THE RACE to become the Democratic Party candidate to face Trump in November’s presidential election has come down to a fight between the democratic socialist candidate Bernie Sanders and the right-wing’s candidate Joe Biden.
The crowded field of candidates was dramatically culled this week following ‘Super Tuesday’, the day when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections to decide on delegates to the Democrats’ presidential nomination conventions.
Biden, a stalwart of the Democrat right-wing and ex- vice president under Obama, benefitted from the entire weight of the Democrats political machine throwing their weight behind a stop Sanders at all costs campaign, and won 10 of the states while Sanders took the rest, including the vital Californian state.
Two of the right-wing candidates, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, dropped out and declared their support for Biden on the eve of Super Tuesday.
The billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who spent massive amounts to ‘buy’ the nomination but who suffered a humiliating defeat threw in the towel and declared his support for Biden.
Bloomberg spent $63 million on a massive ad campaign on Facebook and hired thousands of staff to buy the nomination. Despite this he failed to win more than 15% of the vote in any of these states.
Doubtless these millions will now be thrown into the stop Sanders at all costs campaign.
In stark contrast, the Bernie Sanders campaign has raised $5.9 million up to February from donations from ordinary workers – the average donation to Sanders campaign is around $27 and his endorsements have mainly come from US trade unions.
Before the voting, Sanders told reporters: ‘Look, it is no secret that there is a massive effort to stop Bernie Sanders, that’s not a secret to anyone in this room. The corporate establishment is coming together. The political establishment is coming together, and they will do anything. They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up.’
The American ruling class have every reason to be not just nervous but downright terrified at the support the socialist Sanders has won from workers and young people across the US.
The millions of workers and youth who support Sanders have had enough of the billionaires and people like Biden who are nothing but the servants of Wall Street. This support can only grow massively in the coming weeks as the depth of the current crisis makes itself felt across America.
27.5 million Americans have no medical insurance or access to Medicare or Medicaid while millions more live in fear of the exorbitant charges imposed by insurance companies should they become ill.
With coronavirus already emerging in the US, forcing California to declare a state of emergency, the rapid progress of coronavirus into a national epidemic is now being rated as a certainty by experts who fear that people deterred by costs are not being tested. It costs $1,000 for each test.
The US faces being economically shut down along with the rest of the world. In this situation, the support for Sanders and his socialist policies including free health provision will sweep the country. The danger is that Sanders backs off at the last moment as he did in 2016 and so concede the nomination to Biden.
Immediately after the results of Super Tuesday, Sanders suggested that he would concede to Biden if the former vice president had more delegates to the convention even if he, Sanders, had gained more votes.
He told the press: ‘If Biden walks into the convention, or at the end of the process, has more votes than me, he’s the winner,’ placing the unity of the Democratic Party above the interests of workers.
Sanders should stand for President no matter what, even if the right-wing Democratic leadership steals the nomination from him.
In fact, the US trade unions that support Sanders must go forward and build their own Labour Party to defend the interests of the working class.
The acute crisis facing US capitalism demands a Labour Party fighting for socialism and the building of a section of the Fourth International in the US to lead the struggle for a Socialist United States of America.