Editorial: Run Down of the 2020 Election Boycott

By the Editorial Board

The ruling class is howling in delight, selectively citing numbers of increased voter turn out for early voting, but they are dreaming. A keen observer will notice that the places they reference with increased voter participation are the very same American cities that have seen population growth over recent years. What this growth represents is that more wealthy people are moving to these cities, and the cities themselves have a decreasing working class and an increasing white population (demographics with a higher voting percentage). The ruling class-owned media uses this insult as a bragging point, to peer pressure the majority of people who do not vote into endorsing a change in their brutal and oppressive overseers for another four years.

This so-called ‘change’ is anything but, the working class knows that regardless of the personality in office, it is the office itself that manages their exploitation and oppression, their hunger, misery, and prolonged longing. Bourgeois liberal democracy is atrophied, it is a corpse stinking up the country and it has managed to alienate most of the people who it pompously extends ‘voting rights’ to—it is reactionary and must not be preserved.

The most serious error made when combating the historic and meteoric rise of fascism was to come to the defense of the liberal bourgeois democracy, which had already passed its expiration date. There were antifascist leaders like those in France and Italy, Thorez and Togliatti respectively, who did just that. The US was no exception, Communist Party leader Earl Browder set the very standard of betrayal by liquidating his party in service of the same decrepit bourgeois democracy.

The traitors are still at work, acting as morticians beautifying the corpse of capitalist society and trying to convince the people that it is alive and well. They do this all over the world. This was demonstrated recently, as the Movement Towards Socialism’s (MAS) electoral victory allowed them to continue as the local administrators of poverty for the Bolivian people. They call themselves the ‘Movement Toward Socialism,’ which in reality is nothing but a disguise to manage the decaying bureaucratic capitalist state. The US imperialists and Bolivian right wing have all recognized the new president of Bolivia—this is a tactic in diplomacy which will inevitably wane when collusion gives way to contention, and they will seek out a more loyal and dependable colonial representative. The electoral cretins jump for joy, they are dreaming.

The bourgeois monopoly media outlet The New York Times released an article examining non-voters who are eligible to vote, but for very good reason see no hope in voting. Even the imperialists themselves are forced to contend with this fact amidst their falsified ecstasy and bragging about imagined “increased early voting,” which has absolutely nothing to do with an increase in non-voters going back into the swamp of US politics.

The article highlights one worker named Keyana Fedrick, who shares a sharp analysis of the bankruptcy of voting, telling the Times, “We need to break up with the system. This system wasn’t designed for us to win.”

The monopoly press is at a point of having to acknowledge the truth of voter abstention and the most profound masses’ view of the system. In their own attempt to be objective, they are only verifying what those who have called for election boycotts have been expressing for years.

The Importance of this Election is the Importance of the Election Boycott

Tribune of the People has stated that this is the most farcical US election to date, and this is certainly true. When understanding this fact, we can see that the importance of this election means it is more important than ever to the ruling class that they attempt to present the appearance of legitimacy in these elections. Hence, the election boycott campaign takes on an important role—to do everything in its limited ability to destroy the appearance of legitimacy, because after all, the elections are illegitimate.

The ruling class-owned media and social media platforms scramble, not only to promote these elections, forcing them down the throats of workers who do not vote and seeking to over inflate imagined distinctions between the candidates, but they also seek to invent victories in order to conceal their defeat. They do this by celebrating early voter turnout, which is always higher than the turnout on election day. The people mired in electoralism are the most partisan and committed to the old dying system, and hence, they are the most eager to cast ballots for a change or maintenance of the guard.

US politics have become nothing but partisan identity politics devoid of class analysis. Those who vote Republican are loyal to the brand and will do so regardless of the politics espoused by a given candidate, and the same is true for the ‘other side,’ who promote slogans like “vote blue no matter who.” It’s like a child choosing a favorite color.

US bourgeois democracy is utterly bankrupt and it practically comes down to a preference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi, with extreme loyalty to what is essentially the same product with different branding. The branding itself becomes the main issue, and this is on full display in the presidential debates.

The whole point of this farce is to convince people, who already know that the system will not serve them, to take an interest in it, force them to choose a brand, and endorse it so that when everyone is forced to swallow it, the ruling class can claim that they were given consent. The people cannot consent to starvation, poverty, increased unemployment, and loss of education (through distance learning, privatization of schools, cuts in funding). They do not consent to mass incarceration, economic domination, and wars by proxy or direct wars waged in other countries. The elections serve to present the idea that the people consent to these miseries and nothing more. The people, however, declare their objection by taking to the streets en masse and destroying symbols of their oppression, expropriating goods, battling the police, etc.

The role of reformists and revisionists takes on an even greater significance during election seasons. They are active agents to legitimize the elections and defend the increasingly reactionary bourgeois democracy. At every large protest, they appear with signs in hand, ready to pass them out to those they have no connection to. They are there to sign up voters, to convince people to vote, and seldom do they even bother saying for whom, exposing the fact that who wins is not what is important—it is legitimizing the illegitimate that is of the utmost importance.

Everywhere they bombard the people: “Vote, vote, vote,” “Rock the vote,” “Your vote is your voice,” “Vote and protest,” etc. It is essentially unimportant what or who is being voted for, and voting itself becomes the main call to action. The revisionists, in order to traffic in the misery of the masses, will not outright tell people to stop protesting as long as they continue to consent to the very misery they are protesting.

In contrast to this, revolutionaries raise the slogans “Elections No! Revolution Yes!” and “Don’t vote, fight for revolution!,” presenting the contradiction between revolution and counter-revolution as it is—irreconcilable. It is impossible to oppose imperialism and capitalism while at the same time legitimizing its rule through the state by consenting to one of its candidates. You are either opposing or endorsing, there is no “lesser of two-evils.” The one evil which all revolutionaries must oppose is US imperialism. In all of its disguises, all of its representatives, at the end of the day it is the reactionary liberalism of bourgeois democracy, degenerated over time as capitalism has become totally parasitic, monopolistic, and rotten to its highest and final stage—imperialism.

Imperialism walks or runs in one direction—to its grave. It has produced its own grave diggers, and the sooner everyone realizes they are a grave digger, the sooner the beast of imperialism can be interned into its grave forever. The world has entered the period in which imperialism can only be swept from the face of the earth.

Voting is regressive, or reactionary. The only progressive decision left is to boycott the elections and demand real choices that truly benefit the people of the US and the world—this is a long and hard path, but the only one which points forward. The electoral cretins will claim how easy and fast voting is, so why not just consent to your tormentors reign over you? They are desperate to convince a few more non-voters to cross the picket line. Even when this succeeds and a few do cross over, many more cross back—each election cycle brings with it demoralization with the system, as it inevitably betrays the very people it convinced to vote for it. The statistics tick up or down each cycle, but follow a general trend, which has been to flounder or decline since the 1960’s.

Each election only provides more evidence that the boycott is the correct political tactic to promote the only means of transforming the old world—armed struggle, revolutionary violence.

Actions of the 2020 Election Boycott

In January, the 2020 election boycott was initiated with an action against Heidi Sloan, DSA candidate for the 25th congressional district in Austin, Texas, in which eggs filled with red paint were smashed on her head following a political event.

Heidi Sloan hit with paint-filled eggs (Source: Incendiary News Service)

On Super Tuesday in March, Sloan’s own campaign signs covered in hammer and sickles were placed throughout her own front yard.

Heidi Sloan’s campaign signs covered with hammer and sickles on her front yard

In Austin, Michael Bloomberg’s office was covered in red and yellow graffiti that read, “Elections No! Revolution Yes!,” “Boycott the elections!,” and hammer and sickles. Across the US, various other Bloomberg campaign offices were also targeted. Despite not being election boycott actions, they showed the people’s hatred for the imperialist billionaire in no uncertain terms. In Salt Lake City, a Bloomberg office had its windows broken with 50 rocks. In Chicago, Bloomberg’s office had “Racist,” “Sexist,” and “Oligarch” written over it in graffiti.

Bloomberg office in Austin
Bloomberg office in Austin, red hammer and sickles
Bloomberg office in Austin, red hammer and sickle
Bloomberg office in Chicago

Other creative boycott propaganda was carried out such as the reprogramming of an electronic road sign to read, “Don’t Vote Fight for Revolution!”

In October, a newly unveiled mural encouraging voting in Austin was covered in red paint with the slogan, “Elections, No! Revolution, Yes!” along with a hammer and sickle, raising uproar from local electoral cretins.

The Tribune of the People Support Committee in Austin also hosted an election boycott presentation in October, educating community members and activists of the importance of boycotting the elections and working toward real revolution instead.

Another pro-voting mural near the University of Texas at Austin reading, “Register. Be Counted. Vote!” was covered by red paint in the shape of an ‘X’ with the slogan, “Elections, No! Revolution, Yes!” and a hammer and sickle.

Over 125 election boycott actions, including graffiti, banners, and flyers have also been documented in cities across the country over the past several moths. The election boycott does not end come Tuesday, November 3—revolutionaries must continue to turn voter abstention into an active boycott in the upcoming midterm and presidential elections of 2022 and 2024 as part of the larger struggle to destroy US imperialism and end the constant suffering caused by the capitalist system.




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