The Spark

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

Editorial:
How do we get the change we need?

Jun 16, 2008

The Democrats’ primary campaign is settled, and the November campaign has begun.

A large part of the population is fed up after eight years of Republican rule. We have every reason to be. We find ourselves in the midst of a disastrous war, with no end in sight.

We are trapped in an economic crisis, with unemployment up, prices up, and waves of speculation threatening a financial collapse.

While the Bush administration is funneling more money to the very speculators who helped create this mess, it is cutting back even more on social programs, public services and education – just when they are desperately needed.

McCain, who once had a reputation for being “independent,” is going out of his way to align himself with the Bush administration – on the war, the economy and government programs. In other words, he promises only more of the same.

Obama, on the other hand, talks about bringing “change” to Washington.

His record shows that he has opposed those measures that might bring the kind of change working people need.

He says he didn’t vote for the war – he couldn’t, he wasn’t yet in the Senate when the vote was taken. But, like most other Democrats, he’s voted for every funding measure for the war since he’s been in the Senate. And he has openly said that he wants to expand the war in Afghanistan, which the Bush administration is doing at this very moment.

He may have said he could negotiate with Iranian leaders. But, today, like Bush, he pretends that Iran is the biggest threat to peace in the region, and he threatens the use of force against Iran. It’s the language, word for word, that Bush used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

When offered the chance to censure Bush and Cheney, the architects of the Iraq war, he opposed all moves to impeach them.

Funded by big medical corporations, he voted against a bill proposed by Conyers and Kucinich that would at least have wrung some of the profit out of the U.S. medical system – the very thing that has made the U.S. system the most costly in the world, and one of the least effective.

Funded by the nuclear power industry in Illinois, he voted against a bill there requiring nuclear power companies to make public reports of accidents at their facilities.

As far as reigning in Wall Street, forget it. He and Clinton were the biggest beneficiaries of money coming from the big Wall Street investment firms.

The basic approach of his new “economic plan” is to provide more money to companies – under the pretext that it will trickle down to the population. That’s what Bush claimed. And we know what happened. There’s no such thing as “trickle-down” wealth. Only more wealth concentrated at the top.

It’s understandable that working people want to vote against Bush and make the Republican Party pay. But if working people pin their hopes on the elections, they will get burned – as people have so many times in the past.

No matter who is elected, if we sit back and wait for change, we won’t get it. To be more exact, if we get change, it will only be for the worse.

To get an answer to our problems, to have our needs met, we have to impose what we want on government. The struggles of working people in the past have forced politicians – Democrat and Republican alike – to recognize some of their demands. The same thing can be true in the year 2008.