The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
Election time
– don't give our vote to the parties that attack us

Oct 28, 2002

Elections are coming up.

What continues to dominate the stage is Bush who, in threatening Iraq, pretends to speak for all the American people. Having ridden September 11 for all it was worth, trying to divert attention from what was happening to the lives of the working people of this country, he now uses the so-called "Iraqi threat" to do the same thing.

There is no real discussion about the problems that ravage the country today: the failing economy and the corruption of big business linked with it; the loss of jobs and the threat of more plant closings; insufficient spending on the schools, the public services and the social programs needed by the population.

But neither is there any discussion of what a new war against Iraq would really mean. Only propaganda, distortions and outright lies.

The election this November, even while putting a few new people in office, will confirm most of those who are responsible for the current situation, both Democrat and Republican.

It may be Bush who today pushes for war in Iraq – but he does so with the support of both parties. Democrats made a show of opposing the war resolution, but the Democratic Party itself made sure to give Bush all the votes he needed in order to let him proclaim that he had "strong support" from Congress for his war.

Bush and his administration may have set a new mark for corruption, but he simply is doing what the executives of most major corporations have been doing. And like Bush, they will never see prison for the billions of dollars they stole.

Bush, as president, may preside over a failing economy, but he is supported by both parties in handing over more of the nation's wealth to the bosses.

As far as social programs – both parties engaged in the slight of hand they called "extending unemployment benefits." That is, both parties voted for an extension that is to run out in December – just after the election is over and they are safely back in office. And both parties agreed not to pass the budget until after the election – for the same reason: they will be safely back in office when they vote to pass out more money to the corporations at our expense.

Both parties have made it clear that on everything essential – and even in almost everything non-essential – they stake their claim with the bosses. Neither one has a record that in any way serves the interests of the working class. Both parties are parties of big business.

There is no reason to vote for either of these parties – including for those candidates who present themselves as (lukewarm) friends of labor.

The best way for working people to express ourselves in this election is to refuse to give either of these parties our vote.

We may not be able to vote for what we want this election. But we certainly don't have to vote for what we don't want. Nor do we have to let them pretend we approve of what they are doing to us by giving them our votes. A vote is not a harmless thing when we give it to someone who is harming us.