WITH JUST eight days to go before the US presidential election the right wing judge Amy Coney Barrett was appointed to the American Supreme Court ensuring a Republican majority.
US president Donald Trump nominated Barrett and rushed through her appointment in a move that clearly demonstrates the important role that a Republican-dominated Supreme Court will play in Trump’s determination to overturn his expected defeat at the polls on November 3rd.
Back in August, Trump launched a campaign to discredit postal balloting in US elections with the baseless claim that voting by mail leads to fraud.
In an effort to prevent postal ballots Trump opposed aid to states to meet the cost of postal balloting and blocked the $25 billion the US Postal Service needs to keep going during the pandemic.
Voting by mail has been widely used in every US election by millions of voters. 31 million postal votes were cast in the 2018 presidential election with no evidence of any meaningful fraud.
In addition to this, Trump yesterday tweeted that counting in the election must be completed on 3rd November with the clear implication that any postal votes held up by the mail and arriving after that date should not be counted.
In fact, there is nothing in law or precedent requiring a US election count being completed on voting day but Trump is not bound by precedent or law.
In rushing through Barrett’s appointment he is stacking the Supreme Court in preparation for his electoral defeat followed immediately by going to the court to claim the election was a fraud, all the millions of postal votes must be discounted.
Barrett, an extreme right winger with close ties to the fundamentalist evangelical Christian movement, has a crucial role in derailing the election and facilitating such a coup – as someone who can be relied upon to trash the votes of millions of Americans to keep Trump in power.
Over 60 million Americans have already voted and, according to every poll, Trump is trailing his Democratic rival Joe Biden badly across the country.
Along with attacks on postal ballots Trump has attempted to mobilise his supporters in the right-wing militia groups urging them along with the police to ‘monitor’ polling stations, an open incitement to intimidate voters.
In the face of these preparations for a coup through intimidation and a submissive Supreme Court, the Democrats are completely spineless. Biden merely said of Barrett’s appointment that the ‘rushed and unprecedented’ proceedings ‘should be a stark reminder to every American that your vote matters.’
What American workers and the middle class are learning is that, as far as the ruling class and its political parties are concerned, their votes don’t matter at all in this capitalist crisis.
The only thing worrying the Democrats is that Trump’s actions will inevitably provoke an uprising amongst workers and youth, hence their call to restrict anger to the ballot box.
The same fear of the working class intervening has come from the president of the US trade union federation (AFL-CIO) Richard Trumka who last month warned that the trade unions are prepared to intervene if Trump overturns the election result.
This was immediately taken up by trade union organisations across the US passing resolutions to organise a national general strike to kick him out.
Trumka is now trying to back-track saying that demands for a general strike were hasty and unnecessary and instead the unions should concentrate on getting out the vote for Biden.
Trumka fears that the development of a political general strike will open the way for the working class to bring down not just Trump but any Democratic administration carrying out the same policy of dumping the crisis of capitalism on the backs of workers. It opens the way for the working class to seize power and go forward to socialism.
This requires the working class to force trade union leaders to break with the Democrats and build an independent Labour Party with a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in leading the struggle to smash the US capitalist state, expropriate the bosses and bankers and advance to a Socialist United States of America.