Hope is stronger than hate

Obama 650 2

In their effort to win the Congress this year and the White House in 2012, the Republican Party and their tea party attack dogs are unashamedly promoting fear, racism, bigotry and red-baiting. This has been the subtext of all of their rallies.

President Obama is one of the most capable and responsible leaders to occupy the White House. His policies have turned the resources of the federal government more towards the benefit of working people than any president since FDR.

This is the people's money: it should be used to help the people. Efforts to regulate Wall Street, to cover the uninsured and extend unemployment compensation show a compassion we have not seen coming from the White House for some time.

The president's policy in Iraq is now at the exit stage. He is promoting negotiation instead of war between the Palestinians and Israelis. The same is true with respect to Iran.

There is a planned exit from Afghanistan.

President Obama has said the military budget should be cut and the resources used to help the people.

From the point of view of the ongoing struggle to rid the nation of the scourge of racism it is significant that these pro-working-class policies are coming from the first African American president.

We take exception to Obama's policies aimed at appeasing the right. His better policies often don't go far enough considering the depth of the crisis. However, with a broad coalition, with a broad people's movement pushing on the issues, the door to bigger gains can be opened.

It is this potential for change that is turning powerful sections of big business against Obama and driving the right wing to extremes.

The tea party with big funds from people like the Koch brothers and an open mike on Fox News represents this extreme.

Sections of the the GOP think it has become the last hope for their party to "bring down Obama." However, the struggle isn't over.

If the Congress ends up in the hands of the Republicans their "A Pledge to America" program will continue the Bush tax cuts for the rich. At a time when the opposite is needed, there will be drastic cuts in working-class entitlements.

With a GOP-led Congress we can expect an Arizona-style national racist attack on immigrant rights, and on marriage equality. Anti-Muslim provocations will increase.

Abortion rights will be in their cross hairs. A double dip recession is also likely.

What else could happen if they have a majority? What atrocities will be carried out against anyone who opposes them? They framed up and destroyed ACORN. Like the criminals they are, these extremists tried to frame Shirley Sherrod in order to attack the NAACP as racist. There are signs that they are out to suppress the black vote in November. The ghost of Joe McCarthy is alive and well in their ranks. Who will the witch hunters be after next?

The November 2nd election is critical. And because of the use of racism, bigotry and anti-communist hysteria against the Democrats and the president, defeating them at the polls has become vital to saving the nation.

Hope is stronger than hate. The coalition that united and elected Obama and the new Congress is bigger and stronger then the tea party/Republican/Libertarian right. Grassroots organizing came from the left not the right. They have the money but they do not have justice on their side.

There is no law that says the midterm elections have to always be a disaster for the majority party. This battle can be won. Black, brown, white, Native American Indian, Asian Pacific people united against racism, hypocrisy and hatred is a powerful thing. Labor, civil rights, women, youth, LGBT, peace activists and environmentalists united can win.

The march on October 2nd must lead to the voting booth in November. That is the path to progress.

Photo: Marguerite Herbst

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  • Great article, Jarvis. Much needed. It is a great companion piece to
    Sam Webb's article on "ginning up racism." There is nothing that compares with the Communist approach to politics.

    Posted by Carole Marks, 10/05/2010 6:08pm (5 years ago)

  • Hate is indeed a powerful thing. It is a basic tool of incompetent politicians. But it can be overcome. We will overcome it with organization. We will get out the vote. Millions will show up to the polls to answer the tea party's bigotry, xenophobia and sexism with love. In the end we will have a better world.

    Posted by Rev. Irving C. Jones, 10/04/2010 9:55am (5 years ago)

  • Right on!
    The only question I have is this: Is it helpful for us to use a term like "working-class entitlements"? Entitlements? I pay into Social Security, I pay health insurance, I pay income tax, I pay workers compensation, I pay property tax, etc., etc...nothing is coming to me for free. This is part of organized society: we contribute, and we receive, in an ordered, rational, hopefully somewhat egalitarian fashion. The word "entitlements," it seems to me, plays into the right-wing framing of the issue.

    Posted by Eric G, 09/30/2010 5:00pm (5 years ago)

  • Obama has also supported new sanctions on Iran.

    Posted by Sean Mulligan, 09/30/2010 5:23am (5 years ago)

  • No one here is denying that the Democrats are the lesser of two evils, or that their has been progress on a few issues under Obama and that the ultra right is the main enemy. That doesn't mean, the advancements under Obama should be exaggerated, by crediting him with things he hasn't done yet, such as cutting the military budget and withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan or that excuses should be made for Obama for why more hasn't been accomplishedso far.

    Their is a danger that if Obama doesn't recieve countervailing pressure from the Left, the political spectrum will continue to drift right as it has for years under the pressue from the Tea Partiers and blue dog Democrats, even if the Democrats maintain control of Congress and Obama is reelected.

    re: Supreme Court and Cabinet

    Obama's cabinet is a mixed bage with Holder and Solis on the left and Clinton and Gates on the right. Sotomayer was a great pick, but Kagan is to the rihgt of her predecessor, Stephens.http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/05/10/kagan

    Posted by Sean Mulligan, 09/30/2010 3:43am (5 years ago)

  • This article represents a well balanced strategic view, as it recognizes the current Democratic government is better than the Republican government four years ago. With Obama's being elected to office, the National Labor Relations Board has had people appointed to it to assist labor (rather than stonewall it), a politically realistic path to ending the Iraq war has been undertaken, a federal stimulus has paved the way for federal government to become further involved in business, and the first (gigantic) step towards creating a national health care system has been established.

    These are all thing which give us tools to achieve our goals, and which give us the opportunity to build influence.

    The CPUSA does recognize the Democrats as exactly what all anti-capitalist activists recognize they are: the LESSER of two evils. It recognizes another thing though, like a great strategist once remarked: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Marx knew this, and so did Lenin. Yes, Communists must guide, but they must also represent, the proletariat. At the end of the Communist Manifesto, it is written that Communists are not to preach to the proletariat an idealized version of the future, but to actually work among them to make it happen (guiding along the way). Lenin expounded on this idea further in his pamphlet "Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder". In it, he chastized those who would have us forget our immediate task of building towards power, because of prematurely adhered to principles (leading to self-caused political ineffectiveness) or prematurely adhered to rhetoric (leading to a disconnect from the proletariat, who think you are hopeless dreamers).

    It is a question of strategy, and I believe the CPUSA has a strategy which is likely to yield positive results.

    The third sentence in Jarvis's paragraph here sums this up:

    "We take exception to Obama's policies aimed at appeasing the right. His better policies often don't go far enough considering the depth of the crisis. However, with a broad coalition with a broad peoples movement pushing on the issues, the door to bigger gains can be opened."

    The debate which has taken place here is not as desperate as it seems. It appears we share a similar strategy and goal, yet have a different assessment as to where our fellow citizens are at. I have noticed the mood of the party varies by state (I moved, and have noticed this). We each have to recognize the varying degrees of consciousness around us.

    In solidarity.

    Posted by Mid-Illinois Working Dad, 09/29/2010 9:32pm (5 years ago)

  • This article should be read carefully by all those who care about the future of our country and its people, especially its workers. Jarvis reminds us of the truly remarkable--some would say stunning--achievements of this administration in less than two years in office. The economic stimulus, the healthcare bill, the withdrawal from Iraq, the President's Supreme Court and cabinet appointments all indicate the potential for deep going change that exists in our country. And this potential is certainly the reason for the gathering corporate and right wing opposition to the Administration and what it stands for.
    Having said that, I must add that I believe that a key paragraph in this article is the one that states: "We take exception to Obama's policies appeasing the right ... His better policies often don't go far enough ... with a broad people's movement pushing on the issues, the door to bigger gains can be opened."

    Comrades, sister and brothers, this is our task at this moment: to continue to build this people's movement to the point where the Administration no longer feels constrained to appease the rightwing. Appeasing the right is proving to be a losing proposition. Holding on to, and indeed increasing, progressive majorities in Congress in the Nov 2 elections is a big part of this task, but it is not the end of the job. It is a necessary step so that we can struggle for further steps and make sure that door stays open. There are powerful forces out to shut it; we can not let that happen.

    Posted by Ben Sears, 09/29/2010 9:01am (5 years ago)

  • Clay's point is that positive,progressive activity,with the working class in the lead,is what makes constructive presidential executive policy-not finger pointing.
    Its always time to build unity-it's never time to play the "blame-game".
    In an important way,the election of president Obama started with the historic economics rights March on Washington in 1963. In the wake of another critical historic action,three days from now,the One Nation Together march-so called "communists","leftist","socialists",these super revolutionaries have nothing but meaningless,negative,childish criticism of the CPUSA,and even of those in the center and on the right,who are building unity to produce the ballot to compel the political system on 2 NOV 2010 to protect the working people in all their beautiful variety.
    Positively,this action on 2 OCT may set into action forces that in reality produce the first socialist government in the United States of America,with the working people at its head.
    We must NOW take care of this future government,by helping to unify the working class and clarify the issues of labor ,future generations and international affairs.
    It is through these militant actions that the presidency will be come the peoples' and become human at the same time.
    Failure to support this movement flies in the face of all these"communist" claims. It is an atrocious affront to working class in the concrete and to the progressive AFL-CIO,NAACP,LA RAZA,the hundreds of peoples', peace,civil and human rights organizations and churches,mosques and synagogues these say they are so enamored of(or,are they so ignorant that they denounce these and dismiss them as "reactionaries").
    Be real.
    "The Master"as Martin Luther King called Jesus, taught that if you love him,"feed my sheep"-super revolutionaries need heed and fight for productive,sustainable jobs for the people around them,or they won't have anybody or anything to be so,so,critical about -or to blame.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 09/29/2010 6:23am (5 years ago)

  • I'm not sure what Clay's point was in his response to Kenny. No one is saying that they can solve our problems by blaming Obama, or the Democrats, but that doesn't mean that we should blame Republican instragience alone for the lack of progress since Obama was inaugerated, since Obama was a solid mandate and the democrats started out with a 60 super majority in the Senate, but it the Democrats didn't do enought with their political capital, by making too many concessions with Republicans and continuing too many of Bush's policies. http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/121909.html

    Although Republicans are the ones to blame, for attacks on ACORN, and Shirley Sherrod, the Obama, administration was too quick to fire Sherrod, and many Democrats voted to defund ACORN in order to avoid Republican attacks.

    Posted by Sean Mulligan, 09/29/2010 12:31am (5 years ago)

  • Critisicing Obama is no more siding with Republicans then was criticising Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, or Clinton.

    Posted by Sean Mulligan, 09/28/2010 10:17pm (5 years ago)

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