Nov 8, 2004
One day after his re-election Bush declared: "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital. And now I intend to spend it. It is my style."
Bush lost no time in sketching out his plans for the next four years of his administration.
He made clear he intends to continue the bloody U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The impending U.S. offensive in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq is already proof of what that will mean for the people there – and here.
Here at home, Bush made clear that the corporations and rich, which got so much from his first administration, will reap even more. They will get more tax cuts – Bush said that is his first priority. They also will get more subsidies and giveaways.
Of course, as always, Bush expects working people to pick up the enormous tab. He aims to privatize Social Security, a goal long cherished by Wall Street financiers, who want to get their hands on that money. This can only mean enormous cuts in our hard-earned Social Security benefits. Giving out more money to the corporations will inevitably result in further cuts to education, to public services and to the social programs the working class depends on, like unemployment benefits and Medicaid.
Bush claims that the election gave him a mandate to carry out these attacks, that the vote proves the country is behind him.
No it doesn't. Bush received 51% of the vote. That is not 51% of the population. Between 40 and 50% of the eligible people didn't vote. Then there are all those made "ineligible" by a series of reactionary laws. Put it all together, and you see that Bush won the votes of only a quarter of the adult population – hardly a crushing majority! All the more so, since no candidate spoke for the working class majority in this election.
That won't stop Bush from pretending he has a mandate. Nor will it prevent the Democrats from pretending there is nothing they can do about it – just like they pretended they couldn't stop him when they had a majority in the Senate during 2001 and 2002.
Democrats and Republicans will both say, "the people have spoken."
No! The people haven't spoken, not until the working people of this country – by far the vast majority – begin to express their demands, and then act on them.
The stakes are enormous. If Bush and the other politicians – who will all hide behind him – have their way, they will continue to turn the clock back over the next four years.
Gains won by strikes, by social movements, by vast mobilizations of the people will be taken back – unless new strikes, new social movements, and new mobilizations force the politicians to back off.
Bush and all his ilk can be brought to account like the trash they are. When the working class majority – the force which had no voice in this election – makes its voice heard in the one way that matters, through militant action.