Women's Rights Day 2016

Vote socialist and fight the right

Ninety-six years ago, women in the United States won the right to vote after a century of struggle. Suffragettes were mocked, demonized, beaten and jailed. They refused to back down and finally on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution became law.

Today many feminists are thinking of using that hard-won right to vote for Hillary Clinton. They want to vote for the first female president, an historic event, and to vote down the frighteningly sexist, racist Donald Trump. Radical Women urges a different course.

For decades, U.S. voters have been pushed to choose between the lesser of two evils. And there’s no doubt about the evils in this election. Trump’s disgusting statements on immigrants, African Americans and Muslims have won him the endorsement of KKK leaders. To him, women are “animals,” “ugly dogs,” “slobs” and “gold diggers” -- essentially subhuman. Some have treated Trump as a colossal joke but the fascist forces swirling at his base are no laughing matter.

Who will defend working-class women and men of all colors, creeds and ethnicities from this vicious right-winger? Not Hillary Clinton, that's for sure. In Clinton's term as Secretary of State she promoted expanding the wars in the Middle East and championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that would eliminate jobs, labor rights and environmental protection laws.

Clinton promises to push for equal pay for equal work and doubtless she will -- for women CEOs and executives. Female Walmart workers can tell you she did nothing for them during the six years she sat on the Walmart board as the company screwed them out of pay and promotions. Clinton’s position on abortion is appallingly weak: “legal but rare” she says.

Mothers of color and their families have borne the brunt of Clinton’s policies. In an article in The Nation, Michelle Alexander eloquently laid out the devastating effects of laws Clinton backed in the 1990s: “It is difficult to overstate the damage that’s been done. Generations have been lost to the prison system; countless families have been torn apart or rendered homeless; and a school-to-prison pipeline has been born that shuttles young people from their decrepit, underfunded schools to brand-new high-tech prisons.”

The twin parties of the bosses, with the greatest of contempt for the American people, offer us the “choice” between the fire, Donald Trump, or the frying pan, Hillary Clinton—either way we get burned. Radical Women urges you to vote for the best socialist or anti-capitalist candidate on your ballot –write one in if necessary. This will give the message that people are out to fight an ever-grimmer status quo and a Trumpized political scene.

Regardless of who is elected, there are urgent battles ahead – quashing the far-right; stopping police murders of Black, Native American and Brown people; ending the scapegoating and deportation of immigrants; securing women's reproductive rights; moving against climate change; and terminating U.S. wars for oil and profit.

Our true choice this election is the only one working-class women and men are ever given: the choice to come together to fight for our lives. Through a principled, democratic, united front of working people, we can cross the divisions of race, gender, sexuality, and immigration status that capitalism imposes and profits from.

If you are interested in collaborating, contact Radical Women at RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com or visit www.RadicalWomen.org. Together, we can mobilize to create a genuinely better future!