“An enormous people’s victory.”
That’s how the political party of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels jubilantly celebrated the results of the 2012 presidential election in the United States, which will put Barack Obama in the White House for another four years.
The comment was in a report to the Communist Party USA national committee from the party’s chairman, Sam Webb.
“We meet on the heels of an enormous people’s victory. It was a long and bitterly contested battle in which the forces of inclusive democracy came out on top. The better angels of the American people spread their wings,” he wrote in the online report.
He said blacks, Hispanics and women worked together to defeat “racist … white people” and that it now is time for the Communist Party USA to work on the foundations established by Obama on issues regarding the environment, homosexual marriage and minorities to its potential.
“If anything the vote … is an insistent call for action on the most pressing problems facing the working class and people. That is the election’s mandate,” he wrote. “This was not a vote in favor of destroying social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; or rolling back domestic spending; or resolving the budget crisis on the people’s backs.
“It was instead a vote for jobs, housing relief, health care, withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, an end to U.S.-led wars in the Middle East, preservation of the social safety net, health care access, reproductive rights, and equal pay for women, infrastructure renewal (an issue that took on greater importance after megastorm Sandy), marriage equality, a larger commitment to public education, a tax system in which the wealthiest families and corporations pay a much larger share, reform of our punitive and anti-democratic immigration laws, a reduction in unconscionable inequality, a legislative and electoral system that isn’t awash with corporate money,” he wrote.
Webb was convinced the CPUSA was integral to the election results.
“Our contribution was both ideological and practical. Nearly every member and leader was involved. Our work gives us much to build on as we throw ourselves into the post-election battles,” he wrote. “In every state and city our political relationships are broader and deeper; our presence and prestige are on a new level.”
And he accused Republicans of trying to manipulate the vote.
“While many things went into Obama’s victory, what was notable was the ability of the democratic movement to turn back Republican efforts to suppress the vote; what was of great import was the determination of the people’s movement (with labor in the lead) to reach, educate, and turn out tens of millions of American voters on Election Day; what not surprising was the continuing, strategic, and sometimes underappreciated role of the African American people (93 per cent voted for the president) in the front ranks (at the head in many instances) of the struggle for progress and democracy.”
He said the immediate obligations of Congress now are to renew tax reductions for the “middle class” and raise taxes on the “rich.” Then the U.S. must launch a green-designed program to rebuild coastal areas destroyed by the hurricane. And third would be to give people more unemployment benefits.
“The president is the most popular politician in the country. Nobody has the political and moral authority that he has. He isn’t a radical, but by the same token to classify him as a run-of-the-mill capitalist politician doesn’t fit either. Of the Democratic Party presidents of the 20th century, none had the deep democratic sensibilities that he possesses. It is crucial that he lead this struggle,” he said.
“But he can’t and won’t do it alone. He needs a mass movement that will nudge him forward as well as have his back as he goes up against recalcitrant Republicans, big sections of monopoly capital, and wavering centrist Democrats in Congress in this and in subsequent battles.”
He said it’s the duty of communists, socialists and others to develop that movement.
“Our main task is to build broad people’s unity, guarantee the participation of the key social and class forces, counter the right-wing narrative with a working-class and people’s narrative, and bring forward an alternative program.”
He continued: “What stood out in the election was the power of unity and diversity. That may seem contradictory, but it was the interaction of the two that turned what could have been a defeat into a people’s victory. Had Latinos not voted in such significant numbers in Nevada, Colorado and Florida, it is hard to see the president’s path to victory. Had African Americans not turned out in record numbers it is tough to see how the president could have won in most of the battleground states. Had labor not mobilized its membership to vote in Ohio and other Rust Belt states, it’s a stretch to see the president emerging triumphant on election night. Likewise, had single young women not cast their ballots in large numbers, it is difficult to visualize his victory.”
And he launched a diatribe against whites.
“It is easy to dismiss white people, including white workers, as not only racist, but also backward on a range of issues, such as peace, gun control, reproductive rights, gay marriage, and so forth,” he wrote. “Looking at the white vote in this election provides ample evidence for this claim.
“Worse still, close to 65 percent of white men cast their vote for Romney. What motivated them can’t be reduced to race alone. A substantial number of white people, I’m sure, bought the idea that in an underperforming economy Romney would be a better steward than the president. And there were other issues that motivated them to vote for Romney as well,” he said. “But, at the same time, for many of them, racism must have either taken up the biggest space in or is closely entwined with the bundle of resentments and wrong understandings that accounts for their voting behavior.”
CPUSA reports that it is time for its ideals to surge forward.
While Marxism was conceived by Marx and Engels and “has served as a guide for working class and national liberation movements,” it is its affirmation by Vladimir Lenin, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro that validates it, he wrote.