US Election: What Could it Mean for Canada and the Canadian Left?

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US Election: What Could it Mean for Canada and the Canadian Left?

Herman Rosenfeld

United States President Donald Trump represents a danger to working people, in particular those most marginalized, and a threat to relatively impoverished but critically important liberal democratic institutions and practices. Given the role and dominance of the US as the leader of international capitalism and principal imperialist hegemon in the world, a re-elected Trump threatens any real attempt at ending wars and the nuclear arms race, struggles for economic and political liberation, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and, perhaps most ominously, efforts to address the climate emergency.

Obviously, with the close interrelationships between Canada and the US, a Trump victory would (as the current administration does) affect us economically, socially and politically. The Trump phenomena also affects and... is buoyed by critical contradictions within the US working class, that are analogous but not identical to similar class contradictions in Canada and across the globe.

But the US election is about more than Trump. Democratic challenger Joe Biden represents the centrist, neoliberal wing of the party, which, although being a premier sponsor of neoliberal globalization, does present potential opportunities to move the political envelope at least partially in another direction. In a number of ways, it could produce ambivalent effects on the Canadian Liberal government’s direction, reinforcing some of the more limited and problematic elements, as well as openings to pressure the latter.

Finally, the small but growing socialist movement in the US around the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and elsewhere, has engaged with electoral politics and the Democratic Party in different ways. This provides some food for thought for Canadian socialists.

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