DSA New Orleans 2020

Voter Guide

President of the United States

Four year term, two-term limit.

If you’re reading this, you probably already have a plan to vote for president. We’re not going to lay out the reasons Biden is better than Trump, or the ways he isn’t much better. You already know these, and have argued about it (or heard other arguments) too much already. We are not seeking to downplay the presidential vote, but to view it in a helpful way. However you feel about the presidential election of 2020, the facts are:

  1. Trump or Biden is going to be President.
  2. Louisiana will most likely go for Trump. Louisiana’s electoral votes have gone to the Republicans in the last three presidential elections. Each time they have won by about 300 thousand votes.
  3. It really doesn’t have to be this way in Louisiana. There are about 1 million registered Republicans, 1.25 million registered Democrats, and 800 thousand other voters registered outside the two parties in Louisiana. But for now, it’s OK to admit that we’re probably going to lose.
  4. A second Trump term would be disastrous on every level.
  5. The conditions which created Trumpism will not be erased by a Biden presidency. We have an unresponsive and flailing political system dominated by the rich, a brutal caste system enforced with violence and misinformation, and constant deterioration of the conditions and prospects of the average worker. The best-case scenario here, a clean Biden victory and Democratic wave, would still give us a White House and U.S. Congress filled with careerists who serve the rich and powerful. They wouldl face resistance to changing our institutions, and enormous pressure to institute austerity following COVID.
  6. Every possible outcome of this election will require work: A Biden presidency means we need to put pressure on him and his administration to keep their promises, and to fight for policies they don’t support. A Trump presidency means heightened resistance and crucial support of one another. A contested election or coup attempt means we all need to hit the streets, make a lot of noise, and unify totally around the anti-coup objective.

This election season (and beyond) people need to free themselves from rhetoric that traps and disempowers us. We need to resist dark spirits of helplessness and vindictiveness that trick us into fighting the wrong battles. Don’t worship Trump (or the next ghoul) like an evil god who collects your anxiety prayers. There is so much to fear about another four years of Trump, but our work should be in breaking through that fear, not feeding on it. Consider what you’re spending your energy on, what you’re modeling for others. Find ways to build support and trust with the people around you. Set your will towards a better world, not a worse one.

This is not written in denial of differences between Biden and Trump presidencies that are life-or-death for many people. This is an acknowledgement that the work you do on yourself is vital to your organizing and resisting. Think about the paralyzing forces that are bringing us down, and meet them with their opposing forces; that means courage, action, reaching out, connecting, imagining a better future. After kindling these forces in ourselves, we need to bring them to the people around us. Embrace that vision, share it, gain strength in creating it bit-by-bit in our own circles, and in new circles we create.

DSA is growing--hoping to reach 100,000 members nationally by year’s end. During the pandemic we have elected new leadership and had a chapter convention, held events virtually and outside, worked on voter registration, food distribution, protested against police brutality and other injustices, designed some inward-facing political education, worked on campaigns for unemployment benefits, keeping a STR executive out of city hall, and winning better funding and protections for workers. No matter what the result of the presidential election is, we will be working to achieve our dreams. Consider joining us. Partner with us on a project if you’re already focused on other community or organizational work. Reach out if you need help.

A Project of New Orleans DSA Email the Municipal Action Committee at municipal@dsaneworleans.org or see what we’re working on at dsaneworleans.org/events.