Cynthia McKinne=Al Gore?????

Mike Friedman mikedf at
Sun Jan 5 13:55:14 MST 2003

Jose, you seem to be progressively (not referring to political stance)
dismembering the baby and throwing it out with the SWP bathwater. No,
electoral questions are not "by their nature" tactical. They are inscribed
in a strategy, which is to use them to promote political independence for
working people. I see no reason to reject the position taken by the SWP
(and not just the SWP) on support for Democratic party candidates. It is
never a question of the politics of the individual candidate, whether a
McKinney, a Dellums or a Wellstone, but of the political party -- the party
of which class -- they represent. Nor is it  that each election immediately
poses the question of class rule. Rather, elections represent a pedagogical
opportunity to expose class rule. And from this point of view,
Gore=McKinney. Sorry to bring up the abc's, but you seem to have forgotten.

At 08:55 AM 1/5/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 22:16:21 -0500
>From: "Jose G. Perez" <jgperez at>
>Subject: Re: Cynthia McKinne=Al Gore?????
> >>My exact words were, "Is Cynthia McKinney the equivalent of Al Gore? No.
>But is campaigning for Cynthia McKinney the equivalent of campaigning for Al
>Gore? Yes."<<
>Posed on this level of abstraction the answer to your question is not
>"yes.". Electoral questions are, by their very nature, tactical. Denuded of
>the actual political situation, no tactical approach is possible.
>But looked at concretely, ¿Was campaigning for McKinney against the
>Democrat-Republican-Zionist cabal to drive her out of Congress for opposing
>the war on terrorism etc., the same as campaigning for the continuation of
>the Clinton regime under new management? I do not see where one could answer
>"yes" unless one wants to move the discussion to the level of principles
>based on the argument that in elections, the question of which class should
>rule is posed, the SWP's traditional position. I no longer agree with this
>"principled" position, for one thing, it gives a tremendous amount away to
>bourgeois electoral cretinism.
>The real question to be asked is not *whether* McKinney should have been
>supported but *how.* I do not know of anyone on the left who lives in this
>district in the Atlanta metro area who didn't make it a point to go out and
>vote for McKinney in that primary. And the idea that there is a difference
>between voting and campaigning is an artificial one that does not stand
>cursory examination.
>Taking a hypothetical socialist in Atlanta at the time, let's call her Eve.
>Eve's decided to vote for McKinney but not to actively campaign for her.
>Nevertheless, if a coworker of Eve's at the bank where she works as a
>computer programmer asks her, "Eve, how are you going to vote," what is Eve
>going to say? If Eve has any kind of standing with her coworker, her saying
>she'll vote for Cynthia is tantamount to campaigning. For all sorts of
>tactical reasons Eve may decide NOT to invest any time and effort supporting
>McKinney's campaign, but this dichotomy between voting and campaigning is
>one that, in reality, does not exist.
>- ----- Original Message -----
>From: "Adam Levenstein" <cleon42 at>
>To: <marxism at>
>Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 4:25 PM
>Subject: Re: Cynthia McKinne=Al Gore?????

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