LAST WEDNESDAY, the US ‘democratic socialist’ Senator Bernie Sanders announced to his supporters that he was quitting the race to become the Democratic candidate to face Donald Trump in November’s presidential election.
In a video, Sanders concluded that he had no viable path to the nomination saying: ‘We are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden (sic) and the path to victory is virtually impossible. I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful, and so today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.’
Sanders added that, ‘While we are winning the ideological battle, and winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,’ and would only distract from efforts to fight the coronavirus disease and the damage it has inflicted on US capitalism.
He went on to congratulate the ex-vice president and Wall Street candidate Jo Biden calling him a ‘very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward’, vowing to push for free healthcare, ‘Medicare for All’, as coronavirus closes down US industry leading to ‘millions’ of laid-off Americans left with no health insurance.
Sanders launched his campaign in February 2019, winning the support of trade unions and millions of youth, support that propelled him into an early lead in primaries in February, primaries that saw Biden comprehensively smashed.
This caused panic amongst the Democratic leadership who launched a co-ordinated campaign of vilification against Sanders accompanied by an equally vicious campaign in the media.
All the other candidates dropped out proclaiming their support for Biden in an ‘anyone but Sanders’ move that saw Biden resurrected from political death to become the front-runner.
But this successful campaign and Sanders’ willingness to accept the result of all the ‘fixes’ used against him can only hasten the collapse of the Democrats.
Already there is wide speculation that Biden, who is not just physically frail but also carries the baggage of his years as a warmongering vice-president under Obama, will be dumped by the Democrats as damaged goods.
The US press are now openly speculating about replacing Biden at the last moment with New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sanders might have bailed out of the presidential race but the American working class and youth who rallied in their millions in support of his policies of free healthcare, job protection and the cancellation of student debt are still facing the crisis of US capitalism, the depths of which have never been seen before in history.
In the past two weeks, 10 million jobs were lost in the US while the St Louis Federal Reserve Bank this week warned that 47 million workers could be laid off in the near future, pushing the US unemployment rate up to 32%, a figure not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Trump has pumped over $2 trillion to bail-out the corporations and banks to cover their losses during the epidemic, while workers and their families are left with nothing except facing massive medical bills.
On Wednesday, US deaths due to coronavirus topped 14,700, the second highest number in the world behind Italy. This didn’t stop Trump from saying on the same day that he would reopen the US economy with a ‘big bang’, urging a campaign for workers to return to work in the face of the deadly contagious disease.
The massive support for Sanders shows conclusively that American workers, far from being scared of socialist policies, are embracing them enthusiastically and as US capitalism plunges into another great depression this enthusiasm is being transformed into an absolute necessity to overthrow a capitalist system that puts profit above workers’ lives.
The burning issue immediately before the American working class is to put an end to capitalism, expropriate the banks and bosses and take the power.
This makes it absolutely essential to build a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in the US to lead the socialist revolution to victory.