Socialist Worker

Socialist candidates have election success as voters turn against Trump

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2580

Last weeks result is party a rejection of Trump

Last week's result is party a rejection of Trump (Pic: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


Donald Trump was elected US president one year ago. In a fitting act of defiance, voters brought in the most left wing candidates on offer in many city and state elections last week.

Democratic socialists and left leaning Democrats tapped into the mood of hope that inspired millions to vote for self-described socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries.

And many of the candidates who won last Tuesday night are to the left of Sanders.

Across the US members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) won over 15 seats on the legislatures of 13 states.

Overhauled

Socialist Alternative’s Ginger Jentzen narrowly failed to be elected in Minneapolis.

She led with 34 percent of the vote after the first preferences was counted, but was overhauled in later counts by the Democratic candidate.

And the group that emerged from the Sanders campaign, Our Revolution, saw 21 of its candidates elected across the US.

In Virginia the Democratic Party took 14 seats in the state’s House of Delegates. Republicans still have a majority in the House, but the shift is the largest in 20 years.

Charlottesville, where anti-racist Heather Heyer was murdered by a fascist in August, lies in the state.

Last Tuesday’s election results can largely be seen as a response to that. And a rejection of the racism being pumped out from the Republican Party and the White House.

Among the victories in Virginia was the election of trans woman Danica Roem over Republican bigot Bob Marshall.

The contest drew national media attention because Marshall backed the Virginia version of the anti-trans “Bathroom Bill”. He also refused to debate Roem, who won by 8 percent.

Supporter

Elsewhere in the US, lawyer and Black Lives Matter supporter Larry Krasner won the election for Philadelphia district attorney.

He ran on a programme promising to fight against police violence and deaths in custody.

While his party was being weakened at home, Trump was wrapping up his tour of Asia.

On Saturday he claimed, “We want progress, not provocation” over North Korea.

By Sunday he had changed tack, sarcastically saying he would never call Kim Jong-Un “short and fat”.

Two hours later he was offering his services as a middleman in the debate over ownership of the South China Sea. “I’m a very good mediator,” he said.

Behind the bluster, Trump’s team has been negotiating new trade deals, details of which were set to be revealed this Wednesday.

As Trump ended his Asian tour he stopped off in the Philippines, and was met with protests.

Hundreds of people protested outside the US embassy in Manilla carrying placards which read, “Dump Trump” and, “Down with US Imperialism”.

Protests need to greet Trump in Britain if he ever works up the nerve to come here.


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