By Abayomi Azikiwe
All of the major United States based corporate news networks finally called the national presidential elections in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday morning, November 7.
President Donald J. Trump and his supporters have vowed to fight the results of the elections in the courts claiming massive vote fraud and a vast conspiracy to deny him a second term of office.
Trump has been saying since the summer that if he did not win in November it would be due to the manipulation of the polls in regard to mail-in and early voting. He has hired teams of lawyers to file objections in state and federal courts, planning to force the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case filed by him and ultimately vote in his favor.
These ideas which permeate some conservative press agencies and social media groups represent the monumental divisions which exist in U.S. society. Although President-elect Joe Biden won a decisive victory in many regions of the country, overall, the results were extremely close.
There have been demonstrations by Trump-Pence supporters in Detroit and Phoenix claiming conspiratorial voter fraud and the denial of Republican challengers to monitor the tabulation processes. State election officials and many media agencies have said that these allegations are preposterous.
In fact, it took four days of constant reporting and analyzing from the media to become convinced that the Biden-Harris ticket was insurmountable in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. Even though most outlets agree that Biden and Senator Kamala Harris of California are ensured victory, votes are still being counted in many states.
In response to a national call for actions on both November 4 and November 7, demonstrations were held as well by opponents of Trump all over the country. In Detroit on November 4, the day after the elections, when the state of Michigan was declared as a Biden victory, a youth-led rally and march brought together numerous organizations and progressive political figures. In Milwaukee and in many other cities in Wisconsin, celebratory rallies and marches took place on November 7. Bay Resistance held rallies in Oakland and San Francisco on November 4. On November 7, five Bay Area Labor Councils called a joint rally at Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco.
Speakers at the Detroit rally included Nia Winston, the powerful president of Unite Here Local 24 labor organization and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of the 13th District. Representatives of the Black Lives Matter and prisoner rights movements denounced the outrageous claims of the Trump campaign related to voter fraud and pledged to continue the struggle for healthcare, housing, education, anti-racism, environmental quality and the rights of all working and oppressed peoples in the U.S.
Developments in the U.S. Set the Tone for Trump’s Electoral Defeat
2020 has been a tumultuous year in the U.S. and internationally. The outgoing Trump administration weathered the storm of an impeachment trial only to be faced with the worst public health crisis in more than a century.
The COVID-19 pandemic, due to the inaction of the administration, has killed and sickened more people in the U.S. than any other country in the world. Consequently, the economic impact of the virus has rendered tens of millions unemployed, without health insurance and threatened with evictions from their homes.
Moreover, the escalation in racist vigilante and police violence against African Americans and other oppressed peoples fueled resentment and anger from California to New York City. The names of Ahmaud Abery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd became the rallying cries of millions who flooded the streets and highways screaming “Black Lives Matter.”
Mass demonstrations and rebellions erupted in many cities including Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd was publicly executed by the racist police, along with the municipalities of Chicago, Philadelphia, Louisville, Los Angeles, New York City, Detroit, Portland, Seattle and many others, indicating that the social situation was reaching an important historical conjuncture.
It was the role of the electorate in these cities which turned the tide against the Trump administration. The president said as much in his attacks on Detroit during his speech in the evening hours of November 5. The administration has over the last several months, in response to the protests and civil unrest against police misconduct, deployed thousands of federal forces ostensibly to bolster the local authorities.
The anti-racist Black Lives Matter protests were severely attacked by police, National Guard units and federal agents. Dozens of people have lost their lives in the events since late May. Thousands more have been injured and arrested. Curfews have been imposed while Philadelphia, which played such a critical role in the defeat of Trump, was occupied by National Guard troops after a mass rebellion the week before the elections in the aftermath of the police execution of Walter Wallace, Jr.
Attorney General William Barr has stood by Trump while he blatantly violated the fundamental rights of due process and equal protection under the law purportedly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. As Trump seeks to wage a legal and political battle over his defeat by the electorate it will be interesting to see how members of his cabinet, the leadership within the Senate and Republican minority figures in the House of Representatives fall out around his attempts to remain in office after his repudiation by the majority of voters in the U.S.
Implications for the Unfolding Situation in the Coming Weeks and Months
The Trump administration has declared that it will not leave office without a legal and political challenge to his electoral defeat.
However, his opponents, particularly those on the Left and militant elements within the oppressed communities across the U.S., have pledged to wage a relentless struggle to ensure that he exits the White House by January 20.
The Moratorium NOW! Coalition in Detroit, the Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement and the Peoples Alliance in the Bay Area of California have called for the formation of Peoples’ Committees to organize against any attempted coup by the Trump forces. These Peoples’ Committees can further agitate for a general strike among broad sections of labor, youth and community people in order to effectively shut down the U.S.
Such actions would alarm Wall Street and the Pentagon forcing them to either side with the coup makers or to demand along with the masses that Trump should leave the White House in an attempt to maintain some semblance of social stability. Nevertheless, during the transition process, the situation will inevitably become much more complicated both politically and economically.
An incoming Biden administration will be overwhelmed with the public health and financial crises impacting the U.S. at present. Biden has never come out in support of universal healthcare coverage for everyone living in the country. This is one of the critical issues along with the need for a guaranteed annual income, the halt to all foreclosures and evictions and the reining in of the police and all law-enforcement agencies from their relentless war on the African American, Middle Eastern, Asian, Native and Latin American populations in the U.S. If these issues are not immediately addressed by the incoming Democratic administration the masses of workers and youth will remain in the streets in defiance of the status-quo.
In addition, U.S. foreign policy must be radically altered in order to prevent the continuation of the permanent war against the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the oppressed nations and working class within the confines of the U.S. and other imperialist states in Western Europe. A Biden administration could rekindle the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Accords, the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and move towards developing a foreign policy based upon peaceful co-existence as opposed to imperialist war and international exploitation of labor and resources.