[Marxism] Democratic Party?
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 25 07:45:14 MST 2004
by Don Fitz
February 25, 2004
Discussions of the 2004 presidential race often leave out the very
important question of whether it is in the best interest of progressive
movements for the Democratic Party to run someone for president. I
believe that the Democratic Party should stand down in 2004. Here are 10
Reason No. 1. The Democratic Party was responsible for the election of
George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
In the 2000 elections, the Green Party brought at least a million voters
to the polls who would have selected the Democratic Party candidate as
their second choice if they had been able to. For years, Greens have
been advocating "Instant Runoff Voting," (IRV) which lets voters rank
order candidates and, if their first choice is not among the top
contenders, transfers their vote to another choice. Since the Democratic
Party knew that IRV is used around the world and that Green votes could
be the difference in a close race, they knew that IRV could be the
difference between winning and losing the 2000 election. 
But the Democratic Party power brokers also knew that if voters had
access to IRV, tens of millions would have shown their disgust with Gore
by ranking him below Nader. Thus, they decided they would rather risk
losing the election than see this happen.
Democratic Party bosses concluded they had far more in common with
George W. Bush than with Ralph Nader. They intentionally kept Nader out
of the presidential debates, despite more voter apathy and a lower
turnout. They refused to aggressively challenge the illegal
disenfranchisement of African-American voters in Florida or even to
demand that every vote be counted. They consciously put George W. Bush
in the White House as their "lesser evil."
Reason No. 2. The Democratic Party opposes Bush but does not oppose
Bush's political program.
During the US slaughter in Vietnam, many commented that World War II
defeated Hitler but fascism won. The 2004 Democratic strategy is the
same. The Democrats want to replace Bush, the personality. But they do
not care if someone else continues Bush's policies.
Their mantra "Anyone but Bush" blurs and confuses these two concepts.
The average person thinks, "Stop the horrible things Bush is doing;
anyone who replaces him will act differently." But smoke-filled
Democratic Party plotting sessions will select a candidate who can
capitalize on anti-Bush sentiment and what he would do in office would
be irrelevant. In fact, "Anyone but Bush" ignores that the Democratic
Party is responsible for each and every one of the atrocities associated
with the one they demonize.
If the Democrats are against the Bush program, why do they wait until
the election to fight it? Why don't they mobilize, as a party, [not as
individual people, but as a political party] to demonstrate, strike,
etc. to stop the Bush program now? Why would they tell us "Wait until
the 2004 elections" to stop the Bush program?
Democratic candidates pretend to be less pro-war, more pro-labor, and
more pro-human rights; then they move to the right to get the
nomination, and further to the right to win the election. The Democrats
only nominate a 2004 presidential candidate to lull voters into
believing they are an alternative. Voters need an honest choice in 2004,
therefore the Democratic Party should stay out of the presidential race.
Reason No. 3. The Democratic Party made Richard Nixon the most
progressive president in the last 30 years.
The following occurred during the Nixon reign:
a. an end to the Vietnam War;
b. beginning of the Food Stamp program;
c. creation of the Environmental Protection Agency;
d. recognition of China;
e. passage of the Freedom of Information Act;
f. formal dismantling of the FBI's COINTEL program;
g. decriminalization of abortion;
h. creation of Earned Income Tax Credits;
i. formal ban on biological weapons; and,
j. passage of the Clean Water Act.
These did not happen because Nixon and Kissinger tiptoed through the
tulips concluding that warm fuzzy feelings beat genocide in Southeast
Asia. They happened because corporate heads and agents in government
were terrified of the convergence of anti-war, Black power, women's and
environmental movements and their potential impact on the labor
movement. The Nixon years prove beyond a doubt that mass movements can
force good things from horrible people in power.
The Democratic Party presidencies after Nixon prove that people in power
without mass movements have no value no matter which party selects them.
No presidency since Nixon reaped so many progressive results. This is
because the Democratic Party defuses mass movements and channels them
into dead-end politics.
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