[Marxism] If it's war you want, vote Kerry

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Wed Apr 14 20:09:59 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey Morgan" <morganj at uga.edu>
> Supporting the Democrats and getting Bush out of office will
> do little to solve this problem.  What's happening seems to
> be - at least from my perspective - part of an overall shift
> to the right in American political culture.  It seems by
> supporting the Democrats in a sloganeering effort to bring
> about "anybody but Bush," "regime change at home," etc., the
> progressive left movement in the United States will allow the
> Democrats to take their vote for granted, leaving them free
> to move right in an effort to pick up more votes.  Thus, the
> left will have contributed to the rightward trend taking
> place.

Yes, precisely, but this is not a new phenomenon!  Since you're a student I
presume that you don't personally remember all the other elections when
exactly the same damn thing happened, like Clinton-Reagan, Mondale-Reagan,
Dukakis-Bush, Clinton-Bush, and Clinton-Dole.  For decades now the Democrat
has been saying "You have to vote for me.  I'm to the left of HIM."  And for
this whole time the Democrat and the Republican have BOTH been moving to the
right.  This would make an interesting poster if someone with graphic skills
would take it on.

> Of course, this analysis certainly isn't original to me and
> I've read similar sentiments on this list.  I just find it
> mind boggling that it isn't more obvious to some people,
> especially those who fashion themselves as progressive,
> radical even (think Noam Chomsky).  I mean, I'm a student at
> UGA in Athens Georgia.  I was pretty involved in the anti-war
> movement here after 9-11.  But all the people I worked with
> have now gone over to the Kerry side, criticising the
> occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq in word only (and very
> rarely).  The whole thing basically went from anti-war to
> anti-Bush to pro-Kerry.  They've begun to believe their own
> slogans, adopting, in a bizarre reversal, Bush's own
> metaphysics of evil.  Only this time *Bush* is the
> manifestation of ultimate evil and must be vanquished at all
> costs.

I think we've all seen that, BUT my suggestion is that you go back and ask
these people what they think in light of the last two weeks in Iraq, and if
it affects them any.  I think the whole "playing field" around these
elections has just been given a new tilt in two ways.  #1: "Bring the troops
home now" is now an immediately sensible and obviously necessary demand to
millions of people.  When we went out in Chicago on April 9 with "Bring the
troops home now" leaflets, all you would have to do was yell "Bring them
home!  Bring them home!" at the top of your lungs and passers-by would come
up and say "Yes!  You're right!  I agree! Thank you!  We've got to!" and so
on.  This had not been the case during the whole course of the war up till
now.  #2: John Kerry has had to come out solidly in favor of the war and
against troop withdrawal.  Go around asking people "Who said 'I don't
believe in a cut and run philosophy!'?"  (See Yoshie's latest)  They'll say
"Bush?" and you'll tell them "Kerry!"

Much of the drift of the anti-war movement toward Kerry has come from a
belief that the war was really over, or at any rate was "manageable".  But
now what? we must ask the people who are like the people you worked with.
Don't you believe we should bring the troops home?  Well, isn't it obvious
that we will have to fight both Bush and Kerry to do it?  How do you believe
that you can fight racism and support social justice by supporting a
candidate with a program of racist and devastatingly expensive imperialist
war?  I think that some of them will wise up.

Lou Paulsen

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