The Spark

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

If you want the change you voted for, be ready to fight for it!

Nov 27, 2006

Working people are angry today, and their vote to dump the Republicans expresses it.

The Republicans had taken the lead in justifying this vile war in Iraq. They had handed over more tax money to the wealthy and subsidies to their corporations. They had starved the public school system for money, while reducing needed social services and public services. And, for good measure, they had tried to win voters by using the most reactionary social attitudes possible: anti-immigrant, racist, anti-science, anti-abortion.

With good reason, people voted to get rid of these vicious scoundrels.

The question now, however, is: what did we get? Thanks to this electoral system, which is designed to prevent the population from registering its will, we still have Bush.

So what? If the Democrats were ready to make a fight against Bush, what could he do? Voters gave the Democrats a crushing victory over the Republicans. The Democrats took 24 of the 33 Senate seats up for election. They took at least 29 House seats away from the Republicans. And they didn’t lose a single seat of their own. They now control a sizeable majority of governor’s chairs, as well as a big majority of state legislative houses.

This vote gives the Democrats a mandate to impose the changes they talked about before the election: get out of Iraq; reverse the tax cuts which enriched the wealthy at the expense of needed social programs and public services; prohibit all the corporate maneuvers for cutting jobs and wages.

In two years time, the Democrats could impose all these changes and Bush couldn’t stand in their way – IF the Democrats were ready to use their new position to push through what people want. They would have working people standing behind them, ready to fight. And working people are the vast majority of the population.

What could Bush, this washed-up, smirking fool do? Nothing.

That is, he could do nothing IF the Democrats made such a fight.

Instead, they have already rushed to reassure Bush that their top priority is to work with him. They have backpedaled on Iraq, rushing to clarify what they left vague before the election – they aren’t for getting out of Iraq now. Finally, they went out of their way to reassure the wealthy that the tax cuts favoring them would stand.

In other words, if working people are to get the change they thought they voted for, they are going to have to be ready to fight for it. The only thing Democrats or Republicans really understand is the anger of the population, when it is expressed loudly, clearly, without any hesitation. If you just hand them your vote, they use it against you. We will only get what we are prepared to fight for.