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Class-wide struggle is brewing
Do the Nov. 2 election results signal a major shift to the right and a resurgence of conservatism among the people? Is that what the capture of 66 House seats by the Republicans indicates? That is the fundamental message from the corporate media and by many in the milieu of pro-Democratic Party liberalism, such as the ACLU.
But that is the wrong conclusion.
Of course, there has been a political offensive by the corporate-financed Tea Party and other middle class, right-wing organizations. They are emboldened. In fact, they were emboldened from the beginning.
They received nightly TV coverage by the news networks. They received millions of dollars in secret donations from billionaires like the Koch brothers. They felt secure enough to bring guns to “Town Hall” meetings that were held throughout the country in August 2009 to discuss Obama’s health care package. Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if leftists and progressives showed up with firearms?
So, yes the right wing is on the move. But it is not a foregone conclusion that the election results show a significant move to the right throughout the U.S. population. That could happen, but it is not inevitable at all.
The vote yesterday was above all else a vote of disgust against the incumbent party. The party in charge of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives since January 2009 has been the Democratic Party.
In 2008, the Democratic Party won the White House and big majorities in the House and Senate. They could have introduced and almost certainly passed any legislation they wanted.
What has happened for tens of millions of families since November 2008?
Unemployment is higher, not lower, than two years ago. More people have lost health care coverage in those two years. The number is now over 50 million of people who cannot go to the doctor because they have no coverage. Instead of providing a single-payer health plan that most people favored (more than 70 percent according to the New York Times, March 2009), Obama settled on a plan that does not take effect until 2014 and guarantees super-profits for the health insurers and pharmaceutical giants who are rapidly raising premiums and rates.
In the last two years more families, not fewer, have been driven from their homes through foreclosure. Wages have been slashed, they have not gone up. Mass layoffs and cutbacks at the state and local levels are increasing, not decreasing, under the tenure of Obama and the Democratic majorities of the past two years.
And while the poverty rate and foreclosure crisis for working people reached new records this year, the Democrats allowed the biggest bankers—the very ones who torpedoed the economy—to be handed the people’s money in the biggest bailout in history. These bankers are now racking up record profits and awarding themselves even bigger bonuses than they received in 2007.
Instead of fighting and reducing the power and wealth of the bankers and corporations, the Democrats used their position as the dominant majority in the government to secure even greater wealth and power for the “fabulous few.”
On Nov. 2, the people voted against the incumbent party. The Republicans and the right wing took advantage by pretending to be “anti-government populists.” That explains their electoral victory.
A massive and militant people’s fight-back movement that targets the banks, corporations and the bought and paid for politicians of both parties is what will swing the tide against the right wing and the entire political apparatus, which serve the needs of the capitalist criminals who lord over the vast wealth of the United States while the people continue to suffer.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation exists to meet that challenge. The class war waged by the rich against the people will soon be joined by massive and determined class-wide counter force from below. It may start with small battles, but the capitalist system leaves no alternative.