Lose-Lose Race in Alabama. Don’t Vote, Revolt! 
Friday, December 22, 2017 at 9:16AM

When Democrat Doug Jones upset accused child molester and open white supremacist Roy Moore in the December 12 special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, the vote exposed deepening divisions within the U.S. capitalist ruling class. It also pointed to the challenges facing the revolutionary communist Progressive Labor Party.
News of the race monopolized the bosses’ media for days. The rulers’ dominant finance capital wing, representing the interests of ExxonMobil and JPMorgan Chase, went all out to stop Roy Moore. The Democrats poured in more than $4 million to the Jones campaign through a “mysterious super PAC” called Highway 31, “a joint project of two of the largest national super PACs—Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action” (Politico, 12/11). The party brought in its biggest guns—Barack Obama and Joe Biden—to campaign for Jones. Meanwhile, top Republican leaders publicly slammed rogue Republican Moore as a serial sexual predator who was unfit for office.
The rulers understood that stakes were high, though not for the reasons broadcast on CNN. Here are some lessons we might draw from what happened in Alabama:
Gutter Klan-type candidates get slapped down because they are bad for business. Moore threatened the main wing bosses’ con game by peeling back the curtain and revealing the rotten essence of capitalism. While the finance capitalists depend on racism and sexism to divide and exploit workers, they also rely on the false unity of U.S. patriotism as they ramp up toward World War III. They need a multiracial army of men and women willing to fight and die for the bosses’ profits.
Moore’s defeat was a setback for Donald Trump, who played to his arch-racist base by endorsing his fellow predator. While Trump’s political loyalties remain unclear, he is too unreliable to represent the mainstream bosses in a time of intensifying inter-imperialist rivalries. Like Moore, he exposes the hellish profit system—with its racism, sexism, and grotesque and widening inequalities—for what it is. Now that Trump is showing weakness, the main wing may decide to show him the door, sooner than later.
The domestic-leaning wing of the ruling class—represented by Steve Bannon and the Mercer and Koch billionaire families—is determined to spend less on a worldwide military and to cut U.S. support for NATO and other expensive alliances. To gain white workers’ support, they are aiming to build more open racism. Though these bosses lost the battle in Alabama, they’re not about to surrender. With the help of Fox News, they managed to mobilize 48 percent of the electorate, 68 percent of the white vote, and 91 percent of registered Republicans to choose a monster over the big bosses’ Democratic and Republican machines. With rumblings of a threatened “deep-state” coup against Trump, the prospect of civil war no longer seems so farfetched.
Black workers made the difference, with 95 percent—including 98 percent of black women—voting for Jones. They represented 30 percent of the turnout, significantly more than their share of the Alabama voting-age population, and even more than the Black share of the electorate in Obama’s presidential runs (Mother Jones, 12/13/17).  Despite the ever-deepening crisis and intensifying racism of U.S. capitalism, masses of Black workers—the essential vanguard for a communist movement—remain trapped by the rulers’ false promise that voting can lead to real change. The victory of Doug Jones, another politician pledged to keep this racist system going, highlights the need for our Party to recruit many more Black women and men as revolutionary communist leaders.
In short, what transpired in Alabama was a victory for bosses of all stripes. Barely a year after the widespread cynicism that surrounded the presidential race between Trump and Hillary Clinton, the special Senate contest renewed millions of people’s enthusiasm for elections. Younger voters, in particular, were galvanized by Jones, a “former crusading civil rights lawyer” (DailyMail.com, 12/13) who won 60 percent of the 18-to-29-year-old vote in a heavily Republican state (huffingtonpost.com, 12/13).
These young workers are the future soldiers the bosses will need to enlist for the next global conflict. They’re also the ones our Party needs to win to shed this racist system and fight back for the international working class.
Democrats Use Sexism Instead of Fighting It
The sexual assault scandals that have torpedoed liberal Senator Al Franken, among many others, may thin the field for the 2020 presidential nomination and help unify the Democrats. For now, the main wing bosses seem to be rallying behind the tack taken by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who led the charge against Franken and is using the pain of sexual assault as a prop to advance her own career.
This superficial solidarity, however, is limited by the deeply embedded racism of capitalist society. In Alabama, the Democrats’ sudden show of zero tolerance for sexual assault may have gotten more younger and educated white women to tilt their way than in the past. But 66 percent of white women in Alabama still voted for the naked racism of Moore (Newsweek 12/13).
Meanwhile, with the influence of older Black politicians on the wane, the rulers are cultivating new misleaders to keep Black workers and the entire working class tied to capitalism. A number of electorally focused organizations, like BlackPAC and Movement for Black Lives Electoral Project, are led by Black women. The bosses’ media are pushing them as the people to follow (New York Times, 12/16).
There Are No Good Bosses
“‘The elections in Virginia and Alabama have proven that it is possible for Democrats to focus on white and minority voters without alienating either,’ said Zac McCrary, a Democratic pollster based in Alabama. ‘Technology, for one, makes it possible to target specific populations with particular messages through email, text messages and phone calls’”(NY Times 12/13). In other words, the new Democratic playbook is to quietly tell Black voters the party is against racism, but not to say it so loud that racist white voters will jump ship.
Capitalism can never end racism or sexism. Without a divided working class and segments of super-exploited workers, the profit system would collapse. At the same time, the capitalists need to build unity around the myth that capitalist “democracy” is still the best option for workers. When workers stop voting and abandon the bosses’ misleader politicians for working-class leadership in the class struggle, the whole capitalist system will be in jeopardy. That’s the greatest fear of the ruling class.
And that’s when our class will be free.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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