By Virginia Rodino
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2730

Joe Biden win has galvanised us… now the key is to build struggle

This article is over 3 years, 5 months old
Issue 2730
Celebrations as Trump is booted out - but Biden does not offer a real alternative
Celebrations as Trump is booted out – but Biden does not offer a real alternative (Pic: Geoff Livingston/Flickr)

A win for Joe Biden has meant that liberals and progressive groups were galvanised.

Over the past week people have been taking to the streets not only to celebrate Biden’s win but also to make sure every vote is counted. 

But as revolutionary socialists we have to determine our next steps. We can see the warnings from the past.

We saw an anti-war movement laid to rest by Barack Obama’s administration. 

And recently we saw Obama break the strike of NBA players showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

It is so important that those on the left stop thinking that corporate-backed presidents are in any way the key in the fight for any progressive change. 

If we look at who Biden is reportedly surrounding himself with, it really does not inspire a great deal of hope. It has now been reported that he will be including a number of Republicans in his administration.

To add to this is his choice of vice president Kamala Harris—who took on hardline law and order policy as a state administrator in California. 

Nor should we expect Biden to deliver police reform in terms of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The man that will be president has openly advocated for the police to receive more funding. 

Movements go to die in the Democrats, but also we have to say that the party will always be hostile to the left in the party.

The Democratic establishment doesn’t see the re-election of “the squad” as a victory.

This is because the party ultimately wants to retain the status quo. 

The job for revolutionary socialists is to keep building united fronts as these are the only way to fight back against racism and fascism. 

Ultimately we would be doing the same whether Donald Trump or Biden won, as we know we can’t wait for any elected official to help us out. 

We are organising a day of action for immigrant justice and to say “close the camps” in California next week.

We have t o keep building fights like these because politicians can’t be relied on to do anything, unless we make them. 

Virginia Rodino is a member of the Marx21 group in the US. She was speaking at a meeting organised by the Socialist Workers Party. See it at

Rust belt votes show many working class people don’t trust Democrats

Biden’s narrow victory shows that sections of working class people are not willing to trust the Democrats. 

Analysis compiled by socialist writer and activist Mike Davis shows that there has not been a significant shift for places in the “rust belt” region.

This is an area that has suffered serious industrial decline. 

The rust belt includes states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, and includes cities such as Detroit. It is home to some of the highest levels of poverty in the US. 

After the 2016 election, Davis compiled a list of rust belt counties that voted for Obama in 2012, then voted for Trump in 2016. 

This would suggest that votes for Trump in these counties weren’t motivated by racism. Instead they represented a move away from the establishment politics of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. 

These counties were and still are experiencing high levels of job losses and economic hardship. In this election there was very little change in how they voted.

Davis wrote, “In three previously Trump-won counties, Biden was unable to match the Clinton vote.

“Where he did improve on her totals it was only by an average of 3.4 percent, leaving most of Trump’s 2016 gains in place.”

Davis added that the vote percentage was basically the same in Bay County, Florida, and in Michigan. 

In 2016, wins for Trump in states such as Ohio were crucial for his victory. Trump may not have won the presidency but he did win almost exactly the same vote percentage in Ohio as he did in 2016. And his total vote rose.

Davis added, “There was no surge, blue or red, and much of rust belt vote looks like a photocopy of 2016.

“Higher turnouts seem to have inflated totals with only minor changes in composition.”

There has been no serious change in how some of the poorest people in the US have voted. They still don’t trust the Democrats to bring them change. 

Sophie Squire

Was socialism the problem?

Throughout the election campaign, Donald Trump tried to brand Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a wild left winger—calling him “a Trojan horse for socialism”.

Biden responded, “There’s not one single syllable that I’ve ever said that could lead you to believe that I was a socialist or a communist.”

He was correct—there isn’t.

But Democrat leaders are now turning on the left to deflect blame for Biden’s failure to do as well as expected.

House of Representatives member Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA agent, said, “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. We lost good members because of that.”

Yet as James Downie wrote in the Washington Post newspaper, “A near-majority of voters in swing districts supported the Green New Deal.

“Fifty-three percent of Americans support Medicare-for-all. In exit polls, 57 percent of voters expressed support for Black Lives Matter.

“In Florida, while moderate Democrats up and down the ticket fell flat, voters passed the $15 minimum wage that the left has been pushing for years.

“It is simply false to claim that standing up proudly for policies such as Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal hasn’t worked, when the truth is it hasn’t been tried.”

Isabel Ringrose

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance