From the usually excellent Frontlines comes this defeatist article on the election.
On November 2, Election Day, a further shift to the right was certified by the voters in the United States.
Exit polls showed voters favored LGBT and abortion rights , hardly a sign of a huge rightward shift in the voters. The ruling elite has shifted rightward, the populace has not. Bush’s scare tactics on the war did indeed work, but this same war, and the bankrupting of the country to pay for it, will eventually bring him down. But only if the left keeps fighting and organizing. Moaning about the election serves no purpose.
Those who remained to the left in the movement, like ANSWER, could not withstand the pressure and also succumbed, with their main organizers bitterly split.
As an ANSWER organizer, I safely can say – the author of the article is way off.
There is no split in ANSWER on the war, organizing tactics, or anything else. ANSWER did indeed stand virtually alone among the major antiwar organizations in saying the elections were an exercise in futility, that Kerry had the same view on the war as Bush, and that the only way to stop the war is to get into the streets. ANSWER put no faith in Kerry or the election and thus was not disappointed. We are organizing nationwide Counter-Inaugural demonstrations on Jan. 20, 2005, as well as mobilizing in the US as part of the worldwide antiwar demos on Mar 18, the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq invasion.
(Several months back, a number of ANSWER organizers left Workers World and formed the Party for Socialism and Liberation, but that split has nothing to do with ANSWER.)
A new party of the left should look at attracting those who are outside the political system and recover for progressive left initiatives those who were lured to support the Democrats and those already in the left.
If you get millions in the streets, political power will grow out of that. That’s the way to effect change. Do it yourself. Don’t rely on traditional parties or politics. Virtually all landmark judicial rulings and legislative action on major social issues happened AFTER large numbers of people got into the streets, not before, and certainly not at the behest of the Republicans or Democrats. The Democrats, of course, oppose such issues at first, then co-opt them later on.
We can stop the war, just like the protests against the Vietnam war stopped that war too. They didn’t rely on the Democratic Party or any other electoral-oriented party to lead the way. Instead, the protestors led the way, and the major parties and ruling class eventually were forced to accede.