How Can Socialists Help Stop Trump?

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How Can Socialists Help Stop Trump?

Eric Blanc interviews Leo Panitch about the upcoming presidential election in the US.

Eric Blanc (EB): I would love to hear your take on the question of whether or not socialists should be voting and/or campaigning for Joe Biden.

For me, I’ve really had a hard time squaring the circle on this, because on the one hand, it seems clear to me that another Trump presidency would be a disaster for our side and, on the other hand, I don’t really clearly see how we can advocate a vote for Biden without going against the grain of our overall project of class formation, trying at all times to polarize and organize workers versus bosses. Maybe the best we can say is that this presidential moment is so exceptional that we... should make an exception to our general socialist electoral strategy?

Leo Panitch (LP): I’m sympathetic to people not wanting to validate a career politician who is enmeshed in the capitalist establishment. That said, socialists need to learn to walk and chew gum at the same time. The reality is that the dilemma of the lesser evil will remain with us until we become the kind of force that can not just mobilize but organize the class and pose a viable electoral alternative to the Democrats.

For the time being, in every electoral cycle, you’ll face that dilemma. But right now, we are facing an increasingly dangerous development, which isn’t simply Trump, but also the explicitness and assertiveness of his supporters – his vanguard. And in this kind of moment, you do have to adopt a Popular Front position vis-à-vis the election.

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