The Spark

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

Convention time:
Round two

Aug 30, 2004

Now it's the Republicans' turn to nominate their candidates. One thing is sure – the man they are nominating is a conniving, greedy, mean-spirited, down-right reactionary liar.

Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in order to take this country into war for Iraq's oil. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have paid the price with their lives, as have nearly 1,000 American troops.

Bush connived to have innocent people arrested so he could pretend to be doing something about terrorism.

All that does is reinforce the hatred already felt by many people around the world toward the U.S.

Any country that goes into other countries, rips out their wealth, destroys their cities, impoverishes and kills their people will create a big reservoir of hatred. And that's just what George Bush's policies have done.

Of course, Bush was not the first U.S. president to carry out such policies – look at the wars against Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Colombia, carried out by the Clinton administration.

Bush's wars against Afghanistan and Iraq simply created more people around the world who hold the U.S. in contempt.

Bush is not getting rid of terrorism. His policies are simply creating the field in which terrorism grows.

On the domestic front, Bush lied about everything he did, starting with the big tax cut we all supposedly got from his administration.

It's true we all got a few hundred dollars, but if you want to talk about big tax cuts, look at Bush's wealthy friends who got billions of dollars cut off their taxes.

Speaking about lies and deceit – Bush said he had no choice but to cut spending on all the programs that matter to working people because of the budget deficit. Cutting his way through Head Start and veterans' benefits, he moved on to reduce if not eliminate public services, ranging from highways to bridges to dams to water systems. He cut money to states, cities and counties, forcing them to cut back money for schools.

Of course Bush had a choice – and he chose to cut all these programs in order to hand over still more money to the corporations and the wealthy class that own them.

Finally, there's the question of jobs. Even as the job situation gets worse, Bush says it's getting better.

So yes, we have every reason to want this liar out of office.

The question is who to replace him?

Did someone say John Kerry?

Is that the same John Kerry who criticized the way Bush went to the war, but then said he will keep the war going and even send more troops to Iraq?

Why should we settle for that? Most people want an end to this war.

Is someone talking about the same John Kerry who says he will create jobs by giving still more tax cuts to the corporations?

Bush showed that is no way to produce jobs. Why should we settle for it?

If you want to see what John Kerry will be like as president, ask the state of Michigan workers what Michigan's Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm did as soon as she got in office.

Almost her very first act was to announce cuts in the number of jobs and to demand money take-aways from state workers.

Then, after promising to protect the schools, she cut money for education.

The Democrats may talk a good line – but when it's all said and done, they have lined up with the Republicans on every important issue: the war, the tax cuts for corporations, the cutting of the budget, the slashing of government jobs.

Where does that leave us? Right where we've always been – caught between two parties, neither one of which represents us.

Working people shouldn't settle for that.

Why should we give either of these parties our votes? That's like shaking the hand of the thief who robs you.

We need our own party, a party of the working class, one which fights for the interests of working people by calling on workers to use their own forces.

We may not be able to get that party this year, but we certainly don't have to give our stamp of approval to parties who thumb their noses at us.