The Spark

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

Editorial:
Why Wait until November?

Jan 9, 2012

Prepare ourselves. Between now and next November, the election is going to dominate the news. It already is.

The unions are already telling us that our future is in jeopardy if Obama isn’t re-elected. Black leaders like Jesse Jackson chime right in – as do leaders of various immigrant groups and women’s rights organizations.

Their strongest argument comes from the Republicans themselves – who today are contesting with each other to see who can spout the most reactionary garbage.

Rick Santorum, for example, says a woman who is raped should be forced to bear the child of the man who raped her. And every last one of those vile Republicans jumps on the bandwagon, morally condemning abortion and, thus, the women forced to choose it.

They line up, one after the other, to call for a wider war in the Middle East. Everyone but Ron Paul, and he is denounced by all the other Republicans when he says what is obvious, that the U.S. blockade around Iran is an act of war.

Ron Paul, in turn, says we should get rid of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The others hide their intentions behind code words. They offer us private savings accounts instead of Social Security, private medical insurance instead of Medicare. And they’d slash Medicaid even more than Obama already has.

Michelle Bachman said, “deport every ‘illegal’ immigrant” – even little children. The others hint they might make exceptions for some children, but they rush to back the various anti-immigrant laws passed by the states.

Every one of the Republicans attacks unions. Not for the reasons most workers today criticize the leaders of the unions, which is that they don’t lead a fight against wage cuts and job cuts. No, the Republicans attack the unions simply because the unions exist, that is, because workers have the legal right to be organized.

Romney, who has expressed all these reactionary positions, just in a slightly less extreme way, may turn out to be the nominee. But the Republican primary campaign has already spewed poisonous garbage into the political atmosphere.

So, some workers, who today are fed up with Obama and the attacks he has spearheaded, may end up pinning their hopes on the Democrats again – simply because the Republicans are so bad.

And they are. But that’s a little like choosing to be executed by lethal injection instead of the electric chair – because the electric chair is so gruesome.

In either case you’re dead.

For four decades, under Republicans or Democrats, the standard of living of working people has been pushed down by the bosses’ incessant striving for more profit. The rich have become richer; the poor, much poorer; and nearly everyone else has sunk into poverty or is teetering on its edge. And the politicians have turned more money over to the wealthy by cutting public sector jobs, public services and social services.

Alternating between Democrat and Republican hasn’t stopped our nosedive. It’s simply diverted us from taking on the real problem: the continual push by all the bosses to cut jobs and to cut wages.

That’s what we have to fight against. Those are fights we can make. Now. We don’t have to wait for next November. We can start in the places where we work, especially in the biggest workplaces. A fight started in one workplace to defend our jobs and wages can spread to other workplaces, all up and down the line.

Facing the economic crisis, we have to defend ourselves. There is no time to waste. It’s a long time until November. We can make a lot happen before then. Fights that break out now can put whoever wins the election in a corner, making it impossible for him to impose greater sacrifice on us.