May 1, 2020
On April 13, 2020 Bernie Sanders endorsed Joe Biden for President. It is highly likely that Biden will be nominated at the Democratic National Convention. This is, of course, disappointing to the movement that coalesced around Bernie’s campaign, and to the many DSAers that have played an active role within it.
At the DSA convention in August 2019, DSA adopted a resolution to not endorse a Democrat if Bernie Sanders is not the nominee (Resolution 15). We respect the decision that DSA should not explicitly endorse a candidate for president who is not a democratic socialist. We are confident that DSA members recognize the danger of further consolidation of the nativist movement and that we will work with our allies to defeat Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is unfit to be president. The list of his crimes is long and well known. The most glaring failures, corruption and depravity of his presidency have become fully realized with the Covid 19 crisis. The death toll of Covid 19 has struck the working-class as a whole, and African Americans, Hispanics, and other people of color in particular, in greater proportion than people working from home. Trump’s racism in calling the coronavirus the “China Virus” has incited many racist acts against Chinese Americans and Asian Americans more broadly.
Despite Biden’s shortcomings and checkered past, a full array of issues overrides our reservations about him. At stake are issues such as judicial nominations; the climate crisis; women’s rights and reproductive choice; people of color’s and LGBTQ rights; the assault on immigrants; and the increasing burdens upon the working class. Most troubling is the Trump presidency’s promotion of incipient neofascism and racist white ethno-nationalism, and his ongoing efforts to dismantle governmental and social institutions.
We therefore ask DSA members and allies who live in battleground or swing states and congressional districts to organize for the defeat of Trump. Of course, this includes voting for Biden, but it also means much more. DSA members should work with the myriad of organizations that will seek to push Biden to the left, in terms of both his policies and his appointees, including his choice for running mate. It also means helping elect democratic socialist and progressive candidates, especially those supporting Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, and taxing the rich, to Congress and state houses across the country. Ending control of the US Senate by the current GOP majority in thrall to the radical right is particularly crucial.
We understand that the nomination of Biden confirms that for 2020 we have to choose between one candidate who is far from being a democratic socialist and another who is close to being a neofascist, but it is clear that another Trump term would be horrific. The opportunity to work with other socialist, progressive, and liberal groups can further build democratic socialism in the USA. We acknowledge that during the primary season working-class voters and African American voters made a choice that they felt was paramount in saving their lives. We commit to listen to the concerns of voters of color with respect and trust.
We ask that DSA members in decisive locations work to defeat Trump in broad coalitions or fronts that allow others to see that DSA members are working for the common good. By working with others and selflessly giving our talents and energies in defeating the danger of neofascism, we will awaken in the people support for democratic socialism and respect for DSA.
North Star Caucus of DSA. May 1, 2020.