Why billionaires (like Trump) love ‘free’ elections

There was a time — it seems like ages ago — when we could pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and be able to see or read about the progressive changes that were sweeping the country.

First, there was the Occupy movement, with creative ways, like flash mobs, of standing against war and repression.

Simultaneously with this was the movement of immigrant youth, who risked everything to go public with their passionate plea to change the draconian and exclusionary anti-immigrant laws and regulations that have led people, especially those coming from Latin America, into mass ­incarceration instead of a better life.

Then came the low-wage workers’ movement, which finally got some attention when Walmart and other giant chains that pay their employees a pittance were confronted with large demonstrations of workers and their supporters.

Most recently, it is the Black Lives Matter movement, which coalesced around the anger of Black communities devastated by police murders that have become almost routine. Viewers could even get to see the videos that prove the police lie when they claim “self-defense” after shooting down young Black men. A wave of protests followed, led by Black people and supported by many whites, especially on the campuses.

But what are we seeing and reading about now? The Republican debates. An almost nightly show that is disgustingly anti-worker, anti-immigrant, racist, sexist and homophobic to the core.

The quadrennial elections have come along just in time to rescue big money from all the progressive movements that have begun moving in an anti-capitalist direction.

Billionaires call the shots in these elections. The rich always have, but their buying of the entire electoral process has become even more outrageous since the Supreme Court decision known as “Citizens United,” which allows unlimited funds to be spent on political campaigns, thus virtually ensuring that the super rich will get their way.

This is what those who trumpet “the American way” mean when they call for “free elections” in countries the U.S. ruling class doesn’t like. Such elections are “free” all right — free for the highest bidder. The very process by which U.S.-style elections are carried out — with literally billions of dollars worth of publicity for the candidates chosen by the super rich — is designed to counteract any freedom of thought on the part of the masses by bombarding them with the most hateful and reactionary ideas.

Trump is by far the most vociferous in this, but the others running in the Republican primaries all add their own poison to the mix. You would think their purpose was to make the Democrats look good by comparison. Which is why it’s important to remember that most of the imperialist wars undertaken by this country have been started under Democratic administrations, which also bailed out the billionaires with trillions of dollars of the people’s money.

Workers World Party is running two Black candidates in 2016 — Monica Moorehead for president and Lamont Lilly for vice president — not to embellish but to expose these fraudulent elections. You’ll be reading more about their revolutionary socialist campaign in these pages, which will give militant support to the progressive mass struggles now sidelined by the capitalist media.