If the nation is to reach a qualitatively more democratic stage of development some critical battles must be won.  

Everyone who has been paying attention knows that the 2012 election will determine the direction of society and individual lives for some time to come. It will be a mighty confrontation and the outcome of which will shape the survival prospects of tens of millions of working and middle-class people.

The current debate around the budget – is it a spending problem or a revenue problem – is really a debate around drastically cutting social services or increasing the taxes on the rich. 

This is the current manifestation of a sharpening class struggle that the capitalist class and their political surrogates on the extreme right started.

On Election Day, however, voters from all backgrounds but particularly working and middle class voters, racial minorities, women, youth and senior voters can have the last say in this battle. 

By defeating the Republican extreme right, a powerful and historic blow for a more democratic and just society can be landed.

As the debate rages on, understanding the strategic importance of defeating the extreme right does not mean that the people totally agree with President Obama and the Democrats. 

The great bulk of everyday working people, a majority of whom have been negatively effected by the economic crisis and the attacks on public unions and public services, understand this is a basic way out of the crisis.

It is a battle that must be won. 

Indeed, the action of labor and its allies in Wisconsin, which has sparked a nation wide upsurge of militant action in defense of pubic sector workers, shows that millions of working people understand what is at stake. 

They understand that defending and building a strong and growing U.S. trade union movement is strategic. Seen as part of a broad social movement of everyday working people it can bring a more democratic and just society. 

This too is a battle that must be won.

High on the list of battles that must be won is the fight against structural racism and all forms of anti-immigrant bigotry. Every anti-working class, anti-immigrant and anti-people program that’s pushed by the right has a strong racist content: their white supremacy is rooted in an ideology that puts profits before people.

In this economic crisis it’s becoming clearer to millions of white working people and trade unionists that racism isn’t just a bad thing, it hurts all working people. 

Having an African American president facing reelection who stands with labor on many vital issues helps tens of millions of understand that the fight against racism is central to the fight for jobs and a more democratic and just nation.

When racism goes unchallenged the unity of action of the multi racial working class suffers, mass class consciousness lags, and with it the confidence needed to win the overall battle.

Therefore defeating racism is also a battle that must be won.

The fight for peace and disarmament is also critical – in particular, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. These too are battles that must be won. 

U.S. wars of aggression around the world are driven by the drive of global capitalists for maximum profits and power.  

Imperialist wars prevent the building of a more democratic and just society here at home. 

It costs lives (both U.S. and others) and builds hatred between our nation and peoples around the world. As a result it promotes more war and conflict.  

Meanwhile the waste of trillions of national treasury dollars negates any effort to end poverty, hunger and homelessness at home and worldwide. 

It means that generations of working-class children, especially children of color, will never have quality schools or a decent place to live. It means millions of the elderly will be deprived of a decent retirement. 

War is always a catastrophe. It legalizes murder and genocide. Ending the wars, bringing the troops home, promoting nuclear disarmament, peace and cooperation and transferring military spending to human needs is a battle that must be won.

The same goes for the fight for women’s equality and LGBT rights.

Can the U.S. be a just and more democratic society without ending the mass incarceration of millions of blacks and Latinos who receive preferential treatment when it comes to being convicted and incarcerated by the courts? 

Can the nation and world survive without ending global warming, along with air and water pollution? 

These are battles that must be won.

Defeating the right in the next election is vital to winning all these battles and more. 

If the political majority currently ruling the U.S. House of Representatives today takes over all three branches of the federal government again, all the battles that must be won will be that much more delayed.

We say that they must be won and they can be won but only through organized democratic and united struggle. The coming election requires all democratic and progressive forces to unite and roll up their sleeves and get real busy.

Things can get a lot better or a lot worse. If anyone thinks U.S. capitalism is going to stay the same forever they’ve got another thing coming. As Marx once said, the only constant in this world is change.

The battles that must be won, can be won. A great change indeed is coming.



Jarvis Tyner
Jarvis Tyner

Jarvis Tyner is the former executive vice-chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board. Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism, and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appeared on the media, campuses, and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality, and the socialist alternative.