On Mon, 31 Jul 2000, Doug Henwood wrote:
> [Nathan, you ghostwriting for the CP?]
I keep telling them they have a serious copyright lawsuit on their hands
> Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 20:07:48 -0400
> From: John Bachtell <jbachtell at cpusa.org>
> Who wins in November does matter
> By Sam Webb
> Public opinion polls suggest that the plums of national politics - the
> White House and control of Congress - are still up for grabs.
> Elections do not always go down to the wire, but this one looks like it
> will. Right now, there are no sure bets as to which party will win the big
> prizes on Nov. 7. This election is a dogfight.
> Last year's optimism - that the extreme right had little chance of
> reversing its downward political slide in this year's election - has given
> way to more sober calculations. While labor and its allies strongly believe
> that the defeat of the far right is still very possible, no one now says
> that it will be easy.
> After all, Bush and his congressional friends enjoy the support of
> significant sections of the corporate America whose pockets are deep.
> Furthermore, Bush has turned demagogy, thanks largely to the major news
> media, into an art form. Even sensible people on the left, including Green
> Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, make the claim that there are
> absolutely no differences between Bush and Gore.
> Now, that's a looooooooong stretch. George W., much like Reagan and
> Gingrich, is a pinup boy of the super-wealthy, corporate class who, for the
> time being, is pulling in his extremist political horns in order extend his
> electoral appeal to broader sections of the American people.
> If elected, however, he would waste no time in showing his horns and, make
> no mistake about it, politics would get very ugly. The terms of the debate
> and the parameters of the politically possible would shift to the right in
> and outside of the Beltway. The quality of the lives of the millions of
> people would be deeply affected. To claim otherwise strikes me as (and
> maybe this is too strong) irresponsible and disingenuous. There may be some
> good arguments for supporting Nader, but that is not one of them.
> Compare for a moment what the political landscape will look like if Bush
> and his cronies win with what it will look like if they lose.
> If Bush and his far right cronies win, we will be facing a frontal assault
> on public education in the form of school vouchers. If they don't win, the
> debate more likely will revolve around how many schools to build and
> teachers to hire.
> If Bush and his right-wing plotters prevail, our nation's seniors will be
> staring the destruction of Social Security in the face. If they don't
> prevail, there is more than a ghost's chance of strengthening the Social
> Security System.
> If Bush and the extreme right emerge victorious in November, women will
> face the real possibility that Roe versus Wade - which friend and foe alike
> saw at the time and even now as a watershed victory of the movement for
> women's equality - will be dismantled.
> If Bush and his cronies lose, women's right to choose will be protected and
> fresh initiatives for equality can be considered.
> If Bush and his right-wing gang triumph, no one should expect an executive
> order against racial profiling. Indeed, more likely is a green light from
> our nation's capitol to police brutality and hate crimes - not to mention a
> new sweeping assault, like brother Jeb's in Florida on affirmative action.
> If Bush and his cronies come out on the losing end, the struggle against
> racism in all its forms will be contested on more favorable ground.
> If Bush and far right motley crew win, labor will see a reprise of the
> payroll protection plan, a slimy piece of legislation designed to cripple
> labor's political clout. If Bush and his cronies are given a thrashing,
> working people will be positioned to fight for anti-scabbing legislation,
> an increase in the minimum wage, and maybe even the enactment of genuine
> labor law reform.
> If Bush and the ultra-rightists win, we should not be surprised to see the
> ABM treaty abrogated and the recycling of Reagan's Star Wars plan. If Bush
> and his cronies lose, we will still have to fight to maintain the ABM
> treaty, shelve star wars, compel Congress to support the ban on nuclear
> testing, cut the military budget, and lift the 40-year blockade on Cuba,
> but the political terrain will be less hazardous.
> If Bush and his extremists friends carry the day, an already
> right-wing-leaning Supreme Court will be further tilted to the right. The
> elder Bush made a mistake with David Souters, but don't expect the same
> mistake from the son of Bush.
> I could go on but I think that I have made my point. If I didn't, it's a
> simple one that can be summed up this way - who wins counts, who wins will
> make a difference in the way that millions of working people live their
> daily lives. To insist, as some do, that Gore is not a saint or a man of
> the left misses the point.
> This election is not so much about political virtues (or vices) of Al Gore
> as about what kind of outcome on Nov. 7 will open up political space for
> the exploited and oppressed; what kind of outcome will enable the working
> class and people's movement to fight on more favorable terrain; what kind
> of outcome will allow the emerging broadly based, loosely constructed
> people's coalition to continue with renewed vigor the struggles that so
> dramatically erupted over the past year?
> Besides Gore's closest supporters, no one is suggesting that it will be
> clear sailing on Nov. 8 if Bush and his cronies are defeated. Grass-roots
> mobilization will be the order of the day, as it always is.
> Ralph Nader does a disservice not so much in running, but in running the
> way that he is - directing his strongest criticism at Gore and the
> Democrats and attempting, perhaps inadvertently, to drain votes from Gore
> in states which could have a decisive impact on the election's outcome.
> One can only surmise from what he and his supporters say that they believe
> that who sits in the White House and controls Congress has no bearing on
> our nation's political and legislative agenda and the climate of struggle
> in 2001. In doing so, they underestimate the extreme right danger.
> This is not an election contest between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There
> are differences between Gore and Bush just as there are also differences
> between Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio. And who wins will have a palpable
> bearing on people's lives and struggles.
> For now, what is needed is an all-out people's crusade to register,
> educate, and mobilize the vote against on Bush and the extreme right in
> this year's election. That's not only the right thing to do, but also the
> radical thing to do.
> Sam Webb is the national chairman of the Communist Party USA.