Vote Socialist Equality in 2016!
The Socialist Equality Party proudly announces today that it is running Jerry White for president and Niles Neimuth for vice president in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Jerry White, 56, is the US labor editor of the World Socialist Web Site. He has spent nearly four decades in the socialist movement fighting for a revolutionary perspective among autoworkers, coal miners, teachers and other sections of the working class. Niles Neimuth, 28, joined the SEP during the mass protests in Wisconsin in 2011. He is part of a generation of young workers and students who have been radicalized by endless wars and the social and political consequences of the economic crisis that erupted in 2008.
In these elections, the SEP will advance a socialist alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties and the capitalist system they both defend. White and Neimuth will place at the center of their campaign:
1) The growing danger of world war
The SEP campaign will break the conspiracy of silence among all the candidates and the media over the war plans of the United States. Under the cover of the “war on terror,” now in its fifteenth year, Obama has escalated the bloody military campaign to reassert the global domination of US imperialism. Entire countries have been devastated, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria, provoking the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Now, behind the backs of the American people, the White House and military intelligence machine are provoking a confrontation with Russia and China, which would have incalculable consequences and provoke a new world war. The overwhelming majority of American workers and young people are sick of the bloody wars, assassinations, torture and other crimes that have been carried out in their name. There is also a deep desire for peace in countries like Germany and Japan, where the ruling classes are re-arming for war and concealing their historical crimes in order to assert their own great-power, imperialist interests.
2) The growth of social inequality
The SEP fights to abolish a system in which a handful of super-rich exploit the labor of billions of workers around the world. Levels of social inequality today are without historical precedent. Sixty-two billionaires have wealth equal to the bottom half of the world’s population, some 3.5 billion people. The top 20 billionaires in America have as much wealth as the bottom 150 million people. The rich do not only live better lives they live longer, with the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest averaging almost 15 years for men and 10 years for women.
While spending trillions on a vast military machine and so-called “Homeland Security,” the country’s public schools and basic infrastructure are collapsing, with residents in Flint, Michigan and other cities and rural areas drinking water poisoned with lead. A vast redistribution of wealth is needed to secure basic social rights, including the right to decent-paying jobs, quality education, affordable housing, universal health care, a dignified retirement and access to culture.
3) The drive toward dictatorship
The SEP campaign will oppose the global drive toward the destruction of democratic rights, which is the noxious product of endless war abroad and social inequality at home. The Obama administration has expanded the police-state spying apparatus headed by the CIA and NSA, while asserting the right to assassinate anyone, including US citizens, anywhere in the world without due process. At the same time, an increasingly militarized police force kills over 1,000 people a year. Meanwhile, those who have exposed the crimes of the American ruling class—including Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange—are in jail or have been forced into exile.
An international socialist party for the working class
The fight for peace, equality and democracy is inseparable from the fight against the capitalist system, which subordinates the entire global economy to the dictates of ruthless and ever more criminal corporate and financial elite. To defend its rights, the working class needs is own party. Workers must no longer be subordinated to the political instruments of big business.
The immense social tensions tearing apart American society have begun to find political expression in the 2016 elections, provoking a historic crisis of the two-party system. The election has seen the emergence of a fascistic candidate, Donald Trump, as the front-runner for the Republican Party, while a nominal “socialist,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has posed a significant threat to the selection of Hillary Clinton.
None of the candidates running in these elections speak for the working class, the vast majority of the population. On the Democratic Party side, Clinton is the multi-millionaire is the personification of political corruption, nepotism and the status quo. As Secretary of State, she actively participated in countless imperialist crimes, including the US-backed jihadist operations in Libya and Syria.
While the Sanders campaign has exploded the official narrative of American politics—that no one claiming to be “socialist” could get mass support—he is proposing the most minor reforms that would leave untouched the economic and political dictatorship of the banks and large corporations. He defends American imperialism, insisting the United States must defend its “vital strategic interests” abroad, while promoting economic nationalism aimed at scapegoating workers in Mexico, China and other countries for the loss of jobs in the US.
Sanders’ central role is to seek somehow to contain the massive hostility to the two-party system—which has been intensified after seven years of the Obama administration—back into the safe channels of the Democratic Party.
As for Trump, he has sought to exploit intense anger and frustration to shift American politics in an ever more right-wing and openly violent direction. He has benefited from the deep hostility to the Democratic Party and what passes for “left” politics in he United States, obsessed with personal identity and the interests of more privileged sections of the upper middle class. Whether it is Trump who is nominated or one of his equally right-wing opponents, the Republican Party will run its most reactionary campaign in history.
White and Neimuth will address their campaign to workers all over the world, not just in the United States. What happens in the United States has global implications, and the struggle against the American ruling class can only be waged as an international struggle. The same conditions that exist in the United States are repeated in country after country and have already led to explosive social upheavals, from the revolutionary events in Egypt, to mass strikes in China and protests in France against the state of emergency and reactionary labor legislation.
In most states, because of undemocratic ballot access laws, the SEP will run a write-in campaign. The most important aim of the campaign, however, is not to get votes but to forge a political leadership that can direct the growing struggles of the working class agains the source of the crisis confronting mankind: capitalism. We will tell workers the truth, that nothing can be resolved except through a revolutionary struggle against a social and economic system based on private profit.
To all our readers and supporters, we say: Now is the time to get off the sidelines and take up an active fight for socialism. Sign up to our email newsletter, join the campaign by building election committees in your area and, if you are a US citizen or resident, donate to ensure that the SEP can wage the most aggressive campaign possible. In the coming months we will be organizing meetings all over the country and internationally, speaking to workers and youth about the pressing politics issues they confront.
A new way forward must be forged! To all workers fighting to defend their jobs and living conditions, to young people drowning in debt and without a future, to the millions sick of endless war, we say: This is your campaign! Get involved today!