Campaign launch video by Socialist Equality Party (US) presidential candidate Joseph Kishore

Joseph Kishore

Joseph Kishore has been a member of the SEP in the United States since 1999. He has served as the party’s national secretary for nearly 16 years, having been first elected at the party’s founding congress in 2008. He ran as the SEP’s candidate for president in 2020.

I’m Joseph Kishore, and I’ve been selected by the Socialist Equality Party as its candidate for president in the 2024 US elections, running alongside Jerry White for vice president.

The two likely candidates of the Democrats and Republicans, President Biden and ex-President Trump, represent two factions of the capitalist corporate-financial oligarchy. They speak for and act on behalf of the billionaires, the super-wealthy Wall Street shareholders, the corporate interests and the military-industrial complex and their program of war, dictatorship, inequality and poverty. As the SEP’s candidates, Jerry and I represent the interests of the working class, the vast majority of the population.

The 2024 presidential election is taking place amidst an unprecedented crisis of the entire American political system. The Republican frontrunner Trump is running not so much for president as he is for dictator. Trump’s late ex-wife revealed that he kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches on his bedroom table. He hopes to emulate the German Fuehrer.

Three years after his attempted coup of January 6, 2021, Trump warns that if elected he will launch a nationwide dragnet of arrests and deportations targeting immigrant workers and youth. The Republicans seek to exploit and misdirect social grievances by marketing the snake oil of reactionary nationalism, pitting American workers against our class brothers and sisters throughout the world.

As for Biden and the Democrats, their central program is expanding war. Biden’s provocation and escalation of the US-NATO war against Russia over Ukraine, now in its third year, and his support for Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, are part of a global imperialist and militaristic agenda that is leading mankind to the catastrophe of nuclear annihilation. 

Millions of people throughout the world have been disgusted by the Biden administration’s complicity in the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. Nearly 30,000 innocent civilians, the majority women and children, are dead, while nearly two million people have been turned into refugees. Biden and his co-conspirators along with Netanyahu, stand condemned for war crimes.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans have anything to offer working people and youth. While endless sums are made available for war and bailouts for the rich, millions of workers struggle to put food on the table amidst soaring prices. Living standards are declining and debt has risen to record levels. Young people, burdened by massive student loans, can’t afford to start a family. Decent health care is unattainable, and a secure retirement is a pipe dream. Public education, healthcare and other basic social programs are starved of resources, and infrastructure is collapsing. In the factories and workplaces, workers confront conditions of brutal exploitation, often forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.

Every aspect of society and politics is subordinated to the interests of the ruling class. The response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has now entered its fifth year, has demonstrated the catastrophic consequences of this dynamic. The subordination of public health to private profit has led to the deaths of more than 28 million people globally, including 1.4 million excess deaths in the United States alone. Untold millions more have been debilitated by the impacts of Long COVID. Thousands continue to die every month in the United States, while the Biden administration has ended the most minimal public health measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The ruling elite is also waging a relentless assault on democratic rights at home. Opponents of Israel’s genocide in Gaza have been slandered as antisemitic. Julian Assange, the courageous journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, has been subject to vicious persecution. If he is extradited to the United States, he would face charges under the Espionage Act for exposing the crimes of American imperialism. 

The American ruling class presides over a vast system of mass incarceration. Each year, the police kill more than 1,000 Americans of all races and ethnicities. The US Supreme Court decision to repeal Roe v. Wade has been followed by a wholesale assault on the right to an abortion throughout the country. 

The election process itself is entirely undemocratic. Through various means—including egregious ballot access restrictions, the domineering influence of money in the electoral process, and the corporate control of the media—the ruling class seeks to maintain the stranglehold of the two-party system and exclude any “interference” by the working class. But millions of workers and young people are looking for a political alternative to the two parties of war, inequality and reaction.

There is not a single social or political problem that can be addressed outside of a frontal assault on the wealth and power of the capitalist oligarchy. This requires the development of a powerful industrial and political offensive of the working class. 

Workers are fighting back. Last year, protests and strikes spread through the UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Argentina and many other countries, and they are continuing in 2024. In the US, there were 36 major strikes involving nearly half a million workers last year, almost four times the number the year before. Healthcare workers, educators and autoworkers walked out, in addition to new sections of the working class such as actors and screenwriters and tens of thousands of university academic workers.

However, the trade union apparatus, controlled by upper-middle-class bureaucrats, collaborates with management and the state in imperialist war abroad and class war at home. This was demonstrated most clearly last year in the betrayal of the strikes in the television, film and auto industries, and in the sellout of UPS workers. Contrary to claims about “historic victories” and “historic contracts,” the agreements paved the way for tens of thousands of job cuts.

Our election campaign will fight for the development of new organizations to coordinate workers’ struggles, rank-and-file committees that operate independently of and in opposition to the nationalist and pro-capitalist trade union bureaucracies. The Socialist Equality Party, together with our sister parties in the International Committee of the Fourth International, will fight to unite workers across borders through the building of the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees.

The logic of the struggles of the working class is for the fight for socialism. 

Socialism means genuine social equality between all people. It means abolishing an economic system based on the exploitation of the working class, in which massive wealth is concentrated in the richest 1 percent, and CEOs and Wall Street executives “earn” more in one day, and even in one hour, than the worker makes in an entire year. Socialism means a society run by those who produce all the wealth, the working class. It means an enormous expansion of democracy by establishing working class control over production, on a world scale.

The ruling class and its corrupt media declare endlessly that socialism is “un-American” and will never win support in the United States. If they really believed this, why do they devote such immense resources to combatting the growth of socialist influence? Trump has made no secret of the fact that he views socialism as his most dangerous enemy. Both the Democrats and Republicans do everything in their power to exclude socialists from the ballot. Their mutual hatred of socialism reflects their fear of the working class and the development of its political understanding of its own economic and social interests.

In 1858, on the eve of the American Civil War, the second American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln explained that the country could not endure, “half slave and half free.” Well, today American democracy cannot endure when a tiny minority live like kings, and the vast majority of workers—the “wage slaves” of capitalism—struggle to make ends meet.

Capitalism has brought society to a dead end. For humanity to survive and resume the march to progress, it must take another path—the path to equality, the path to socialism. 

In the months ahead, Jerry and I—as the candidates of the Socialist Equality Party—will make the case for socialism. We will fight for the political independence of the working class from the capitalist parties.

We will explain that there is an alternative to capitalism, and that the working class has the power to create a better world, to the extent that it recognizes its power as part of the international working class and takes up the fight for socialism.

The Socialist Equality Party campaign will provide a perspective and a way forward. Jerry and I will be traveling throughout the country and around the world speaking to workers and young people, giving expression to the enormous opposition that exists to war, to genocide, to inequality, to dictatorship.

The success of this campaign, however, depends on you. Become a part of history. Support the Socialist Equality Party campaign. Organize an election committee in your school or workplace. Donate to our campaign committee. Volunteer and sign up to help us get on the ballot in your state. Take up the fight for socialism in 2024.

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The SEP launches its campaign for a socialist alternative in 2024 to Biden and Trump, the corporate candidates of war and dictatorship!

David North