[Marxism] Voter suppression: Another tactic in Trump's drive for one-man rule

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 15 15:35:40 MDT 2018

When the "mainstream" of the US capitalist talks about Russian intervention all the time, but says little or nothing about voter suppression, they are using Russia as a distraction from the faults of the US political system.

I don't deny that Russia tried to influence the US elections.  The US has always tried influence elections in other countries, including in Russia where they helped Yeltsin to win.

It might be argued that in a globalised world it is normal for governments to use the internet to influence public opinion in other countries.

Of course we should criticise the specific content of Russian propaganda if it is reactionary, as much of it is.

The Russians reportedly sent different messages to different audiences.  One of the accusations is that they encouraged progressive voters to stay home or vote for third parties rather than Democrats.  Shock! Horror!

Another accusation is that they leaked DNC emails showing bias against Bernie Sanders.  The implication is that if only these emails had remained secret, all would have been well.

Of course we should criticise Russia for trying to help the election of such a reactionary figure as Trump.  But we should also criticise the Democrats for using Russia to distract attention from their own faults and those of the US political system.

Chris Slee
From: John Reimann <1999wildcat at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 7:33:58 AM
To: Chris Slee
Cc: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Voter suppression: Another tactic in Trump's drive for one-man rule

I'm not sure why Chris Slee raises the issue of Russian interference in the US elections in relation to this article, as I never mentioned it  there. However, I don't think it's simply a "gigantic distraction". Or, rather, I don't think it is insignificant. The fact is that the Putin regime did intervene in the US elections and did so to help Trump win. The reason is Trump's long time ties with the Russian mafia/capitalist class through his money laundering. That, in itself, is enormously significant. Even more so, it is an important aspect of the loss of control over the US presidency by the mainstream of the US capitalist class. The Democrats and the other representatives of this mainstream aren't raising the issue in order to "distract" workers; they are raising it because it really does represent a huge crisis for them.

As far as whether or not Putin's interference was decisive in swinging the election for Trump, the book "House of Putin, House of Trump" estimates that something like 3-6% of the vote was influenced by Putin's intervention. In a close election like that one, that could have made the difference in some key states. yes, of course, had the Democrats had a less unappealing candidate than Hillary Clinton, they could have very well overcome that intervention, but nevertheless I don't think we can just dismiss the effects of it.

John Reimann

On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 1:21 PM Chris Slee <chris_w_slee at hotmail.com<mailto:chris_w_slee at hotmail.com>> wrote:
Tthe campaign to blame Russia for Trump's election victory is a gigantic distraction from talking about the failings of the US political system, including voter suppression.

Chris Slee
From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu<mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu>> on behalf of John Reimann via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu<mailto:marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>>
Sent: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 6:31:58 AM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: [Marxism] Voter suppression: Another tactic in Trump's drive for one-man rule

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"Oaklandsocialist has repeatedly pointed to Trump’s drive for one-man
dictatorial rule. He is doing this by whipping up his supporters into a
frenzy of denialism and hatred and outright violence. Through this, he has
seized near complete control over his party and, through them over
congress. He has also seized near complete control over the federal
judiciary, including the all-important federal Appeals Courts. He must
maintain that control to keep his money-laundering past hidden. That
control is threatened by the possible loss of a Republican majority in the
Assembly (and possibly the Senate) this November. In order to try to
prevent that loss, his representatives at the state level have organized
widespread removal of voters from the rolls. Here is a round-up of the
voter suppression that Trump and his minions are carrying out for the
upcoming elections:....[see article for details]

"It will take a massive show of power in the streets and in the work places
to stop this further attack on the democratic rights of working class
people. The union leadership, committed as it is to the Democratic Party,
has proven it will not organize such power. DSA can and should do so."

Read full article, including details on voter suppression:

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” from "The Black Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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