The Trouble With Ralph

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Wed Aug 30 01:23:05 MDT 2000

The question of whether to endorse Ralph Nader or not has split the
American Trotskyist remnants of the decayed Socialist Workers Party.
Solidarity has a double endorsement offered this election year;
McReynolds or Nader.      While Socailist Action has condemned that
stance, stating that endorsing Nader is an act of crossing class lines.

DSP- Australia printed Malik Miah's commentarity recently praising Nader
with a rather rosey colored analysis.       Socialist Action has a long
commentary by Jeff Mackler in their August paper against the idea of
supporting a pro-capitalist candidate.

Interesting to note, is that Workers World does not endorse Nader,
evidently having learned from its past mistaken endorsement of Jesse
Jackson when he ran for president.

The idea of endorsing Nader stems from the notion of voting for the
Social Democrats as being a vote of critical endorsement.      But in
the US Trotskyist movement, voting for Social Democrats is considered
not just a critical endorsement, but rather something absolutely top
priority on the political agenda.

In fact, the history of the last 1/4 century for the American
Trotskyists, has been an all time and energy consuming rush, to
construct a Social Democratic 'Labor' Party, that then could be given a
critical endorsement.

A Trotskyist Movement that once took pride in entering the Socialist
Party, and then proceeding to leave it as a shell, now is obsessed with
building a Socialist Party anew.

In the case of Socialist Action, a vote for Tony Blair is positive, but
a vote for Cardenas in Mexico, or Nader here in the US, is crossing
class lines to vote for a pro-capitalist.

For Solidarity, Nader is almost a stand-in for the desired construct of
an American Labor Party.     A precursor: a positive step forward.

What seems to be standard at election times, is the power of wishful
thinking.      Whether it be a Wallace, Jessie, or Ralph, certain
Leftists will exagerate their hopes and desires into seeing a postive
attitude towards socialist politics that is just not the case in these
pro-capitalist candidates.

We see this in the general population with liberals( including the
American Communist Party) that go to such great lengths to see gigantic
differences between Demos and Republicrats.      Still, it is sad to see
communist groups also go chasing after the pot of gold, at the end of
the rainbow.

Ralph Nader, rather than being a catalyst for progress, is just a new
trick in the same old game, of liberals tryng to push the Democratic
Party to the left.      What pro-Nader communists seem to forget, is
that liberals always talk better, than in what they are actually
prepared to deliver.

There is no sign that Nader, or his Labor official supporters, are
prepared to do anything beyond lobbying Democratic Party officials past
election time.      The Nader campaign is not a break away drive,
anymore than the Rainbow Coalition ever was.      So why would a
communist party endorse him?

Even more to the point, is why would we even care to have yet another
pro-capitalist electoral party, whether it calls itself Green, or Labor?
A labor Party that comes out of struggle is one thing.      But a
'labor' party that is founded by a losing presidential campaign, is not
worth the bureaucracy it creates.

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