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Trump handed setback in midterm elections

By Freedom Road Socialist Organization |
November 10, 2018
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The 2018 midterm elections are mostly, but not entirely over (with races still too close to call in Arizona, Georgia, Florida and other states). These elections were a referendum on Donald Trump and his policies. Voters provided an important setback to him and reduced the number of friends he has in the House and among state governors.

It is significant that 71% of the candidates he endorsed lost. The hated union-buster Governor Scott Walker was defeated in Wisconsin and in general it was a relatively good night for the organized working class, with the defeat of Rauner in Illinois and anti-union candidates in Minnesota. Three more states, all Republican-led, voted for initiatives to expand Medicaid. This will further weaken Trump and the Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and will provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of working-class and lower-income Americans.

The elections in the South, notably the governor elections in Georgia and Florida, where African American candidates were met with blatant racist dog-whistles and in Georgia with intense and ham-fisted voter suppression, were aims at blocking Black political power. The outcomes of those elections are uncertain but people’s forces should rally for full democratic rights.

Amendment 4 was passed in Florida. Until Tuesday, most people with felony convictions in Florida lost the right to vote, for life. This part of the Florida constitution was a legacy of Jim Crow. It prevented a million, mostly working-class, people from voting. Numerically it impacted more whites, but as a percentage of the population it prevented 18% of African Americans from voting, weakening political power as a block. Overturning Amendment 4 is a solid step forward.

Electoral politics today is only one vehicle for struggle, but it is by no means the decisive one. Ultimately, both parties represent the interests of the top 1%. It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to see a potential backstop against Trump in the House be turned into an “opportunity for bipartisanship” by House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi.

In the period ahead, the people’s movements need to place demands on both parties to advance an agenda advances the fight for human needs. Given the outcome of the midterm elections, the political terrain is more favorable to building these battles.

There is still be a world a world to win for those willing to fight for it. Remember that real hope is in the people's struggle and change is won in the streets, neighborhoods and workplaces - whenever we fight greedy bosses, organize to stop police crimes, protest on campus, and elevate the political understanding of everyone around us. The vast majority do not share common interest with the hateful and anti-worker politics of Trump and the real estate developers and Wall Street bankers he represents. We should reject cooperation with him and his policies and we will have to be clear about that with the Democratic politicians as well.

Capitalism and its political system will never serve our needs. It Is a failed system. We need socialism – a system where political and economic power is in the hands of the working class to serve society’s needs.