Sep 3, 2012
The Republicans officially anointed Mitt Romney on August 29, while the Democrats were lining up to give their blessing to Barack Obama the following week.
The Republicans staked out their position as defenders of the wealthy, promising not only to keep current tax breaks, but to further reduce taxes on the corporations and their wealthy owners. They may pretend this will create jobs, but decades of giving more breaks to the wealthy haven’t produced anything yet in the way of jobs for us – only more unemployment.
Promising to “get government off YOUR back,” the Republicans proposed instead to get government off the backs of the capitalist class – eliminating restrictions on industrial pollution, mine and workplace safety, and unsanitary food.
Doing everything they can to appeal to the most extreme right-wing base, the Republicans would eliminate women’s access to abortion – even, according to their vice-presidential candidate, in cases of rape or incest. They denounce marriage between people of the same sex. They inflame anti-immigrant prejudices. They give rabid support to U.S. imperialism’s wars.
They speak of the need to reduce government debt. This debt was run up by giving out tax breaks to the wealthy and by increasing military spending – but Romney and the Republicans propose to gut Medicaid, limit unemployment benefits, restrict disability payments, replace Social Security with “private investment accounts” and replace Medicare with “vouchers.”
If Obama and the Democrats win this year, it will be for one reason only: because the Republicans, spouting this garbage, handed the election over to them.
Certainly Obama and the Democrats have done nothing to recommend themselves. Obama has presided over the longest and most severe period of unemployment since the 1930s. Unemployment is worse today than when he entered the White House. He may have presented himself four years ago as the “change you can count on,” but he continued the policies Bush had laid out. He followed the Bush plans for Iraq, and even increased Bush’s war in Afghanistan. He increased Bush’s bailout of the big banks. He helped to push through a renewal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporations. He had significantly more immigrants deported than Bush did. He may finally have promised full rights to same sex couples, but promises are cheap – as shown by the promises he made four years ago about defending abortion. Democrats have continued to vote over the last four years to chip away at women’s rights to control their own bodies. Obama set up the body that has already recommended big cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare – a recommendation scheduled to be introduced in Congress immediately AFTER the election. He cut funding for all those agencies that monitor health place safety or industrial pollution, etc. – when they need more money.
This election is not really a choice between different policies – it is simply a choice between who will be in charge of carrying out the same policies, that is, of ripping us off and driving us further backward.
No matter who wins this election, the rich will get more tax breaks, resulting inevitably in a worsening of the crisis, and more unemployment. Women will face more restrictions, as will immigrants. Our situation will degrade, as more money goes to support the profits of a worn-out system that depends on war, unemployment and poverty to keep rolling along. All of that will happen, no matter who wins, unless we fight to push back the wealthy class and the politicians who defend them.
It’s true, we can sit back, wait two months to see who wins, wait another year or two or three or four to see what he will do.
But why do that? Why wait while things get worse? Why not prepare to fight – right now!