By Ed Dalton
More than half of all non-voters in the US are composed of the lowest income demographics (making less than $30,000 per year) according to a 2018 Pew Data research paper, a ruling class source. Many of these people, a disproportionate number being Black and Chicano also face specific racist oppression and have every reason to denounce the electoral farce.
This is not primarily a question of access, and it is most certainly not a question of apathy. Those who make their political platform one of shaming non-voters, time and time again seek to draw participation into the fake democracy of the ruling class. These types have proven that their ‘socialist’ options, which seek to appeal to the people based on a renewed interest in socialism, in the end always buckle and endorse yet another establishment Democrat. This cycle continued this week with Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Joe Biden. In another four years the apologists of the irreparably awful Democratic Party will be up to their same old tricks.
According to the Washington Post “about 30% of Americans were eligible to vote but decided not to, a higher percentage than the portion of the country who voted for either Trump or his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.” Democratically speaking, more people have in practice rejected this system than supported either of the ruling class candidates, and this election will see even greater numbers of abstention.
Abstention alone is not enough. While it should be considered a passive act of political protest, it must be converted into a firm political stance, that of boycotting the bourgeois elections, with a clear insistence upon waging revolution. It is the very same people who do not vote, who have the most to gain from socialist revolution in the US.
On top of the already large numbers of non-voters, around 15% of registered voters chose not to vote in 2016. In 2020 US imperialism has now entered even deeper crisis, and the electoral farce comes down to an election between an ultra-reactionary Donald Trump, who’s mismanagement has resulted in the worst conditions faced by workers in their lifetimes, rapidly approaching the New Depression which will surpass the Great Depression, and a senile, reactionary bigot Joe Biden. There is little difference between the two, and both spell a worse crisis for the very people who have the good sense not to take part in the farce.
In their hatred of the people, Social Democrats insist that election boycotts and non-voting are all part of voter suppression, unable to attribute rational and intelligent political choices to the majority of poor, working, or non-white people. The more subtle electoral cretins will refrain from endorsing either of the bigoted candidates and will instead call for a “new” ruling class party, neither Democrat nor Republican. This is a desperate effort to bring the many that refuse to vote back into arms of their exploiters with a slightly different tactic.
Abstaining from ruling class elections is not a sign of the enemy’s strength, it is sign of improving class consciousness among the people, still hungry for change and ever more ready to get it outside of the systems morass.
Arguments of Party corruption, while not altogether false, also mistake the point. The two parties, while being corrupt, are of course functioning perfectly according to the needs of US imperialism and the interests of its ruling class.
Even the ruling class data tanks are compelled to agree, most people do not vote because they do not believe it will make a difference, not because they are suppressed or poorly informed; it is these non-voters who are informed enough to see through the scam.
According to the ruling class media outlet Huffington Post, “Although turnout in this year’s midterms was higher than it’s been in a century, about half the voting-eligible public didn’t turn out.” About half the voting age population typically abstains, an increase in voters is correlated by an increase in non-voters. Proving that the higher voter turnout was not a matter of non-voters deciding to vote for decades it has been the same.
Tribune of the People supports the Election Boycott called for by revolutionaries, if you would like to support the boycott campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can get involved and organized!