U.S. elections as a platform for pushing for reforms

Biden and Trump may seem like they’re polar opposites but they’re not. The former plays a strongman right-wing fanatic character, while the latter takes the “Uncle Joe” / “Obama association” character. Either way, both candidates play through character branding while they fall short on the real programs that would genuinely benefit the people.

By MENCHANI TILENDO
Bulatlat.com

As the world awaits on what seems to be the final showdown between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the U.S. elections today will unfold a history that will greatly impact not just the Americans but the people of the world. A lot has been said on where these two main political parties stand on key issues, but the real deal lies on how this election would champion the people’s platform.

Incumbent US President Donald Trumphopes for a re-election which would grant him a total of eight years in power if he serves a full second term. Redefining Republicanism, Trump has maintained a solid base behind him, despite the obvious reasons why the Republicans have not fully stood up to him – vulgar xenophobia, crude sexism, all-out protectionism, and authoritarianism. Unlike former Republican Presidents Ronald Raegan and George W. Bush who claimed “freedom” and “democracy” at the core of their worldviews, Trump’s version of “make America great again” is nothing but about the “Americans and Americans alone.”

Despite his odd popularity to many of the solid Republican bases in the U.S., Trump has gained local and international condemnation because of his immigration and foreign policies, fascist rule, and his response to the coronavirus. The US was recorded with the most cases and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the World Health Organization’s warnings, Trump has ignored the alarm and underestimated the high risks. 
 
Without a universal health care system, his administration has failed to combat the public health crisis and has put millions of lives, especially those of the working class and immigrants, at risk. On top of this severe disregard, the US government has imposed economic sanctions to over 39 countries and restricted humanitarian aid and other responses to the pandemic.
 
Trump’s foreign policy has always taken the hardline position on China. He has waged a trade war with Xi Jin Ping, and imposed protectionist measures which later on resulted in far greater consequences that have heavily burdened most of the vulnerable sectors in the US.

Biden as the ‘lesser evil’

The Democrats’ standpoint on these various key issues, when analyzed, is not really different. The only clear alternate stance by Joe Biden might be on the US government’s COVID-19 response, which is understandable since Trump’s callousness has really gone overboard.

But in terms of health care, the Democrats have no clear alternatives on providing free and accessible public health for all. In terms of foreign policy, Democrats want to ease tariffs and ‘improve’ screening at borders. This, at the end of the day, still maintains the US government’s economic and political monopoly over other more vulnerable countries like the Philippines.

Both Republicans and Democrats have not condemned police brutality in various parts of the US. Both camps have rejected calls from the activists to defund the police and state forces responsible for the death of brown and black lives.

Biden and Trump may seem like they’re polar opposites but they’re not. The former plays a strongman right-wing fanatic character, while the latter takes the “Uncle Joe” / “Obama association” character. Either way, both candidates play through character branding while they fall short on the real programs that would genuinely benefit the people.

For Rhonda Ramiro, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-USA, “the COVID-19 has exposed the worst economic crisis since the 2008 Great Depression.

“We have a surge of uprisings from police repression, and this is a perfect opportunity to raise people’s consciousness about the issues affecting them,” she said.

“The people’s platform demands a guarantee for a truly equal economy, an end to fascism, state terror, racism, sexism and all bigotry. We demand to improve the quality of life for poor and working people, and to protect people’s health with the ongoing pandemic. We also aim to build a movement to end imperialist war, repression, military intervention, occupation and sanctions, and struggle for a just peace. Finally, the people’s platform aims to build a movement to end the plunder of land and its people, the root cause of the environmental and climate crisis,” Ramiro added.

“This election, we need to forward the anti-imperialist analysis and stance of the people. We should not see this political space as reformist or outright reactionary or fascist positions. We need to maximize this platform to campaign, demand, and build a movement that will truly benefit the people.” (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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