The Spark

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

"Anyone's better than Bush" is another political lie

Jul 5, 2004

Ralph Nader asked the Green Party to endorse his presidential campaign, to help him get on the ballot in as many states as possible. The Green Party convention refused.

At first glance, the Greens' decision seems a little surprising. Very few national figures match Nader in representing the stated environmental and consumer-protection goals of the Green Party. Nader also made a credible showing as the Green candidate in 2000, amassing almost 3% of the popular vote nationwide, a large number for a new party.

But in the 2004 election, every left-leaning liberal spokesperson in town is trying to figure out how to support the Democrats – without appearing to support the Democrats! And they have all settled on the same strategy: to declare that Bush is so bad, that anyone – even a Kerry – will make a difference.

Even though all of them know it's a lie.

An 'anything' like Kerry – an 'anything' beholden to the moneyed interests funding the Democratic Party – may be different from Bush in how he talks. But in what he does, he will carry out the interests of big business to the detriment of the population every bit as much as Bush does today – or every bit as much as Kerry himself did while in the Senate.

Today, Kerry's policy on the Iraq war differs very little from Bush's own, except that Kerry openly declares he would send still more U.S. troops to Iraq if elected. (Bush is already doing that – just not saying much about it!)

Kerry waffles and weaves on women's right to control their own bodies – wobbling closer and closer to Bush's own anti-abortion stance.

And when considering problems such as jobs for workers, Kerry's offer is mainly more subsidies to corporations ... the same program Bush has been busily implementing for three and a half years!

Ironically, Nader himself implied, when announcing he was running, that he did not want to stand in the way of defeating Bush. But the issue posed for the Greens and others is not Nader's stance, but Nader's simple presence on the ballot in November. Millions of voters distrust both major parties. Keeping Nader (and others) off the ballot is designed to leave those distrustful voters with no choice but Kerry or Bush – leaving them no way to show publicly how many people understand the futility of relying on either major party.

Someone who really wants to change this society will not work to imprison working people in this same trap. They will work to construct a workers' party.