[Marxism] Fwd: ZCommunications » Some Left Arguments on the Election

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Sep 27 06:29:47 MDT 2016

Stephen Shalom:

And the same is true across numerous issue areas. Clinton and the 
Democrats will be bad, but progressive pressure is more likely to get 
results when aimed at them than when aimed at Trump and the Republicans. 
It’s easier to press someone to do what they promised than to go against 
their promises. And while the lesson of a campaign against far right 
policies is that we need liberal policies, the lesson of a campaign 
against centrist Democrats is that left alternatives are needed.


I really don't get this "hold their feet to the fire" argument. What 
does that mean? How does a Nation Magazine article hold a politician's 
feet to the fire? Even the Occupy Movement did nothing to reverse the 
Obama administration's neoliberal agenda. Remember Rahm Emanuel? He was 
Obama's chief of staff who once referred to liberals putting pressure on 
the DP as "fucking retarded". You think that Hillary Clinton will 
appoint someone more like those that Emanuel cursed out? Dream on.

People draw analogies with FDR being pressured by the left. That was a 
time when the USSR was a real alternative,  the CIO involved millions of 
workers in struggle, and the CPUSA had 60,000 members. Of course, the CP 
was not exactly ready to put any real pressure on the White House but at 
least its members were raising hell on some issues such as evictions, 
racism, unemployment, etc.

I don't have a magic wand that can produce the fire that will force 
Washington to respond to the needs of the American people but neither 
can the lesser-evil left. I support Jill Stein because there's an 
outside chance that the Greens can exploit the discontent in the USA to 
develop into an American Podemos or even a Syriza, keeping in mind that 
Syriza was compromised by the opportunism of the top leadership. But 
attaching ourselves to the DP like remoras to a shark is a waste of time.

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