[Marxism] Democratic Party?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 25 07:45:14 MST 2004

Democratic Party?

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 
reasons why.

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. [1]

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.

full: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=33&ItemID=5042


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