Republican Party Advances in California

Chuck Grimes cgrimes at
Mon Oct 5 16:35:26 PDT 1998

(I am at my list limit here, so I put two separate post in one)


I think any strategy to move American politics leftwards that focuses primarily on electoral politics is doomed to failure. I think at the present time the revitalization of organized labor, the reenergizing of social movements like feminist movement, the environmental movement and other progressive social movements and the forging of alliances between these movements is of greater political importance. Only then can the terms of political discourse which are currently being set by the corporate owned media be altered in a more progressive direction.

Jim Farmelant


I won't argue with this either, since that is how to effect electoral politics in a viable arena of public action. All I was pointing out is, elections and voting matter, especially in the worst of times, times of complete apathy and poisoned public discourse.

>From Paul Rosenberg:

"(1) Nixon didn't align himself with the Joe McCarthy movement, it was the other way around. McCarthy aligned himself with Nixon. His first bigtime anti-Communist speech in Wheeling, West Virginia was cobbled together mostly from Nixon's earlier House speeches. As McCarthy gained prominence, Nixon was careful to distance himself from McCarthy, because he (Nixon) was a far more sophisticated operator. Greg Mitchell's recent book *Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady*"

I won't argue who played who, since Nixon switched so often so fast, both of us are right and wrong at different times. Nixon won his original Congressional district by smearing Helen G. Douglas with somekind of anti-commie line I think, although I am trying to remember from reading about it--certainly not that old yet--might have been a baby though (early Forties?). But this was pure opportunism, a cuddling up to LA suburban and self-satisfied small business and community interest who didn't like FDR and the smell of an international liberalism that may have appeared to them as Communist--or close enough as seen from such a narrow minded and isolated world as Whittier, California. On the other hand, Nixon was not very prominent and needed to link himself up with a larger wave of Anti-Commie crusaders. What a duplicitious sob he was--he most likely supported the social and economic reforms of the FDR administrations.

But speaking of anti-commie opportunists, wasn't Robert Kennedy on the McClurren(?) committee too?

What's interesting in all these now dead and infamous US figures is how little regard they had for or understanding of any political philosophy at all--outside the expediance of attaining their own office. They will all disappear as meaningless hacks into the mud of history because of that.

Chuck Grimes



Doyle Saylor notes:

We need a working class party to put forward our interests. I'm glad Brad is here to make the case for staying in the democratic party as strongly as he can. It persuades no one here unless they were already entertaining those ideas. I don't care if Fong beats Boxer. All I care about is if my class gets enough strength to make the progress start happening for us. It won't happen in the demos. If they lose ground in the next election and the economy recesses because of Asia, working people will want an alternative, and they ain't going to blame the left for that loss.


I wouldn't argue with the theory that the working class needs

more than the Democrat's representation of their interest. But. Look at who a divided working class has put into office in election after election. By playing to racism and the sexist promotion of 'working man's pride' the slimy Right, has managed to leverage the bourgeoisie dream in the minds of most of the working class guys I've known over the years. Their whole mantra on 'family values' is another example of the same bogus line--we will bring you that dream. Of course no actual income improvement is ever forth coming. But this is explained in moral terms as a lack of personal will and discipline, i.e. you didn't work hard enough, you're a slacker, etc.

At this point, most of the working class believes their slide into the lower depths is their fault: too dumb, too under-educated, too under-skilled, too this or that, whatever--all with the same moral ring (or the racist, sexist equivalent) to inflict guilt that they were accomplice to their own oppression. That is their dream of a middle class life is used to betray their concrete interest in changing their conditions. How do you dissuade them of this cherished illusion which is simultaneously the only thing that keeps them working for nothing and twisting their perception of how to get out of it? I don't know.

I think the way is to disrobe the illusion that the all American middle class dream, is worth living. This is the point where I start to separate from a union movement--in theory only, as practice there is no substitute. We can start with the dream of owning a house. Only people old enough to watch their working class parents live into old age and then sell the recently paid off house--just in order to pay for medical bills and a nursing home, would understand what a cruel irony that house investment turned out to be. So they end life as they began it, institutionalized and broke, leaving nothing after and having nothing before them.

Even so, Boxer does beat Fong's little new wave republican yuppie act (Isn't he on the Republican ticket?)

Chuck Grimes

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