Party for Socialism and Liberation presidential candidate Gloria La Riva issued the following statement at the conclusion of the October 22 debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump:
Tonight’s debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was one of the closing events of a presidential campaign that has been an utter insult to the working class. The crises facing poor and working people could not be more dire — hundreds of thousands dead from the pandemic, tens of millions unemployed and facing eviction, racist police waging war on Black communities, an environment on the brink of total catastrophe, and so much more. Neither candidate put forward anything remotely close to a serious plan to solve these problems.
Instead, we heard more ludicrous denialism on COVID-19 from Trump, who claimed, “We’re rounding the corner, it’s going away.” In fact the number of infections is surging along with deaths. But Biden offered no specific, credible solutions. Biden claimed in the debate that he believed “Health care is not a privilege, it’s a right.” But he opposes a universal healthcare system that would actually make healthcare a right in practice, something that’s all the more pressing in the middle of a pandemic.
The two candidates competed to outdo each other in militaristic bluster. Biden claimed that Russia wants to “Make sure I do not get elected the next president of the United States” and referred to unsubstantiated reports that the Russian government was paying fighters in Afghanistan to target U.S. troops occupying the country. Trump countered that “There has been nobody tougher on Russia” than him, citing his actions to coerce members of NATO into increasing their war spending “to guard against Russia” and that he “sold tank busters to Ukraine.” Both candidates signaled their absolute support for the Pentagon’s drive to war against China and Biden ridiculously compared North Korea to Hitler’s Germany.
Trump unsurprisingly used the debate to spout more racist rhetoric targeting immigrants, saying that children his administration cruelly separated from their parents were brought to the United States by “gangs and drug dealers.” And Biden was part of an administration that cruelly deported far more immigrants than the Trump White House. Biden’s hypocritical appeal to “those DACA kids” omitted the fact that DACA was won not because of the kindness of the Obama administration, but because undocumented youth courageously organized civil disobedience at Obama / Biden campaign offices and put enough pressure on the government to win temporary legal status.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation’s campaign believes that the wealth of this society — wealth that was created by workers, not the millionaires and billionaires — should be used to provide a dignified life for all with education, housing, a job or income, healthcare, and more guaranteed as constitutional rights. Our campaign demands that racist killer cops be locked up and the end of the system of mass incarceration. We are against war for empire. We want to end the extraction of fossil fuels. Don’t throw your vote away on one of the two capitalist parties — vote socialist and help build a movement for a better world!