As U.S. election returns rolled in, most Canadians breathed a sigh of relief. The nightmare of a White House and Congress controlled by ultra-right bigots and warhawks was blocked, at least for the next few years.

Many people had feared that the right-wing corporate media, and “voter suppression” tactics, might help elect Mitt Romney. But the outcome reflects significant demographic and political trends. President Obama won by 3.5 million votes, thanks to support from trade unions, women, the Black and Latino communities, youth, and LBGT groups.

These voters rejected the Republican lie that only wealthy, straight, white males “deserve” to govern. In many states, progressive forces won battles over union rights, marriage equality, and other major issues.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are dominated by big capital, but on Nov. 6, the working class majority of the 99% prevailed over the corporate elite, which desperately wanted a Republican president.

Unfortunately, there is no time for celebration. The global capitalist crisis is now in its fifth year, leaving hundreds of millions of working people facing poverty and hunger. The “austerity” attack against collective bargaining, wages, pensions and social programs is becoming even more aggressive. Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions are leading to catastrophic superstorms.

The U.S. and its NATO allies still spend nearly a trillion dollars a year on military build-ups, and the threat of imperialist wars against Syria and Iran remains very real. The re-election of President Obama does not end the drone war against Pakistan, or the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

These problems require mass mobilization of the working class and its allies, both on immediate demands, and around the compelling necessity to end capitalist exploitation. The U.S. election shows that the far right can be blocked at the polls, but this is just the first step in the fight for a better world.

Editorial Board, Peoples Voice

November 15, 2012