Socialist Alternative

Hundreds Of Thousands Vote “Uncommitted” In Democratic Primaries

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Joe Biden’s complicity in the murderous bombing and invasion of Gaza is costing him hundreds of thousands of votes in the primaries.

Who is his opponent? “Uncommitted.” In Minnesota, 45,000 people – 19% of voters – voted Uncommitted in the Democratic primary. This followed more than 100,000 Uncommitted votes in Michigan, and slightly smaller votes in other states on Super Tuesday.

While there is no shortage of reasons to vote against Joe Biden, his continued support for the genocidal war on Gaza was the final straw for hundreds of thousands of voters who are prepared to make him pay. 

This anger has been most pronounced among Muslim Americans and younger voters. According to exit polling done by the Center on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 94% of American Muslims who voted in the Democratic Party in Michigan voted Uncommitted. Younger voters in particular are quick to call out Biden and the Democrats, because they haven’t been ground down by years of betrayals on key issues like healthcare, police violence, the environment, and immigration.

Socialist Alternative supports the biggest possible Uncommitted vote against Biden in the primaries. We believe the campaign needs to be built all the way through November, opposing both Biden and Trump, and should be connected to the building of a new political party. We call for an immediate ceasefire and ending US financial support for Israel’s brutal policy and siege and occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

No Support For Biden Or Trump In November

Voting Uncommitted is an important vehicle to register public anger at Biden’s policies, but it can only have a lasting impact if the campaign in opposition to Biden is taken up though the general election itself. 

Working people are being given a terrible choice between a dangerous reactionary and a liberal imperialist who has done nothing to defend the rights of workers and oppressed people while dragging the country deeper into a global inter-imperialist conflict. We can no longer accept these as our only options.

As Hassan Abdel Salam, a member of the Abandon Biden National Coalition, told The Hill “He [Biden] can’t do anything for us to support him. No one can tolerate a policy of death that lasts this long; people have to be held to account.”

Limiting opposition to Biden and the Democrats only to the primary assumes that the Democratic Party is a vessel that can be filled with progressive politics if enough of an outcry is built. Unfortunately the party’s whole history speaks otherwise.

A devastating and recent example of this was the wholesale revolt by the Democratic Party leadership against Bernie Sanders after he won the first three primaries in 2020. Looking back over the last century provides even more devastating examples of the real nature of the Democratic Party. They were the party that led the US into the bloody Vietnam War. They have backed US imperialist wars in all areas of the globe. Just since 2001, 4.5 million people have died as a result of wars launched by the US. Imperialist devastation is a bipartisan project, and anti-war activists will find no reliable allies in the Democratic or Republican parties.

Growing anger at Biden’s policy has put the administration under pressure. While the Biden administration now says it is committed to a ceasefire, it has vetoed several ceasefire resolutions and has continued the supply of weapons to Israel’s war machine without cease.

The Biden administration can hardly say it is looking for a constructive solution in Gaza and at the same time provide billions of dollars to fund and arm Israel’s murderous bombing and military invasion of Gaza.

From “Uncommitted” To A New Party

Forcing a serious change of direction in US policy towards the Middle East would require a mass movement that genuinely threatens the future of the Democratic (and Republican) parties and begins to challenge the capitalist order which is at the root of imperialism. A movement like this can’t be limited to just taking action in the primaries, we need to be willing to defeat Biden, and begin building a political alternative, whatever the short-term political consequences. In the November election, we need to register the strongest possible protest vote for the best independent left candidate.

All those committed to building an alternative to the Democratic Party need to use the present anger at Biden to put in place a strategy to expose him at every step throughout the rest of this election cycle. Uncommitted delegates were elected in Michigan and possibly other states. These delegates need to plan to put Biden and the Democrats on the spot at the convention. Assuming the nomination of Biden, they need to link up with Cornel West, the Greens and other progressives and socialists to call for a new working class party through 2024. Already exit polling suggests that if an election were held today, nearly a third of Uncommitted Muslim American voters in Michigan would be prepared to support either Cornel West or Jill Stein.

There are many more Americans who are fed up with the terrible choice they are being offered this year than just those who voted Uncommitted, including many independent voters, non-voters, and even some Republicans. Biden’s presidency has been filled with terrible news for working-class people. 2023 was a record year for police murders – with Black Americans nearly three times more likely to end up in the grave at the hands of the state than white people. 2023 saw record setting oil and gas extraction in the US despite toothless climate goals. The cost of food climbed 5.8% last year, eating into our meager wages.

All working class and oppressed people who have been left out to dry by the Democratic Party should unite under the Uncommitted and #AbandonBiden banners and begin constructing a working class political alternative to the rotten two parties of war. An important step in this process will be mobilizing as many people as possible to protest the Democratic National Convention this summer and using those protests as a launching pad for a conference to found a new anti-war, pro-worker party.

In the interests of workers all over the world, we have to unite.

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