare and it’s exciting to be able to contribute in this way, yet it’s disheartening to know regardless of the years I spend here and the labor I put in, as an immigrant it’s very unlikely I will ever be able to vote … There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, many of them essential workers, that simply don’t have the right to vote, but many of them have lived here for many years.”

Residents of U.S. colonies

Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are all subject to U.S. federal laws and pay federal taxes to the U.S, government, but the millions who live in these colonies are not allowed to vote in national elections. 

Puerto Ricans have been considered U.S. citizens for over a hundred years. While Puerto Rican residents of other states can vote, because Puerto Rico has no representation in the electoral college residents of the island effectively have no say in which candidate wins the general election. 

Residents of American Samoa are considered “U.S. Nationals” instead of “U.S. Citizens” This means that they are not only barred from voting but also running for office, and can only hold limited jobs even if they move to a U.S. state.

People’s movements for independence have long fought for these colonies’ right to be free from U.S. rule. The denial of residents’ basic democratic rights is all the more reason for these movements to continue and intensify.  

People with disabilities

Thousands of people in the United States are legally barred from voting by state “incompetency” laws that disallow adults with legal guardianship for mental health reasons to vote. This is an insulting and oppressive law that disability rights activists have been fighting against for years. There are many reasons someone might seek legal guardianship, such as needing assistance with medical or financial decisions and responsibilities, but still be perfectly able to vote. Some state laws still contain derogatory phrases such as “idiot” or “of unsound mind.”

While there are no specific laws barring physically disabled people from voting, the infrastructure of U.S. cities and towns and the design of the voting system keep countless people away from the polls as if there was a law against it. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that people with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote, meaning every polling location should be accessible. 

But this law is rarely followed. In the 2008 presidential election for instance, 73 percent of polling places had architectural barriers that made it “difficult or impossible” for people with disabilities to enter the building. This barrier is being exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis when many polling locations have closed, meaning people with disabilities will have to travel longer, wait in longer lines and potentially be exposed to the virus if they need to vote in person. 

The U.S. government attempts to derive legitimacy at home and around the world by projecting their image as one of the world’s “great democracies”. But with so much disenfranchisement — both formal and informal — on the basis of nationality, legal record, disability, housing and more it is clear that this is nothing more than hypocrisy.

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Trump goes all-in on racist voter disenfranchisement after indecisive election night

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Party for Socialism and Liberation

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After last night’s indecisive result, a massive effort is underway by the Trump campaign and Republican Party apparatus to prevent hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes from being counted. This effort has a clear racist character — hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots concentrated in cities with majority or near-majority Black populations have yet to be tabulated, and the final outcome of the election hangs in the balance.

The struggle for the right to vote has historically been a central feature of the movement for Black freedom in the United States. The ongoing effort at large-scale voter disenfranchisement recalls the tactics of paramilitary and judicial repression used to enforce Jim Crow apartheid. Many other oppressed people also face the prospect of mass disenfranchisement by the reactionary court system, including the right-wing supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, this is taking the form of court challenges in Michigan and Pennsylvania with the goal of stopping the vote count and ultimately disqualifying large numbers of mail-in ballots on bogus pretexts.

Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation are in the streets today resisting this racist voter suppression campaign. Our placards and banners tonight will read “Stop Trump’s Racist Voter Suppression!” and “Stop the War on Black America!”

We understand that the political crisis is dynamically evolving, and it is of the utmost importance to be tactically flexible and prepared to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

The PSL’s branches have for weeks been preparing materials, banners and signs that were aimed at building a mass working-class movement to fight for the very reforms that Biden said he would veto: Medicare for all, defunding the police and the Pentagon, the cancellation of rents and debts, and so on. From day one of any incoming Biden administration, the essential thing is to launch a politically independent movement that will not wait in vain for the corporate-controlled Democratic Party to deliver progressive change. That is largely what happened when the Democrats controlled the White House and the Congress in 2009.

For today, however, we will keep those banners and signs on hold. The fundamental issue of this moment is the Republican Party’s attempted disenfranchisement of large numbers of working-class and Black voters. If Biden were to consolidate his victory in the coming days — as it appears he may if he can hold on to Michigan and Wisconsin, and squeak through in Arizona and Nevada — it would be essential to immediately prepare a struggle against that administration’s neoliberal program and Biden’s life-long program of imperialist war and intervention.

Even if Trump and his base intensify their battle against the legitimacy of a Biden presidency from the right, the necessary demands of the working class cannot be put on hold. In fact, Biden and the Democratic leadership cannot be trusted to lead a real struggle to fend off the the racist far-right; their every instinct is to compromise and conciliate, and to yield them public space. Regardless of who wins the White House, a major struggle against the organized far-right is coming.

Fighting to defend the democratic rights of oppressed peoples is not the same thing as becoming a tail to the kite of the Democratic Party and dropping criticism of Joe Biden. The Democratic Party elite is in a state of shock today, having predicted a landslide win for Biden and likely victory in the race for control of Congress. Biden has won the popular vote as the Democrats have in every election since 1992 with the exception of 2004. But the anticipated “landslide” in battleground states did not happen.

Why did this victory fail to materialize? Certainly Joe Biden himself was a primary part of the problem. He is an uninspiring, racist, pro-war, right-wing Senator who has been part of the political elite for half a century. He is opposed to all of the popular demands for social reform and organized his campaign around the idea that, in his words, “nothing will fundamentally change”. The Democrats could have nominated Bernie Sanders, or embraced a program of guaranteeing basic social rights, which would easily have won both the popular vote and the electoral college, but instead they chose to carry out a coordinated attack and consolidation to crush the Sanders movement and instead nominate a much weaker candidate whose only appeal was that he had name recognition and was not Donald Trump.

In addition, while the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic, the huge deficiencies in the Democrats’ program towards the Coronavirus crisis may have given Trump a major electoral gift. Biden and the Democrats were not in favor of an income guarantee for unemployed workers, did not support the cancelation of rents and mortgage payments, did not support universal healthcare, or hardly any other measure that would alleviate the hardships faced by workers amid the pandemic. For a section of the working class, Trump’s relentless agitation against lockdowns and other public health restrictions may have appeared to be the only way to stave off destitution.

As of the writing of this statement, what is primary is that there is a racist attack of historic proportions taking place on the right to vote. The winner of the election is in doubt even though there is no dispute over which candidate received more votes. The completely bankrupt nature of “democracy” under capitalism is illuminated for all to see.

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Right wing mobilizations intensify racist voter suppression drive

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Patricia Gorky

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Right wing protesters mobilized in several hotspots across the country following Tuesday’s election, using intimidation tactics in an attempt to tip the scales for Trump.

In Detroit yesterday a crowd of right wingers stormed a vote counting center to demand that absentee ballots not be tabulated, chanting “Stop the count!” The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to halt vote-counting and called on their supporters to go to the center as “poll challengers”. The racist character of the protests is clear considering Detroit is a city that is 79 percent African-American. On Nov 5. the Michigan Court of Claims denied the lawsuit, and counting is expected to continue for now.

Meanwhile in Arizona, where Trump is trailing but gradually closing the gap as more votes are reported, the right wing’s demand is the opposite. Hundreds of armed demonstrators  gathered at the counting center in Maricopa County chanting “Count the votes!” Some vote center workers and media had to be escorted to their cars under threat from the protesters. Arizona is a stronghold of the white supremacist “militia movement”. 

In Atlanta today, Trump supporters, including some armed conspiracists and militia members, descended on State Farm Arena. Atlanta is a majority Black city, and the clear aim of this mobilization is to intimidate those counting the mail-in ballots that could decide Georgia’s final election result.

As we stand up to racist voter disenfranchisement, it is also necessary to point out that these tactics carried out by the far right only have an opening to sway the outcome of the election because the results are extremely close.  For over a year, the Democratic Party elite crowed that only Joe Biden was “electable” and could beat Trump. Biden spent 47 years in political office fraternizing with segregationists, championing racist mass incarceration, crafting the foundation of the PATRIOT Act, supporting imperialist wars and siding with corporations over workers. In the middle of a pandemic Biden pledged to veto Medicare for All, and as climate change-induced fires consumed more than 1 million acres in the country he stood by fracking. 

The far right could have been isolated and pushed to the political margins by a program focused on guaranteeing basic social rights and promoting working class unity. It took a candidate as weak as Biden — whose main appeal is that he is not Trump — to give the right wing the opportunity to attempt to tip the scales with racist intimidation.

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PSL statement: The defeat of Donald Trump

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More than 70 million people voted to oust Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. This was not a vote for Joe Biden, a truly uninspiring candidate who only became the nominee when the Democratic Party ruling class establishment united to stop Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination in early March. Nor did the historic voter turnout for Biden signify support for his pro-Wall Street, pro-war positions and his role as an architect of the current system of policing and mass incarceration. 

In the last few minutes, the major corporate-owned media networks all announced that Joe Biden had sufficient electoral college votes to become the next president of the United States. 

It is noteworthy that Fox News, which has been so vociferously cheerleading for Donald Trump during the last four years, also called the election for Biden and dramatically changed the tone of its coverage to be very supportive of Biden and the campaign he ran. 

Donald Trump insists that he will fight on. He argues that he is the true winner of the election and the only reason that he might not be president is because of widespread election fraud. This is not true and as more and more of the mail-in vote arrived in Pennsylvania, Georgia and other states it became crystal clear that Trump in fact had lost the electoral college vote in a very narrow contest that almost exactly replicates the narrow outcome in 2016 but with the margins reversed. 

Trump broke the cardinal rule of U.S. capitalist politics when he denounced the election system as a fraud. Maintaining the image of a peaceful transfer of power between the two ruling class parties for more than a century has been considered a core element of American capitalist governance. The peaceful transfer of power bestows legitimacy upon the system. Every system requires either undiluted brute violence that is routinely dispensed on oppressed classes, or it relies on its legitimacy with a sector of the population which is then, of course, supplemented by the threat of violence and state coercion. “Democracy” is the preferred form of class rule because achieving legitimacy with a significant sector of the working class and intermediate strata makes the system easier to maintain. It avoids the tension and conflict which makes class rule more complicated and unstable.

Trump’s motivation is very narrow and personal. Once out of office, he and his family will be subject to multiple criminal prosecutions and civil legal cases in many states on issues related to tax evasion, financial fraud and other such crimes. If Trump becomes a civilian, he loses his immunities for state-based prosecutions on financial crimes. This will be Trump’s future and he knows it. The ruling class will not sacrifice the legitimacy of its political system to protect Donald Trump in his post-presidency civilian life.  

Trump has spent the last days trying to use ultra-right and fascist mobilizations to stop the vote count. But he has become increasingly isolated. His base of support within the capitalist establishment is crumbling and that will continue. The fact that Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial board have turned against him in his quest to condemn the election process is a clear indication that his fate has been sealed. 

The 2020 presidential election was a referendum on Trump. The Democrats did very badly in the rest of the election. They lost seats to the Republicans in the House and they failed to win the Senate. The fact that it was a close election at the presidential level at a time of the biggest healthcare catastrophe and mass unemployment in living memory shows how little the Democratic Party has to offer the masses of people. The Democratic Party ruling class establishment adopted a center-right orientation and refused to embrace the demands for Medicare for All; a cancellation of rents and mortgage payments during the pandemic; canceling student debt; or meaningful policing reforms. Ironically, the same Democratic Party establishment now blames the left for its failures in the down ballot contests during the election.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation has argued since 2016 that Donald Trump is merely a symptom of a larger disease. Late stage capitalism is destroying not only the working class and poor but big sectors of the middle class. As the billionaires get ever richer and more powerful, the level of human suffering inside “the richest country in the world” increases rapidly. The larger disease is capitalism, and the cure is to replace the system that fosters poverty amid plenty and destroys workers as a tiny class of the ultra rich concentrate wealth and power. The solution lies not with the Democratic Party but with the replacement of capitalism by a humane, rational and sustainable social system: socialism. 

The task at hand is to build a mass movement demanding that the Biden White House take immediate emergency measures to eradicate mass unemployment; provide a livable guaranteed income for all of those who have been made jobless; cancel rents, evictions and foreclosures; cancel student debt; and adopt a Medicare for all healthcare system. At the same time, we have to mobilize greater opposition to U.S. militarism and war, which is not even slightly diminished under a government led by Joe Biden.

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Declaración de PSL: La derrota de Donald Trump

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Más de 70 millones de personas votaron para sacar a Donald Trump en las elecciones del 3 de noviembre. Este no fue un voto para Joe Biden, un candidato poco inspirador que solamente logró ser el nominado cuando la clase dominante del Partido Demócrata se coordinó para detener a Bernie Sanders y no permitir que fuera el candidato a principios de marzo. La histórica participación electoral para Biden no significa el apoyo a Wall Street, o su postura pro guerras, ni a su rol como arquitecto del sistema actual de vigilancia policial y encarcelación en masa.

En los últimos minutos, los principales medios de comunicación controlados por las empresas, anunciaron que Biden tenía los suficientes votos electorales para ser el próximo presidente de los Estados Unidos. Es importante destacar que Fox News, el medio que ha sido vociferante en su apoyo a Donald Trump cambió su postura en la cobertura de las elecciones, y entregó apoyo a Biden y la campaña que lideró.

Donald Trump insiste que su lucha continuará. Ha argumentado que él es el verdadero ganador de las elecciones y que la única razón por la que no podrá ser el presidente es a raíz de un fraude electoral generalizado. Esto está lejos de ser verdad, ya que a medida que más y más votos se han recibido por correo en Pensilvania, Georgia, y otros estados, es claro que Trump ha perdido el voto electoral en una competencia estrecha, similar a los resultados del 2016, salvo que esta vez los márgenes se han revertido. 

Cuando denunció al sistema electoral como un fraude, Trump rompió con una regla fundamental de la política burguesa en Estados Unidos. Mantener una imagen de traspaso de poder pacífico entre los dos partidos de la clase dominante por más de una década ha sido considerado como el elemento central de la gobernabilidad capitalista de Estados Unidos. El traspaso pacífico del poder otorga legitimidad al sistema. Cada sistema requiere de una violencia desmedida que se infringe a las clases oprimidas, o bien, depende de la legitimidad de un sector de la población, que es complementado por supuesto con la amenaza de violencia y coerción estatal. “Democracia” es el término preferido de la clase que domina, puesto que alcanzar la legitimidad con un sector significativo de la clase trabajadora y los estratos intermedios facilita la reproducción del sistema. Esto evita la tensión y el conflicto, lo que haría el dominio de la clase dominante más complicado e inestable. 

La motivación de Trump es bastante limitada y personal. Si pierde las elecciones, él y su familia serán sujetos a múltiples persecuciones criminales y cargos judiciales en varios estados por evasión de impuestos, fraudes financieros, así como otros crímenes de esta índole. Si Trump deja la presidencia, pierde su inmunidad en las persecuciones que los estados pueden hacer respecto a crímenes financieros. Este será el futuro de Trump y él lo sabe. La clase dominante no va a sacrificar la legitimidad de su sistema político por proteger a Donald Trump en su vida de civil pos presidencia. 

Trump ha pasado los últimos días intentando usar a la ultraderecha, y movilizaciones fascistas para detener el conteo de votos. Sin embargo, se ha aislado cada vez más. Sus bases de apoyo dentro de la clase política capitalista se están debilitando y continuarán decayendo. El que Fox News y el consejo editorial de Wall Street se hayan vuelto en su contra en su afán por condenar el proceso electoral es una clara indicación que su destino ya está sentenciado.

Las elecciones presidenciales del 2020 fueron un referéndum para Trump. A los demócratas les fue bastante mal en el resto de las elecciones. Perdieron puestos a los Republicanos en la cámara de representantes y no lograron ganar en el Senado. El que haya sido una elección disputada a nivel presidencial en un contexto en que estamos viviendo la catástrofe de salud más grande de nuestros tiempos y con altos niveles de desempleo, demuestra que el Partido Demócrata no tiene mucho que ofrecer al pueblo. El Partido Demócrata de la clase dominante adoptó una posición centro derecha y se rehusó a aceptar demandas de salud gratuita para todos y todas, la cancelación de los pagos de hipotecas y renta durante la pandemia, cancelar la deuda estudiantil o realizar reformas policiales que tengan un impacto sustantivo  Irónicamente, el mismo Partido Demócrata del establishment ahora culpa a la izquierda por los fracasos electorales no presidenciales.  

Desde el 2016, el Partido por el Socialismo y Liberación ha argumentado que Donald Trump es meramente síntoma de una enfermedad más grande. La etapa avanzada del capitalismo está destruyendo no solo la clase trabajadora y los pobres, sino que también grandes sectores de las clases medias. Mientras los billonarios se enriquecen y se vuelven más poderosos, el nivel de sufrimiento humano en el “país más rico del mundo” incrementa rápidamente. Esta enfermedad es el capitalismo, y la cura es reemplazar este sistema que fomenta la pobreza en medio de tanta riqueza y destruye a las y los trabajadores mientras que un pequeño grupo de la clase élite concentra la riqueza y el poder. La solución no está con el Partido Demócrata sino con reemplazar al capitalismo por un sistema social humano, racional, y sustentable: socialismo.

La tarea que está por delante es construir un movimiento social que demande al gobierno de Biden tomar medidas de emergencia inmediatas para erradicar el desempleo generalizado, garantizar un ingreso sustentable para todas aquellas personas que han perdido su empleo, cancelar la renta, los desalojos, la deuda estudiantil y adoptar un sistema de salud gratuito. Al mismo tiempo, tenemos que resistir y oponernos al militarismo de Estados Unidos, y a la guerra, lo que no cambiará en nada bajo un gobierno de Joe Biden.

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