Saturday, March 12, 2016

Shake-up of U.S. capitalist parties

....Millions of workers and others in the U.S. are fed up with all the bourgeois politicians and are looking for answers to the grinding effects of years of capitalist crisis. They have responded to Donald Trump, who has strengthened his position as Republican front runner — to the horror of party leaders and liberal commentators alike. Trump extended his lead, winning contests in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii March 8.

Similar sentiments account for the support for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, who came back from more than 20 percent behind to win the Michigan primary.

“I’m for anybody but Hillary [Clinton],” rail worker David Blanding told Hart as he took copies of campaign flyers at the New Jersey rally.

“Working people need to break with all of the capitalist politicians and parties,” Hart said, “and rely on our own strength and organization. We need to build and strengthen our unions, use union power, and build a labor party based on the unions to mobilize against the economic, social and political attacks of the bosses, and organize along the road toward overturning this dictatorship of capital.”

....Signs of a new capitalist downturn are growing, including a contraction in manufacturing in China, the U.S., the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Central banks in Japan, Sweden and the European Union have turned to negative interest rate schemes to try to “stimulate” the economy, without success. The bosses won’t invest in expanding production if they can’t make a profit from it.

“The Republican Party Is Shattering,” headlined a column by Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, in the March 3 Wall Street Journal. The Trump campaign shows “the top of the party and the bottom have split,” she warned. “Party leaders and thinkers should take note: It’s easier for a base to hire or develop a flashy new establishment than it is for an establishment to find itself a new base.”

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” former presidential candidate Republican Mitt Romney, declared in a March 3 speech. “He’s playing members of the American public for suckers.” It didn’t work. If anything Romney’s speech solidified Trump’s support.

Interviewed on MSNBC March 4, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who dropped out of the Democratic race before the primaries, said he couldn’t support Clinton, but wouldn’t rule out voting for Trump. The reason Trump gets support is not racism, Webb said, but that many see him “as the only one who has the courage to say, ‘We’ve got to clean out the stables of the American governmental system right now.’”

“If you’re voting for Hillary Clinton you’re going to get the same thing,” he said. “Do you want the same thing?”

Clinton’s campaign faces other problems that could derail it. The Justice Department announced March 2 it has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer who worked on Clinton’s private email server to cooperate in a criminal investigation into whether she mishandled classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. The administration has assigned more than 100 FBI agents to the investigation.

Polls show Bernie Sanders, whose “outsider” campaign mirrors that of Trump, would fare better than Clinton in a November election against either Trump or his closest rival Ted Cruz.

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