Heavy pressure to back a Democrat
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Sep 24 13:39:06 MDT 2003
To: Peace & social justice activists
Bush Can Be Stopped: A Letter to the Left
For the sake of peace, democracy, social justice and racial equality,
George W. Bush must be defeated in 2004. We believe that he can be
defeated and that the left, facing this unprecedented challenge, has a
significant, even crucial role in achieving this objective.
The forthcoming election is unlike any other in recent memory. The Bush
Administration, arguably the most right-wing in the nation’s history,
has sought to effect a qualitative change of frightening proportions in
the conduct of the nation’s foreign and domestic policies.
(This seems to be spearheaded by the Committees of Correspondence, a
group that split from the CPUSA but that continues to share its
orientation to the Democratic Party.)
Can Progressives Love a Military Man?
Village Voice, September 24 - 30, 2003
As pundits pounce on Wesley Clark, his presidential campaign is
beginning to look like a bubble on the verge of bursting. It remains to
be seen whether Clark can connect with anyone who isn't a political
junkie. But one big surprise is how open progressives are to his
candidacy. Not that they're keen on falling for a four-star general,
even one who calls himself a liberal. But interviews with black
activists, feminists, anti-war activists, and left-wing intellectuals
yielded a loose consensus that if it takes a warrior to beat George
Bush, bring him on.
Mind you, not every peacenik is ready to roll with a military man. "For
me, being a general is a disqualification," says Leslie Cagan, national
coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, which organized the recent
round of anti-war marches. Rita Haley, president of the New York City
chapter of the National Organization for Women, considers Clark's
military background "a potential liability." But even Cagan concedes,
"We have to do whatever we can to get rid of Bush." And Haley says, "I
would vote for Zilla the Gorilla" in order to accomplish that.
What a difference from 2000, when Ralph Nader cut into Al Gore's support
and, quite arguably, cost him the election. Today, few activists want to
go there. "Repenticide" is what Michael Lerner, editor of the
progressive Jewish journal Tikkun, calls the current mind-set on the
left—and Nader seems to have read the signals. "The Greens and other
indies are holding their breath to see what happens in the Democratic
Party," says Stanley Aronowitz, who ran for New York governor last year
on the Green Party line. For many leftists, only the nomination of
Joseph Lieberman would push them toward a third-party candidate. As Glen
Ford, co-publisher of the astute and often acerbic website
blackcommentator.com, puts it, "Our position is: anybody but Lieberman."
For the first time since the '60s, radicals are willing to break bread
with the Democratic mainstream. What accounts for this change? In a
word, experience. The coalescing of free marketeers and fundamentalists
into a potent right-wing political force has driven the left to
reconsider its usual strategy of divide and be conquered. "Too often,
progressives were unwilling to act together on anything until they
agreed on everything," says Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.
"That is gone. We can hold two visions in our mind. There's the
long-term building of a movement, but in the short term this is the
worst government the country has ever had. Imagine what Bush would do
with even a tiny mandate. We've seen what he can do with no mandate.
We've got to move on that basis."
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