The following abridged remarks were made by Workers World Party 2016 presidential candidate Monica Moorehead on Oct. 19 in response to the third presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The remarks, recorded on a Facebook Live webinar broadcast, have been viewed by more than 3,400 people as of Oct. 23. Go to “Facebook/monica moorehead lamont lilly 2016” to see the full talk.
Sisters and brothers, on behalf of my vice presidential running mate, Lamont Lilly, and our organization, Workers World Party, I am grateful for the opportunity to address you for several minutes following the last presidential debate, not because this debate or the previous two debates had any kind of real substance to them but to take advantage of the occasion of these debates to reiterate some important points many of you already know.
The racist, misogynistic Donald Trump has claimed that the elections are rigged on behalf of the Democratic Party. But the large drop in his poll numbers is in response to the most recent scandal involving the 2005 videotape, exposing his nauseating degradation of women of all ages. To say that Trump is guilty of sexual assault, along with his racist and fascistic views, is truly an understatement.
Trump once again targets “illegal immigrants” as the root cause for voter fraud, along with African-American voters, a growing number of them disenfranchised, and along with other people of color. But let’s be clear that voter fraud doesn’t come from the people but from the capitalist system itself.
Therefore, Workers World Party does agree with Trump that these elections are rigged, but not for the reasons he espouses. These elections are rigged on behalf of himself as a billionaire and the billionaire ruling class that he represents, just as these elections are rigged on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the billionaire class that she represents — especially her Wall Street backers and the Pentagon and its allies, especially NATO, which seeks to enslave the workers and oppressed of the world along with their resources all for the sake of making profits. Just ask the people of Libya and Honduras, who have had their sovereignty violently taken away from them. It was in the process of being taking away from them when Clinton was secretary of state. And now Clinton has set her sights on a possible war with the Putin government in Russia, which is assisting in defending the Syrian government against U.S.-NATO attacks. I guess having a counterrevolution in the former Soviet Union just wasn’t enough.
These elections are rigged to keep the ruling-class parties, the Republicans and Democrats, in power by giving the false notion that every four years these elections are all about defending democracy for the majority. In reality it is really a democracy for the superrich, a tiny minority.
Obama, in answering Trump yesterday, stated, “Trump’s warnings could abrade faith in the U.S. political system. One way of weakening America and making it less great is if you start betraying those basic American traditions that have been bipartisan and have helped to hold together this democracy now for well over two centuries.”
How ironic and hypocritical for Obama to make such a statement, being the first Black president after all white male presidents, some of them slave owners and KKK sympathizers. During his eight years as president, there have been more deportations of immigrants — at least 2 million — and more police murders of Black, Brown and Indigenous people than during any other presidency, as well as mass shootings involving a growing number of alienated people.
As Colin Kaepernick, the courageous quarterback, stated early on — and we concur — these debates are “embarrassing” and boil down to Trump and Clinton trying to outdo themselves to appear less racist. Let’s not forget that Clinton once called Black youth “superpredators” and that Trump called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, Black youth falsely accused of rape in the 1980s who have since been exonerated. And let’s be clear that Clinton has never been a champion of women’s rights.
Yes, these elections are rigged: against every person of color who is being targeted by police violence and mass incarceration; every worker fighting for a living wage and decent benefits, like in the current heroic strike of the Harvard University Dining Services workers, the majority of them immigrants; every woman facing humiliating objectification; every LGBTQ person facing bigotry, like those in North Carolina under the heinous HB2 bill; every student facing tens of thousands of dollars of student debt; every family fighting for decent housing, medical care, education; people fighting for clean water from Standing Rock, N.D., to Flint, Michigan; for healthy food; a solution to climate change, and an end to occupation and war.
These important struggles and issues, and many more, are not being raised by Trump, Clinton or the big business parties they represent — unless they are forced to talk about them. But these are the very issues that Workers World Party is raising because we say that the entire capitalist system is rigged against workers and oppressed peoples here and around the world. We say that these elections are rigged against third-party candidates, be they Lamont Lilly and myself, Jill Stein, Gloria LaRiva or others. Why are we being kept out of these debates? Why are we being silenced from raising issues that impact poor and working people everywhere? What are CNN, MSNBC and the other big business networks so afraid of when it comes to revolutionary and progressive third party candidates like Workers World Party having equal time in these debates?
I think that it is fairly obvious that the big business media are so afraid of letting millions of people hear a message of independent mass organizing and fightback. They are afraid of any third party candidate sending a message loud and clear of not allowing our movements to be subservient to the Democratic Party, which sets back our movements as history has shown. They are afraid of any third party candidate that states loud and clear that the fight against racism and white supremacy is central to every single oppression in this country, as the Black Lives Matter Uprising has shown. And lastly, they are afraid of the clarion call for real solidarity for people who need it the most — especially those facing racist repression because of who they are, be they Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, Arab, Asian, immigrant, etc.
Lastly, I want to raise the current economic crisis with the political crisis, which connects all of these issues. There was a poll taken in October 2015 by Marketplace, which claims to have taken the first nationwide economic survey, stating that 39 percent of “Americans” are losing sleep over their finances. Of course, we have to assume that this number is even higher since you can be certain that undocumented workers and millions of disenfranchised people, including low-wage workers, were not counted. The poll report went on to say that “more Americans are increasingly worried about losing their jobs, the ability to pay their mortgage or rent and saving for retirement. Thirty percent of Americans are very fearful that they will lose their job in the next six months, up from 10 percent a year ago.”
Sisters and brothers, the permanency of this worldwide economic crisis is at the heart of the police war on Black and Brown people, who are becoming more and more expendable because there are fewer and fewer jobs being created, along with massive cutbacks in services, which will certainly lead to more and more alienation and suffering. Our youth want to be unionized, not brutalized by police terror.
There is a lot more to say about the economic crisis, which will become even more devastating on a worldwide scale following the elections. All the signs are there. These are the very issues consciously not being raised by the Democrats and Republicans, because they know that an even worse crisis is coming than the one in 2007-2008. They know that capitalism is at a dead end and cannot be reformed. This election, like all U.S. elections, boils down to which Democrat or Republican can best administer the capitalist state by making more acceptable deeper economic and political attacks on all workers, starting with the most oppressed.
So sisters and brothers, I know that so many of us are just counting the days when this horrific sham of an election is over, but the work will just be beginning. It doesn’t matter who gets into the White House, because none of the growing dire conditions are going to fundamentally change for the better for the workers and oppressed here and worldwide. We must take our organizing and mobilizing to an even higher level. We not only must be ready to defend any spontaneous rebellions sparked by police murder, just as we have done in Charlotte, Baltimore or Milwaukee, but we must also go on the offensive to unite as many forces as we can, regardless of any political differences and geography, to fight for principles of unity on an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist basis. That is the role of a party that is fighting for revolutionary socialism, to rid this earth of institutionalized racism, sexism, LGBTQ oppression and all forms of inequality in order to meet all human needs.
This message will be a major theme of our upcoming Party conference Nov. 11-13 at the Shabazz Center in New York City, because we know in our bones and from our study of history that you can’t vote away racism, you can’t vote away war or any form of inequality. You can vote for our candidates by ballot in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Utah and with many state write-in campaigns, along with online petitions, because our campaign is a protest campaign against the entire capitalist system. Go to workers.org/wwp for more information.
So thank you for your time this evening and I especially want to thank all of our supporters on social media and in the streets for showing our election campaign so much love and energy. Black Lives Matter! Long Live International Solidarity!