As if we didn’t know, the Communist Party is backing the Democrats and their claimed “friend” Barack Obama, against the Republicans in this year’s Mid term elections. The communists also claim to be “joining” organizations like Obama’s Organizing for America and MoveOn.
One key arena of struggle is the Congressional elections this fall. This will be a fierce battle. I don’t have to tell you that its outcome is uncertain and will have vast repercussions, either good or bad.
It’s pretty clear that if the Democrats lose their majorities in Congress both the president and the broader people’s coalition will be weakened. Going forward will get a lot tougher.
Only an incredible grassroots effort by the core political forces (working class and labor, nationally and racially oppressed people, women, youth, seniors, immigrants), and other social movements will turn back rightwing extremism and increase the Democratic majority in both chambers in Congress. Any less than that is playing with fire.
The right wing’s minimum program is to regain the House and its maximum one is to regain the Senate as well.
Much like the last election, all hands should be on deck. Not every club has to do the same thing, but every club – bar none – has to make its imprint, however big or small, on the outcome.
No one should sit this one out. Actually, I expect the leadership and membership will respond to the bell. It’s pretty hard not to see what is at stake. We will join with the broader movement, including new formations like Organizing for America and MoveOn.
But as Sam Webb acknowledges, elections aren’t the only battle;
Hearing that the immediate challenges facing the American people are joblessness and Congressional (and state) elections this fall this some may ask, “Are we putting everything else on hold?” The answer is no, but I would add that both of these issues have to command our primary attention.
Other issues such as Afghanistan and Iraq, the military budget, the elimination of nuclear weapons, green jobs and a safety net, the environment crisis and global warning, budget deficits and national debt, the fight against racism and for equality, repeal of the draconian immigration law in Arizona, passage of comprehensive immigration reform, a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, normalization of relations with Cuba and freedom for the Cuban 5 – all of these issues and more have to be a part of the 2010 elections and the struggle against the economic crisis.
By the same token, the elections and jobs campaign have to find their way into each of these struggles. Neither the elections, nor jobs, nor anything else can be won if the battle is fought along narrow lines.
Success depends on connecting the links on the chain of struggle, while understanding that the jobs and election struggles are the two links that have to be grasped at this moment in order to move the entire chain forward.
Of decisive importance is the mobilization of people whose resumes don’t read “political activist.”
For some voter education and registration or canvassing or online support for the Harkin, Miller, and other jobs bills may be what draws them into politics.
For others, it may be participating in a Labor Day march or urging their organization to pass a resolution supporting comprehensive immigration reform.
For still others it may be organizing a town hall meeting or establishing a jobs and relief committee in their local or central labor council or volunteering to be an election captain or lobbying elected officials to reroute monies going for war to cities and states.
Finally, it may be some form of mass civil disobedience – a tactic that will resonate in current circumstances. Imagine the buzz if a group of UAW retirees sat down in a plant scheduled for closure!
In short, a fresh surge of popular, sustained, and ever wider insurgency and militancy in the neighborhood and workplace, in churches and community, on college and high school campuses, in the corridors of political power and the in the streets is a necessary condition for progressive and radical advance.
If numbers aren’t there initially, they will come as people come to understand the protracted character of this crisis and the necessity for organized action.
As a good Leninist Sam Webb, knows that Party must stay abreast of the mood of the people.;
As for us, we will continue to be in the mix – building people’s confidence, fighting for unity, keeping strategic focus on the right wing and the corporate criminals, bringing clarity and vision to a growing audience, and staying attuned to the thinking and mood of the American people.
I say “staying attuned to the thinking and mood of the American people” because that is the point of departure as far as building broad united action is concerned. What we think and how we say it to a larger audience is important and necessary for sure. In fact, our message is needed now more than ever.
But we should not make the mistake of assuming what we think is necessarily what the American people think and are ready to fight for.
Nor should we make the mistake of thinking that what unites working people and their allies and what they are ready to fight for is a static target. What energizes people today can easily give way to something of a more radical nature tomorrow.
What’s the moral of the story?
It isn’t that socialism is around the corner; it isn’t.
Nor is it that millions are ready to vacate the Democratic Party; they aren’t.
It is that a new era is rolling out, defined by an intensification of class and people’s struggles on national and global level.
That being so, we should:
Stay tuned, stay connected, be sober minded, be flexible, be a long marcher, think dialectically, appreciate fluidity, be ready to shift gears, have the courage to lead, and build the constituency for jobs, peace, equality, political independence and socialism.
That readers, is the Communist Party USA “blueprint” for 2010. Study it well. These people are the real backbone of the Democratic Party.