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Joe Biden’s failures let Trump try to grab victory

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Issue 2729
The Democrats, deep bitterness in society and racism saw Trump do better than expected
The Democrats, deep bitterness in society and racism saw Trump do better than expected (Pic: Flickr/Gage Skidmore )

Racist, warmonger Donald Trump declared victory in the US presidential election—while results were still coming in—as Socialist Worker went to press on Wednesday. 

Trump was neck and neck with Democratic challenger Joe Biden in key swing states. 

Yet outrageously he claimed votes still being counted was a “fraud on the American public” and vowed to take the fight to the Supreme Court.

The US presidential election came amid a huge social crisis. 

Trump’s disastrous handling of coronavirus is responsible for more than 235,000 deaths, surging cases and as many as 26 million people thrown out of work.

Yet despite Trump’s failings, Biden and the Democrats failed to win a convincing lead. 

Iannis Delatolas, a member of the Marx21 socialist group in New York, said Biden didn’t storm ahead because he “offers no solutions to this crisis”. “We are seeing suffering in the US that hasn’t been seen since the 1930s,” he told Socialist Worker. 

“When you travel through the streets of New York, block after block of shops are closed.

“The rich have enriched themselves during this pandemic while workers have received nothing. 

“US capitalism relies on the labour of migrant workers, but they received crumbs during the virus.

“People have actually lost their healthcare, but Biden is still against Medicare for All.” 


The Biden campaign’s promise of a return to business as usual was neither inspiring nor convincing. 

Biden might have promised slightly higher taxes on the rich, but he was the corporate choice for Democratic candidate. 

He explicitly rejected the more radical policies of some of the failed Democratic contenders.

Another big reason behind Trump’s support is racism. 

Trump is not on the side of ordinary people, whatever their race or gender. 

But he has capitalised on deep disillusion and bitterness among working class people—and diverted their anger away from those at the top.

US election—an American horror story
US election—an American horror story
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His repeated attacks on Muslims, Mexicans, refugees and Black Lives Matter protesters have unfortunately chimed with too many in the US who have been encouraged to look for scapegoats.

Because the Democrats do not offer a way forward for working class people, rotten ideas can take a hold.

Black Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts recently wrote an article about why he doesn’t bother trying to reason with Trump supporters. 

He made his case by letting Trump’s backers speak for themselves.

One, “Robert”, described Barack Obama’s presidency as having “a Muslim Marxist in the White House”. 

To divert attention from the rich, Trump has encouraged a feeling that battles against sexism and racism mean that white, working class men are “left behind”. 

Just 9 percent of Trump supporters think it’s harder to be black in the US than white, according to a Pew poll in September.

And while there is anger and fear over the pandemic, Trump has won admiration from people who oppose restrictions and state “interference” in their lives.

Building resistance on the ground will be key to winning real change.

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