Read the full piece at SocialistAlternative.org:
The Obama campaign inspired millions to actively participate in politics in an era when many media commentators assumed political activism to be dead. Millions were eager to engage in the political process and to make their voices heard. They felt that they were making history by ushering in “change.”
But what happened to Obama’s promises? Many who supported his campaign believed he and the Dems would put an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, would institute universal public health care, strengthen workers’ rights through the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), support amnesty for undocumented immigrants as well as marriage equality for the LGBT community.
None of this has happened. At a state level, Democrats have implemented painful budget cuts. The majority of the country is looking for radical change to the two corporate parties. But without a movement challenging both parties from a working-class outlook the anger has been funneled behind the right-wing Tea Party movement which doesn’t threaten corporate interests. In fact, the majority of people are not attracted to Tea Partiers. They are looking for a left-wing alternative for jobs and services, which hasn’t yet come to the fore.
There are a number of important signs that this might be starting to emerge. The fightback against budget cuts, foreclosures, and unemployment has already begun. The recent nation-wide March 4 protests in defense of public education showed the will of thousands of students and educators to demand their rights to good jobs and affordable education.
Jobs, affordable health care, quality education, an end to wars, and taxing the rich to fund desperately needed public services: these are the things which survey after survey show the majority of Americans support. But neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have shown any will to push for these demands.
There is a growing mood to run candidates to the left of the Democrats. This offers the opportunity to build a new left-wing, pro-worker political alternative. Independent candidates like Dan La Botz in Ohio, Jill Stein in Massachusetts, and Richard Curtis in Washington state are actively campaigning in the interests of working people.