This is an article by Sam Webb which is published below, followed by a response. No wonder the People's Weekly World gets smaller and smaller as the circulation shrinks as this once important Marxist publication working people could rely on for news and analysis becomes nothing but an apologist for the Democratic Party--- its failed policies and complete capitulation to big-business and the bosses and its capitalist and imperialist policies aimed at driving down the standards of living of working people as corporate profits soar.
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From: Communist Party USA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [CP-Action] A people’s surge that could reshape our country
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 17:58:19 +0000
From the Peoples Weekly World www.pww.org
A people’s surge that could reshape our country
By Sam Webb
A people’s surge is heaving its way across the country with unexpected force. And in doing so, it is confounding pundits, challenging conventional wisdom and reconfiguring our nation’s politics. Only one thing is for certain: it could well prefigure a triumphant victory for peace, economic security and equality in November.
This surge has no counterpart that I can recall. Its breadth and depth are remarkable. Its politics are progressive. It is driving the nation’s political conversation. It rejects the old racist and sexist stereotypes that have stained our history, divided our people and compromised our moral sensibilities. It is a mass rebellion against the policies of the Bush administration and the whole era of right-wing domination and division. And it is seeking a political leader — one who gives priority to “lunch pail” issues, appeals to our better angels and envisions a country that is decent, just, united and at peace with the rest of the world — a country that measures up to the full meaning of its creed, to borrow a phrase from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.
This upheaval is unfolding in, of all places, the Democratic presidential primaries — that is, inside the framework of the electoral arena. So far, the turnout has been far beyond anybody’s expectations: records are being broken. The enthusiasm and energy are palpable. The most pressing concerns of the American people, ranging from Iraq to jobs to immigration to health care to home foreclosures, are structuring the “give and take” of candidates as well as voters. The primaries, in short, have turned into the main arena in which tens of millions (no exaggeration) are leaving their imprint on our nation’s political conversation and direction.
This upheaval constitutes nothing short of a collective decision by millions to utilize the Democratic primaries, and later this year, the general elections as a politi cal lever to set the country on a new course. No matter which candidate (Obama or Clinton) voters support, its political intent is clear: people want change and change in a particular direction — a direction that puts people’s needs before war-making, division and corporate profits.
Thanks to this surge, a woman or an African American is on track to become the presidential nominee and lead the Democratic Party ticket in the November elections. Moreover, this isn’t a fluke of politics. Rather, it reflects the growing political maturity of the American people. It should be celebrated as a great democratic achievement.
While the working class and every other section of the people’s movement are engaged in this upheaval, it reaches well beyond the organized structures and constituencies of this movement. It is as much unorganized as it is organized. This actually is not startling, as we have seen throughout our history that any upheaval of this magnitude spont aneously brings into action people who were passive in earlier periods.
In fact, one of the most encouraging aspects of this people’s surge is the entry of young people who either were not of voting age in the last election or were old enough to vote but chose not to do so. In injecting themselves en masse into the Democratic primary process, today’s younger generation is becoming an agent of change.
Independents are also a part of this upheaval. For them the Democratic presidential primaries are where the action and fresh ideas are. The politics of yesteryear no longer resonate for them; they are looking for answers to stubborn problems, for example, the impossible costs of health care, the crushing student loan burden, and the toxic effects of racism and sexism, that weigh heavily on the quality of their lives.
This surge inside the electoral arena might seem surprising, especially to some on the left who see little, if any, progressive pote ntial in electoral politics or the Democratic Party. But on second thought, isn’t it altogether predictable if we recall that, just two years ago, millions of voters turned the midterm elections into a referendum on the Bush administration, particularly the Iraq war? Shouldn’t we have anticipated that the political insurgency that was gathering momentum then would crest in this year’s election, where so much more is at stake?
The clearest expression of this movement pivots around the candidacy of Barack Obama, whose inspirational message and politics have captured the imagination of new as well as older voters and constituencies. So much so that many commentators and politicians use the word “transformational” to describe his candidacy — that is, a candidacy that so far seems capable of assembling a broad people’s majority to reconfigure the terms and terrain of politics in this country in a democratic direction.
But the Obama campaign is not the only mani festation of this upheaval. It also has found enthusiastic expression in the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and, until they dropped out, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich. What a contrast between any of them and the probable Republican nominee, the anti-democratic, anti-labor war hawk John McCain.
By Labor Day, it is easy to imagine the formation of an electoral movement that in its scope and depth had no equal in the 20th century.
Whether or not that will happen isn’t a foregone conclusion. In the end, it will depend on the readiness of the various strands of this movement — particularly the working class and its organized sector, the nationally and racially oppressed, women and young people — who are now gravitating around the candidacies of Obama or Clinton to unite around the eventual nominee.
No one should underestimate the dangers of disunity, to be sure. The shameful role of former President Bill Clinton in New Hampshire and South Carolina , for example, reminds us of that. Nor should anyone think that McCain will be an easy pushover. Nevertheless, politics is trending, unmistakably, in the direction of a united struggle of tens of millions to defeat the right in a landslide in November and, in doing so, to once again resume our collective journey to make our country live up to its loftiest ideals.
Sam Webb is chairperson of the Communist Party USA
Interesting take, and faith, in Obama… this could have been written by someone studying to be a priest rather than the seeker of a Masters Degree in Economics.
Oh, my gosh… it was written by the head of the Communist Party USA!
How anything can be “certain” and “could” figure needs to be explained.
What happens if this great “people’s surge” reshapes our country to the right of where George Bush leaves off? This is a possibility… a good possibility.
Where is there any evidence the “politics are progressive” when both staffs from Obama and Clinton are opposed to even the most basic and simple progressive caucus resolutions?
Webb relies on the only specifics of any hint of anything “progressive” that the American people will vote for being an “African American” or “a woman”… now, if Americans were considering voting for Cynthia McKinney this might be a truthful statement. But, the British voted for Margaret Thatcher and Obama has held out “Hope;” like Hillary Clinton hypocritically says, “hope” doesn’t fill a hungry belly.” Plus we have Obama’s written position in “Foreign Affairs” magazine which Webb refuses to acknowledge. The only thing so much support for Obama demonstrates is the effectiveness of Madison Avenue, and how the main stream media can still manipulate the public opinion to go against its own class interests because the left hasn’t done its job in teaching working people about state-monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
Yes, Webb finally gets it! “people want change and change in a particular direction — a direction that puts people’s needs before war-making, division and corporate profits.” Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!!!
However, aren’t Obama and Clinton primarily concerned about “corporate profits?” Okay, Webb only gets part of what is taking place.
If seeking a candidate concerned about “lunch pail” issues, people are looking mostly in the wrong places.
Working people in Minnesota tried to use the precinct caucuses to establish their concerns and their demands for a new “direction that puts people’s needs before war-making, division and corporate profits ;“ however, surprise, surprise! Obama and Clinton party hacks stymied and thwarted their attempts through the most disgusting shenanigans which made a well organized and orchestrated attempt to make it look like chaos reigned at the precinct caucuses in order to waste the time from 7pm until 8pm for anything other than casting a vote on a piece of paper for which no one could account for who was casting votes or if the numbers of pieces of paper tabulated corresponded to the number of people present because the huge turnouts were so overwhelmed the dedicated “volunteers” (read Obama and Clinton hacks). In one Roseau County Precinct after the “ballots” were tabulated and the only counts were for Clinton and Obama… one elderly lady asked, “What happened to my vote for John Edwards?” She was told, “Nope, you must have voted for Clinton or Obama; there are no Edwards votes here.” She then said, “Let me look at those ballots, I made an ‘x’ with my red ink pen.” And she was told, “What’s the matter, don’t you trust us?”
We could go into how resolutions on saving the Ford Plant got “tabled,” without being read at dozens of precinct caucuses.
We could talk about how the hacks supporting Clinton and Obama fought tooth and nail against attempts to bring forward resolutions calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by set dates--- “out know” resolutions were tabled like the resolutions on saving the Ford Plant--- but, the Obama and Clinton hacks refused to even consider a date of 2012 for ending these wars… why would “peace” candidates want only open-ended resolutions referring, vaguely, for the “need to end the war?”
I suppose one could ask why Sam Webb didn’t suggest Communists go to their precinct caucuses with resolutions in hand concerning these issues of “— a direction that puts people’s needs before war-making, division and corporate profits; “ after all, it was not like no one was making the suggestion for doing this.
Sadly, there is some truth to this statement; this truth is the way in which Sam Webb signs this statement, as “chairperson of the Communist Party USA.”
Certainly there is great potential for a “people’s surge to reshape our country;” but, that potential is far from being organized in a way to achieve this result if progressive change is the goal. Such statements as this contribute nothing positive towards this end. In fact, Webb creates serious delusions as to what is going on at this very moment as state-monopoly capitalism intends to catch people off guard as working people here at home and around the globe are prepared for a royal shafting with corporations striving to attain maximum profits.
What will Webb say when he finds, after waking up from his fairy-tail dream, he finds nothing in his hand except donkey dung?
Is there nothing “shameful” about a politician demonically and demagogically holding up “hope” for people when what are required are real solutions? And, isn’t there something “shameful” about someone signing a statement like this without bringing this entire fiasco out as the “chairperson of the Communist Party USA? “
Yes, “could;” yes, maybe there will be a revolution before the election given this massive mounting people’s upsurge.
What we have here is the wishful thinking of a revisionist sitting high on the seventh floor in a million dollar glass office isolated from the outside world.
Did anyone notice there were no books in the million dollar glass offices?
Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
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