Gus Hall Dies

Dayne Goodwin dayneg at
Tue Oct 17 16:10:13 MDT 2000

On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, Charles Brown wrote:
> CB: OK , but you said the CP had supported every Democrat for the last
> 32 years, and that doesn't seem to be accurate.
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Hello Charles, consider the following quote on how the CPUSA developed the
tactic of running CP candidates to carry out their strategy of supporting
liberal Democrats.  Dayne
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Earl Browder, "The American Communist Party in the Thirties," in
_As We Saw the Thirties_, edited by Rita James Simon, University of
Illinois Press, 1967:

        "Some months thereafter [in 1935] I headed a delegation to Moscow
to consult with the Comintern about the elections.  Upon arriving we were
informed by Georgi Dimitrov, the Bulgarian who had become General
Secretary at the Seventh World Congress and the hero of the Reichstag Fire
Trial in Nazi Germany, that the Comintern leaders were all firmly of the
opinion that the American Communist Party should endorse Roosevelt's
candidacy and put up no candidates of their own.  My permanent (but
usually secret) opposition in America, William Z. Foster (supported by Sam
Darcy) immediately agreed with the proposal.  I flatly opposed it, and
proposed a thoroughgoing discussion before decision, the rest of the
delegation withholding their opinion.  After two weeks of discussion I
remained obdurate, and advanced my final argument that if we really wished
to assure Roosevelt's re-election we would not endorse him because that
would cause him to be labeled 'the Communist candidate' by the newspapers,
most of which opposed him.  This would lose him many times as many votes
from the 'Right' as it would bring him from the 'Left,' for a net loss
that might mean his defeat if the vote were close.  On the other hand we
could put up our own candidate but conduct such a campaign that would
assure Roosevelt all votes under our influence except the diehard
opponents of all 'capitalist' candidates who without a Communist candidate
would switch to Norman Thomas or even the Socialist Labor party.
Thereupon the discussion was suspended, while the issue was being
re-evaluated by the Russian politburo-which we learned later meant Stalin.
The final conclusion of the Comintern was 'to leave the matter to the
decision of the American comrades,' where I had no difficulty in carrying
the decision my way.  Thus I became the logical Communist presidential
candidate and made my ambiguous campaign in favor of 'my rival,'
Roosevelt.  The more the newspapers puzzled over this tactic, the more
effective it became."
        pp. 233-234, 2nd printing, 1969.

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