Oct 11, 2004
Why don't the polls show Bush losing the election by a landslide?
Why don't they show that the Republicans will be swept from power for how they have made us pay for this bloody and vile war in Iraq – a war the majority of the population opposes?
The Bush administration has lavished fabulous tax breaks and subsidies on the rich and big corporations at the expense of the working population.
And Bush pushed through ever more repressive laws, like the despicable USA-Patriot Act, as well as picking up, arresting, and holding without trial thousands of people in one sweep after another.
Bush's policies have penalized the entire working class and a part of the middle classes, that is, the vast majority of the population.
So why is the election so close? Why don't the polls show a huge majority of people eager to vote for Kerry on November 2?
Because John Kerry and the Democrats are proposing to continue the same basic policies that Bush imposed. Kerry and the Democrats may criticize the way Bush got us into war in Iraq. But Kerry openly promises to step up the wars, sending even more troops and bombs to terrorize the people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kerry may criticize Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy. But he doesn't propose to stop opening the government vault to big corporations the wealthy own and control. Instead, he promises to hand out even more tax cuts to the corporations – repeating Bush's lie that tax cuts will create jobs.
Kerry may criticize Bush for how he uses the USA-Patriot Act, the spying and provocations of the FBI and police on those who protest against Bush's policies. But Kerry doesn't propose to repeal those laws and muzzle the police and the FBI.
Kerry and Bush stand for essentially the same things. And the majority of workers know it. That is why the election looks like a dead heat. The working class really has no choice.
Ignoring this fact of political life, the heads of the unions and other organizations argue that the most important thing is to get Bush out. They say that if we don't support the Democrats, we will throw our vote away.
No – voting for either candidate is a way to throw our vote away. Giving either one our vote means throwing our support to the very policies that victimize us today.
Yes, workers have to find a way to make our voices heard. But that means to go outside the old two-party system that has dominated politics for so long. It means to build an alternative, a working class alternative.
We can begin by organizing against the attacks: to oppose the wars, the layoffs and job cuts, the cuts in wages and benefits, the cuts in government services. We can defend ourselves – by counting on our own strength and determination. And those fights can lay the groundwork for the working class to build its own party.
If we want that party, we will stop reinforcing the Democrats and Republicans. We will refuse to give them our votes any longer. In some states there are socialist parties running, for example, the Socialist Workers Party or Workers World Party. These parties may be small, but they take the side of the working class. We can give them our vote to show we want a party representing the working class. In other states we may have no choice. But we can always pull a voting machine lever without marking any name.
Don't throw our vote away by giving it to parties that will use it against us!