The US Election and the US Ruling Class

Workers World, Chicago Bureau wwchi at
Sat Nov 11 00:42:42 MST 2000

All right, the US election is NOT over yet

Several people have written rather good accounts of what has actually
happened and what the Bush and Gore strategies are going to be, but I think
more attention has to be paid to the desires of the REAL bosses - the US
imperialist bourgeoisie, considered as a ruling class.

Anthony (I think) came up with some reasons why one faction or another of
the bourgeoisie might prefer Bush or Gore.  Of course this is based to some
degree on the idea that you can determine the candidates' real intentions
from their propaganda.  Another possibility is always that they will do
exactly the same thing, and are merely telling different sets of lies at
present.  But let's assume for the sake of argument that these are real
differences.  Still, the basic reality is that EITHER candidate is going to
be generally quite acceptable from the point of view of the class interests
of most of the bourgeoisie.  There may still be some reality to the idea
that the international banking and trade sectors are more happy with someone
like Gore and that the domestic extractive industries are happier with Bush,
but there is not going to be any kind of huge split in the bourgeoisie over
this election, nor is the bourgeoisie committed to defeating Gore in the
same way they were committed to defeating William Jennings Bryan in the 1896
election for example.   Gore talks about fighting big capital, but that's
just part of the puppet show and big capital is the puppetmaster.

The next basic area of agreement among the ruling class is that the masses
MUST NOT become involved in the process.  In particular, Gore is NEVER going
to call on the workers and poor and oppressed nations to come out into the
streets and support him.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.  This would be class treason,
from the bourgeois perspective.  There have been a few symbolic protests,
but the masses are going to be held back and Gore has promised to do it.
>From Gore's point of view it is inconvenient and irritating if people like
Michael Moore start talking about mass agitation to make Gore the president
because he got the most votes.  This also puts a limit on what can be
accomplished by such means.

The next basic reality is that delay in selecting a president is bad for
business.  It's bad for currency, bad for the stock market, bad for business
planning.  And the ruling class will not, in my opinion, allow it to go on.
They can accommodate a certain amount of independent fighting and posturing
between their Gore people and their Bush people, but if it goes too long and
either side gets emotionally carried away and forgets its discipline, the
ruling class will separate their fighting dogs with blows of a club, like a
sled dog driver in a Jack London novel.  In fact this is already happening.
The pressure on Gore to concede is already being organized, not only from
the Bush camp but also, even mainly, from the corporate media and even from
unnamed Democrats.  Newspaper columns are appearing everywhere, especially
from Democratic columnists, talking about how Gore can't drag things into
the 'morass of the courts' and must 'do the right thing for the country' by
conceding.  My prediction is that if Gore doesn't have the Florida votes in
hand by November 17, there will be very very very very very very great
pressure by the ruling class to make him concede and suspend all attempts to
challenge the West Palm Beach ballots, the intimidation of African-American
voters, etc.  Part of this pressure may be incentives or promises to the
Democratic Party (or elements of it, either Gore's people or the people who
are being recruited to betray Gore if necessary).  There are undoubtedly
secret deals being framed and discussed right now.  For example, Bush might
promise to take a humble and conciliatory attitude; he might have to give
the Democrats some piece of legislation; he might have to appoint one or two
democrats to his cabinet, or even appoint a Republican senator  from a state
with a Democratic governor.

Finally, I think it's quite interesting how much media attention has been
given to "wise" defenses of the Electoral College.  Everywhere we hear how
nothing can be done to change it.  (Senator-elect Clinton's call to abolish
it is an exception.)  Personally I think this is not so much because the
ruling class finds the Electoral College a useful tool in today's world, and
more on the principle that amendments to the constitution should never be
seriously discussed because it would start people thinking of other
amendments they might want.  It makes me wonder how much could be
accomplished by some sort of initiative to organize discussion among the
workers and oppressed of the election laws and articles in general.

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