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THE world faces catastrophe if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins the US presidential election today.
In Trump, candidate of the Republican Party (a political wing of US corporate interest), we have a racist, misogynist boor.
His behaviour and language towards women make him unfit for office.
So too does his incendiary anti-immigrant incitement, demonising Muslims and Mexicans, vowing to make the countries the US exploits pay for the privilege — so Mexico will apparently be made to pay for his absurd border wall, and Cuba for the upkeep of the Guantanamo naval base and concentration camp Washington maintains on its territory.
His mockery of disabled US citizens completes the picture of a vile billionaire who brags about avoiding tax and has nothing but contempt for the billions around the world who, unlike him, were not born into unimaginable wealth and privilege.
In Clinton, the candidate of the Democratic Party (a political wing of US corporate interest), we have an aggressive warmonger who has backed every one of the US’s unprovoked assaults on sovereign nations over the past two decades, in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
In the latter she bragged: “We came, we saw, he died” after the death of former leader Muammar Gadaffi, sodomised with a bayonet before being beaten to death by Nato-backed Islamist rebels.
The descent of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya into permanent civil war has not sated Clinton’s appetite for conflict.
In Syria, her determination to prevent the Bashar al-Assad government defeating al-Qaida in Aleppo is such that she talks of shooting down Russian aircraft — which could spark a world war.
Her confrontational posturing in the Pacific raises the risk of an armed clash with China as well.
We are living through an exceptionally dangerous political moment: the despatch of British warplanes to join US-led war games in the Yellow Sea between China and Korea comes as Nato is massing troops along the Russian border and our Defence Secretary Michael Fallon muses that we might be ready for war with Moscow in a couple of years.
Many on the left who are — with good reason — terrified of a Trump victory see Clinton as a safer pair of hands, more likely to maintain the liberal status quo.
But the liberal status quo is a world riven with “small” wars (in which hundreds of thousands continue to die) and teetering on the brink of bigger ones.
A world where giant businesses are spinning an ever-expanding web of “trade deals” — TPP, TTIP, Tisa, Ceta — which spell the death of democracy, where the public has no right to choose governments that stand in the way of corporate profit, whatever the social, environmental or human cost.
Declining wages, chronic job insecurity and a broken economic system have created desperation, which feeds far-right demagogues such as Trump in the US and Marine Le Pen in France.
But we cannot defeat the far right by pretending that the causes of that desperation do not exist, which is effectively what those who take up arms for the status quo — whether that takes the shape of Clinton across the pond or the European Union over here — are doing.
The task of socialists is to fight for a real solution to heal the wounds of our broken world: to fight for a planet in which people, not profits, are sovereign; to campaign tirelessly for peace.
That means rejecting Clinton as well as Trump, Jean-Claude Juncker as well as Theresa May.
The choices the ruling class offers us are false ones. Working people the world over deserve better.
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