Nov. 5: A referendum on Bush policies

39.jpg

Commentary



These are not ordinary times. And Nov. 5 – Election Day – is no ordinary day.

This election more than any in recent memory offers voters an unparalleled opportunity to strike a blow against the extreme right and for peace, progress and sanity.

Its outcome will be a referendum on the policies of the Bush administration.

On one side of the struggle is gathered organized labor, the racially and nationally oppressed peoples, women and other democratic forces, and on the other, the Bush administration and its reactionary supporters.

Not for a long time has an administration been so aggressive, militarist and eager to go to war, so deaf to the crying need for jobs and health care, so contemptuous of the rights of African Americans, Mexican Americans and other racially and nationally oppressed peoples, so scornful of women and immigrants, so ready to dispense with our democratic traditions, so callous towards the environment, so hell-bent on turning our public schools over to private corporations, and so determined to raid the collapsing pension system – and all the while looting the public treasury and protecting corporate profits and corporate thieves.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Bush administration and its right-wing counterparts in Congress present a clear and imminent danger to everything that we as a people hold dear and consider just. They constitute a menace to our nation’s well being and the well being of our world. The future of our country turns, to no small degree, on which party ends up with control of Congress on the evening of Nov. 5.

Bush and his advisors appreciate this fact, and are calibrating everything they do towards regaining control of the Senate and adding to their majority in the House. Labor and its allies must approach these elections with no less determination.

With less than two weeks before the polls open, political pundits are calling the election a dead heat. Thus, between now and Nov. 5, a full national mobilization of voters is imperative. A crusading spirit must infuse the ranks of the people’s movement. To squander this opportunity would be a tragic mistake. People’s rights, livelihoods and lives are at stake.

This sounds ominous, and it is. But at the same time it should be an incentive for everyone to engage the battle to defeat right-wing Congressional candidates on Election Day. Such a victory won’t guarantee that the flood tide of economic insecurity, democratic denial and senseless death and destruction stemming from the policies of the Bush administration will be immediately reversed. But it would represent a first and important step in that direction.

All out for Nov. 5!

Sam Webb is national chairman of the Communist Party and can be reached at swebb@cpusa.org