[Marxism] Militant editorial: Dump Bush! Dump Kerry too!

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Aug 13 18:55:06 MDT 2004

The Militant finally calls for dumping Bush! As well as Kerry. Amazing
how long it took them to come to the conclusion that the current mass
murderer should be repudiated, not just the would-be one.  I fully
agree, of course.  Also worth noting is the non-hostile stance toward
the August 28-9 anti-Bush events, which will also be  antiwar protests.

As usual, the line on the Nader campaign and Green Party has the usual
sectarian stance toward varied expressions of discontent most firmly
based in the middle classes and extending elsewhere.  (The bitter
hostility  toward the Peace and Freedom Party in 1968 was a
manifestation of this, although there was absolutely no sane reason for
the SWP candidates to withdraw in favor of that ticket.)

I actually think the Militant turning against Bush (at least in this
editorial) is a sign that his campaign is not doing well.  I think the
Buckley editorial (like the defense of Kerry's war record by McCain) is
a further sign that parts of the Republican mainstream are getting ready
to live with Kerry. Perhaps the Militant is giving up on what seemed to
me like a bizarre effort by a small socialist group to convince the
rulers that they really  owed it to themselves to come to Bush's rescue
-- him having done such a good job in Iraq and all.

Of course the Militant, like the rest of us, knows damn well that "who
you are against" is part of the issue and part of how people judge you.
That is why they were screaming against Kerry but not Bush for the last
couple months.  And that is why they  have decided that if they are
going to recruit anyone at this rally, they had better dump Bush.  

I welcome all evidence of sanity.
Fred Feldman

lt’s not who you’re against, but what you are for!
Vote Socialist Workers in 2004! 
Dump Bush? Yes. Dump Kerry too!
Support the only working-class alternative in November

Thousands of young people, unionists, and others will be taking to the
streets of New York before and during the Republican National Convention
to say “Defeat Bush!” 
We wholeheartedly agree and join with them. And we say, “Defeat Kerry
too!” The Republicans and Democrats are twin parties of imperialist war,
economic depression, and racist oppression. 
We urge you to support the only working-class alternative to these two
parties of capitalism: the Socialist Workers Party ticket of Róger
Calero for president and Arrin Hawkins for vice president. 
Why hold your nose to vote for the rotten “choice” of the Democratic
Party nominee, John Kerry, who is so unappealing that many prefer to say
they are voting “against Bush”? Why vote for Kerry, who recently
confirmed he would have voted to back President George Bush in invading
Iraq even if he had known there were no “weapons of mass destruction”
there? The liberal capitalists told Kerry to say this clearly, so that
the generals who have endorsed him can stand up and say he is as good as
Bush, or even better, as the “commander in chief” of their imperialist
Why vote for Kerry, who was quick to side with Bush’s endorsement of
Ariel Sharon’s “settlement plan” and who backs the murderous policies of
Tel Aviv against the Palestinian people? Why vote for Kerry, who
supports Washington’s economic war on Cuba and calls for even more
aggressive measures than the sitting president against Venezuela? 
Why vote for Kerry, who is following the footsteps of his predecessor
William “end welfare as we know it” Clinton and says abortion should be
legal but rare? Abortion is a woman’s right to choose! 
With either the Republicans or the Democrats working people go to the
Instead, campaign for the socialist candidates. Something you can be
That is what counts—not who you’re against, but what you’re for! 
At the heart of the Socialist Workers campaign is support for workers’
right to organize unions and to defend ourselves against the bosses’
assaults on our jobs, wages, benefits, working conditions, and dignity. 
The socialists also call for the launching of a labor party, based on
the unions, to fight in the interests of workers and farmers. Working
people not only need to defend ourselves on the economic level—we need
to organize independently of the employers in the political arena as
well (see “What the SWP Stands and Fights For” on page 5). 
Unable to inspire enthusiasm for their candidate, supporters of the
Democrats sometimes argue we should vote for Kerry as a “lesser evil” to
Bush and the Republicans. But this argument is false. 
The cause of the worsening economic and social crisis—from exploitation
by the bosses to wars of plunder abroad—is not an individual politician
or a particular party holding office, but the capitalist system and the
tiny handful of billionaire families that perpetuate their rule at the
expense of the vast majority. 
This capitalist class has two parties, the Democrats and the
Republicans. Their two-party system is a trap designed to hoodwink
working people into thinking that we have a choice—alternating between
one gang of predators and another—and to keep us from attacking the real
problem, capitalism. 
Nor are the “independent” campaigns of Ralph Nader or the Green Party an
alternative for working people. These are pro-capitalist third parties
that are not independent from the ruling class. They serve as pressure
groups on the Democrats, reinforcing the two-party con game. 
The Socialist Workers Party is filing for ballot status in 14 states and
the District of Columbia—from New York to Washington State and Florida.
It is the only socialist campaign with ballot status on a national
Some say the socialist campaign offers a perspective in the interests of
working people—but it’s not realistic today. One frequent question is:
Why campaign for candidates who cannot legally take office? To be
president and vice president, the U.S. Constitution requires that you be
U.S.-born and at least 35 years old. Róger Calero, a permanent U.S.
resident, was born in Nicaragua; Arrin Hawkins is 29 years old. 
But Calero and Hawkins are far more representative of the majority of
the U.S. population today than a couple of older millionaire hucksters.
And with the rapidly growing numbers of residents who are foreign-born,
there are more voices today calling for expanding the right to vote and
hold office. This changing reality of U.S. politics is highlighted by
the prominence of numerous foreign-born political figures today, such as
the governor of California, Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, or
former secretary of state Madeleine Albright. Just as the Constitution
was amended under the Nixon administration to lower the voting age to
18, sooner or later some offices will be opened to those born abroad and
the age limit for holding office will be lowered. The socialists support
such changes because they serve the interests of the working class. 
Another common question is: Well, I agree Kerry is a dismal option. But
since only Democrats or Republicans will win the elections anyway, won’t
voting for the socialists be a lost vote? 
No, voting for a candidate you’re actually against—that’s truly a lost
vote. Instead, vote for what you support: vote socialist! 
We invite you to join with other socialist campaigners in distributing
the campaign newspapers of Calero and Hawkins—the Militant and the
Spanish-language socialist magazine Perspectiva Mundial—as widely as
possible, together with books that give working-class explanations to
the main problems facing humanity and point a way forward to resolve
them in the interests of working people.As thousands of protesters fill
the streets during the 12 days leading up to and during the Republican
convention, Socialist Workers campaigners, from New York and around the
country, will be joining the daily debates and discussions. 
As part of this street campaigning, we are kicking off a 10-week
drive—from August 28 through the weekend after the November 2
elections—to win 2,500 new subscribers to the Militant and 550 to
Perspectiva Mundial. This is also a perfect time for those who have
already subscribed to renew. 
Socialists are also campaigning with a well-selected array of books and
pamphlets that are featured in a four-page centerspread in this issue. 
The questions posed in this year’s elections—“Is Kerry a ‘lesser evil’?”
or “What’s the cause of the imperialist assault on Iraq?” among
others—and the answers that communists and other currents in the workers
movement give to them are not new. They have been tested in the class
struggle over many decades. The socialist campaigners will be getting
these books, pamphlets, and newspaper into the hands of as many people
as possible to provide working-class answers to these questions. 
Regardless of whether you vote in November, we urge you to join in
campaigning for the working-class alternative—through November 2 and

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