Taking a sober look at the 2016 election

 
BY:John Bachtell| January 29, 2016
Taking a sober look at the 2016 election

 

Remarks to National Board, Jan. 20, 2016

(Updated to reflect new developments)

Introduction
The 2016 elections are exciting, fast changing, complex and volatile. We need constant updating and a sober estimate of developments and trends. This includes an accurate assessment of the class and social balance of forces, the motion of the electorate overall and the dynamics within both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

I want to raise a few cautions and challenges.

Strategic policy
First, we can’t ever lose sight of the strategic policy guiding our work: defeat the extreme right and GOP, its oligarchic backers, defend the presidency and break the GOP grip on Congress, statehouses and governorships.

In addition we must work at ensuring attempts to appointment extremist, pro-segregationist justices to the U.S. Supreme Court are blocked.

Whatever the outcome in the Democratic primaries we will contribute to building unity of a broad left-center, multi-class, multi-racial, male-female, multi-generational alliance of forces for the general election.

Building such a multi-class alliance that includes the Democratic Party establishment or corporate wing will be a greater challenge if Sanders is nominated, but not impossible.

We have to continue to convey our anti-extreme right strategy to the broader movement, especially the first time and young voters, so that no matter the nominee, all will join in the general election mobilization.

Without question there are serious problems and weaknesses with the Clinton campaign. Clinton carries a lot of historic baggage including her ties to Wall Street, hawkishness on foreign policy, etc. It is so obviously unseemly and tone deaf to accept such large “speaking” fees from Wall Street. But we know this already.

In addition, there are the new low-level red-baiting attacks coming from Democratic National Committee and Clinton surrogates.

But this doesn’t reflect everything. On all the major democratic issues and demands, i.e. collective bargaining rights, racial and gender equity, climate change, immigration reform, etc., Clinton is on the right side.

On the other hand, among some of Sanders’s supporters there is a “Bernie or Bust” mentality. They have declared they will sit out the elections if Clinton is the nominee. This is not the dominant trend but it’s a problem among those who see the Sanders campaign as a way to bash the Democratic Party.

Sanders doesn’t share this view and has handled the efforts to turn him against Hillary very well. Sanders also appreciates the right danger and will be part of the anti-right coalition even if he loses, as will President Obama. This is important because there are pressures on us to abandon our balanced strategic approach.

Strengthening the progressive forces
In addition, we should be part of ensuring the broad people’s coalition led by labor and its allies, has a decisive impact on the depth of understanding of what’s at stake, shaping the key issues and organizing the grassroots mobilization.

This will have a decisive impact on the election outcome, one that puts this movement in a strengthened position to fight in the post election period under more favorable circumstances.

This includes building the size and influence of the left and progressive forces within the coalition. The Sanders campaign can play a key role in strengthening the influence of the left.

Emphasizing the issues
We have to continue to emphasize the issues, promoting the best of both Sanders and Clinton, especially the most advanced positions. For example, there is growing discussion among the candidates about a financial transaction tax on Wall Street.

We will continue to raise differences with and criticisms of both candidates.

Anyone who viewed the debates sees radically different directions for the country. There are big differences between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns: Clinton’s program is within the traditional bounds of the Democratic Party. Sanders’s program is transformational and radical.

Yet, to the extent the election is fought out on the economic and social issues advanced by Sanders, Clinton, O’Malley and President Obama, the outcome will be more favorable.

Unpredictability
We should avoid getting carried away with momentary developments. We shouldn’t see trends based solely on what’s happening in Iowa and New Hampshire and extrapolate.

Once the race moves on to South Carolina, Nevada and beyond the dynamics could change because the demographics are different. On the other hand, if Clinton loses both IA and NH and Sanders gains new momentum, the race could take a new turn.

Many unforeseen events can intrude fundamentally altering the dynamics, i.e. a terrorist attack, economic downturn or the entrance of a new candidate into the race (e.g. Michael Bloomberg).

We should beware of polls. They are being cherry picked by each campaign and their supporters.

Certainly Bernie Sanders is surging. There is a growing and energetic movement backing this 74-year-old rumpled self-described democratic socialist. This is an extraordinary moment.

The Clinton campaign foresees a national campaign lasting into April.

Can Sanders beat Trump by larger margin? Maybe, but he hasn’t been subject to same vilification as Clinton for last 30 years and the subject of an all out assault by the GOP and right-wing media.

There are some indications the GOP would prefer to face Sanders in the general election. In Iowa, Karl Rove’s PAC American Crossroads has played up Clinton’s Wall Street ties with the hope of weakening her. Another right-wing PAC is highlighting Sanders’s tax the rich proposals.

This election is different
This election is different than 2012 and earlier in some key ways. One factor is the degree of fervor against party establishment candidates. So far, at least 50 percent of GOP support has been going to non-establishment candidates (Trump, Cruz and Carson). By this time in previous elections, one of the establishment candidates had emerged as a poll leader.

According to the NY Times, the mindset of Republican electorate is angrier and more disenchanted than previous elections. There are more deeply held anti-government sentiments.

Among GOP leaning voters, the anger (mainly among whites) is caused by loss of jobs, steep decline in wages and standard of living, fueled by racism and cultural changes: shifting demographics, same sex marriage, changing religious practices, etc.

Voters are being misled by right-wing demagogy; 40 years of unrelenting hate ideology, particularly racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.

Another factor is the extreme wealth concentration and the re-emergence of oligarchy. This factor, which is now accelerating, was not as pronounced prior to 2008. It is a huge factor fueling Sanders campaign and shaping the debate overall.

GOP dynamics
There are deep divisions along all the political fault lines in the GOP. Not only are there divisions between the so-called establishment and the Tea Party and insurgent grassroots. There are also divisions among establishment forces.

Some are predicting a Trump victory already in the GOP primaries. Once past Iowa and NH the primary terrain is more favorable to establishment candidates, not the insurgents according to Nate Silver. It will likely boil down to a 3-person race: Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

But again it’s unpredictable.

There is a growing concern regarding the fascist-like stench emanating from elements around the Trump campaign. These fascist like groups are attracted to the Trump campaign in response to his tough talk, anti-Mexican and anti-Muslim tirades.

However, the Trump campaign is not a fascist movement nor is the country near fascism. But if significant sections of the oligarchy decide to back Trump, combined with an array of extremist and fascist like forces, the danger will grow.

And the danger has already grown with a right-wing lock on half the state legislatures, democratic government being eliminated (as in Michigan with the imposition of emergency managers), voter suppression laws being passed, public sector unions being dissolved and right to work laws passed.

A GOP establishment candidate may yet win. If an insurgent wins it would spell the biggest defeat for the GOP establishment since Goldwater. They are getting very nervous but are not yet united around one candidate. Some are preparing for a brokered convention or the possibility Trump or Cruz will win.

I think the announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan that congressional Republicans would write the GOP convention platform and thereby prevent it from falling in the hands of Trump and the Tea Party is one indication. Ryan is even being rumored as a compromise candidate in the event of a brokered convention.

Trump is highly unpopular among Democrats and independents. This could create possibility for a Goldwater type defeat at the polls and political realignment in the GOP.

The possibility of a general election race between Trump and Sanders is what motivated the presidential trial balloon by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The possible entrance of Bloomberg would greatly complicate the race and could disadvantage the Democrats. The billionaire Bloomberg, who was elected three times in a majority Democratic city, is a pro-choice moderate Republican, who advocates bi-partisan action against global warming, for gun control and immigration reform. He would draw moderate Republican voters and could potentially draw moderate Democratic leaning voters, splitting the party and isolating Sanders.

I think it would fundamentally alter the dynamics of the race.

Sanders
Sanders has surprised many with his strong showing and surge, not least the Clinton campaign. Sanders raised $33 million to Clinton’s $37 in final quarter of 2015. He broke Obama’s record for most individual contributions at this point in the campaign: 2.5 million.

The Sanders campaign has expanded the political imagination of the country. He is proposing radical solutions to big problems. He is channeling the anger against wealth inequality into a positive direction against Wall Street (an important counterweight to Trump). He has opened the door for a discussion of socialism.

His campaign is a grassroots movement being powered by young voters. He is inspiring first time voters, energizing the base and enlarging the electorate

In this sense, the bigger the vote for Sanders the better. It will help in the general election and post election struggles. A bigger campaign can have a positive impact on the alignment of forces within the anti-ultra right coalition.

Sanders is also having an important impact on Clinton, moving her to adopt more progressive positions.

Problems of unity
At this moment the constituencies that make up the so-called the “Obama Coalition” are fractured between Clinton and Sanders. Clinton has support of more unions (the upcoming AFL-CIO executive council meeting will be decisive), African American and Latino voters (which is holding up), and older voters. 60% support among women, including a majority of older women.

There is a sharp divide along age lines. Those 45 years old and young are supporting Sanders by a wide margin, 2 to 1, including among young women. Something new is happening among the millennial and young voters.

So while appealing to the moderate and pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party is a huge challenge for Sanders, appealing to younger voters is a huge challenge for Clinton.

Sexism
Sexism directed at Clinton not only coming from Trump and GOP candidates. We have to expose the influences of sexism, double standards, including in some attacks from the left.

There’s a gender gap in the campaign. Clinton gets 60% of the women’s vote, but loses among young women 2 to 1.

Men support Sanders by a margin of 58 percent to 35 percent, with young men supporting him 5 to 1. A majority of men 45 years and older support Hillary.

But the intensity of the unfavorability, and the influences of sexism, toward Clinton are much higher among men.

There are some, including on the left, who are dismissive of the importance of electing the first woman president. This prospect should be embraced, as was the prospect of electing the first African American president. Clinton’s candidacy is an inspiration for millions of women, but also men. It is a widely held dream and would be an advance for women’s equality, democracy, and blow to sexism.

Clinton’s been in the public spotlight, under attack for 30 years by the right, particularly vicious sexist attacks and has been subject to double standards.

Sexism is an ideological poison that must be combated wherever it appears.

Racism
Sanders has been evolving in his approach to issues of racial justice. But the overwhelming support for Clinton among African American voters is not just a matter of Sanders not being widely known in the African American community.

We have often pointed out African American voters are the most sophisticated bloc of the electorate. There are a myriad of reasons and considerations behind the support for Clinton.

Sanders still often appears tone deaf on issues of racial justice, including around the recent debate on support for reparations. One could debate whether passage of reparations legislation is possible, but to be dismissive made him sound insensitive and blind to the interrelationship between issues of class and race.

Clinton has more deftly handled the relationship of class and racial justice issues, for example on the Flint water crisis and in her meeting with #BlackLivesMatters activists.

Both candidates embrace President Obama and vow to continue his policies for the most part.

Electability
We shouldn’t dismiss concerns over Sanders’s electability and just attribute them to the Clinton campaign. These concerns are coming from people who love Bernie and what he stands for but don’t think he can assemble the coalition needed to win.

Would the so-called establishment and center forces in the Democratic Party sit on their hands if Sanders were nominated, thereby isolating him?

There are also questions of electability surrounding Clinton. There is concern she has too many negatives and ties to Wall Street to be an effective candidate.

What will it take to emerge from the primaries with a united coalition and a candidate capable of winning? It means re-assembling the constituent parts of the “Obama coalition” which includes the entire labor movement, communities of color, women, youth and other democratic movements, i.e. environmental, immigrant, LGTBQ, etc.

But it also includes section of business at odds with the extreme right and the reactionary sections of monopoly capital. A multi-class, multi-racial, male-female, young-old alliance, broad center-left alliance in sync with a wide range of democratic movements is needed.

Nor should we dismiss concerns about the ability of Sanders to pass his program as articulated. This is not all Clinton propaganda. It will take ousting the GOP majority and electing far more progressive elected officials.

Again, we need a sober assessment of the actual balance of class, social and political forces. Winning the election is one thing, but governing is still another.

At this moment, Sanders or Clinton will need the cooperation of a section of Wall Street to govern effectively. It is important to identify the most reactionary section to attack and isolate it: Koch brothers, et al billionaires, fossil fuel industry and military industrial complex.

After the election, the overall class struggle will sharpen, given the accelerating concentration of wealth and this will also come to bear on a new administration.

If the movement is bigger, if there is indeed a political revolution, then the balance will change and it will be possible for more radical reforms to pass.

There have been some dramatic shifts in public opinion and the emergence of majority sentiments around higher minimum wage, unions, same-sex marriage, action against the climate crisis, immigration reform, etc. But majority sentiments and organized action in support of those sentiments is another.

The GOP will most likely retain House because of redistricting. It’s possible for Democrats to win the Senate. If Clinton or Sanders is elected, it will mean more obstruction from the GOP House.

But the obstruction will come from other centers of power too: from oligarchy, reactionary sections of Wall Street, right wing social movements, think tanks and mass media, talk radio, etc.

Last week NPR carried an interview with Jane Mayer, author of “Dark Money”, the story of the Koch brothers. While we were at the 2008 Obama inauguration, Mitch McConnell was organizing a meeting of the GOP to obstruct. What we didn’t know was that the Koch brothers were also organizing a meeting of billionaires in CA to plan obstruction.

A resounding victory in 2016 will create a more favorable terrain of struggle going forward and potentially open the doors to a new era of more advanced struggles. This is a part of the huge challenge for both Sanders and Clinton and all democratic forces going forward.

Photo: Creative Commons 3.0

 

 

Comments (39)

Anon | September 19, 2016 at 11:47 PM

How can you call yourselves communists and at the same time support a neoliberal imperialist like Hillary Clinton? Calling yourselves “Marxists-Leninists” is a disgrace to the theories of Marx and Lenin and everything they stood for. If you knew what Leninism is you would know that it is explicitly anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, and yet you are supporting both through the endorsement of Clinton. Thinking that Clinton being elected will change anything at all in race, gender, and other social issues is complete liberalism. I seriously recommend you read some Marx and Lenin and that the CPUSA can one day come back from the revisionism currently present in the Party.

    Joe Sims | September 26, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    We have not endorsed Clinton. With regard to the theoretical basis of our electoral policy, please see below: http://www.cpusa.org/article/neoliberalism-and-the-fascist-danger-a-reply-to-some-left-critics/

    Anon Marxist Leninist | October 26, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Alfred Allison | August 18, 2016 at 12:44 PM

This election should not be just as before, decisive moment for the USA.
You may read more about it here – http://electioninusa.info/

Satyam Arya | June 30, 2016 at 7:21 AM

None of the candidates can fill in the shoes for President Obama. As the world prepares for the US elections,read this article which talks about various aspects. http://ishanmanchanda.livejournal.com/971.html

Paul | March 08, 2016 at 9:54 AM

Your lean toward Clinton and analysis of why seems to be more of the same “lets get behind the establishment candidate.
Yes, Clinton has labor support but I pose the question, What has she done for labor? Supported NAFTA, TPP and other trade agreements.

African American voters area ” sophisticated bloc of the electorate” Clintons support of the 1994 Crime bill should be enough to turn away “this sophisticated bloc of the electorate” but it hasn’t as the polls show.

Why so watered down on your analysis? Why not offer some new ideas?

Bruce Arnold | March 06, 2016 at 9:50 PM

Many of the comments on this thread are good examples of what Lenin called “left-wing communism.” Left-wing communism is what you get when people spout ideology rather than analyzing current conditions and planning their action accordingly. We might call it “more radical than thou.” This kind of ideologically driven rhetoric makes the speaker feel righteous but has no effect on public affairs.

There used to be a popular button that read, “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.” Yeah, ha ha, I get it, good one. We can laugh about it, but there were those who took it seriously. What happens when a lot of people don’t vote is that their opponents win by default. This has drastic consequences in the real world. Same with any other rigidly dogmatic viewpoint.

It happens that I have serious doubts about Hillary Clinton. She is dangerously hawkish on foreign policy. I’d rather see the Left support Sanders as long as possible in the primaries, and throw our support to Clinton when or if she wins the nomination. It’s not a matter of electability, IMO. Either candidate will have problems against the Republican nominee, just different problems.

However, given a choice between Clinton and any of the current crop of Republican candidates, who will be hawkish on foreign policy and reactionary on a whole host of other issues as well, I’ll take Hillary. So I don’t disagree with what John Bachtell has said; different tactics, same strategy.

This is not a child’s game. There are real decisions to be made that affect real lives. Bachtell is asking us to look at this election as well-informed adults. Sometimes grown-ups have to make decisions that are less than ideal, because they will work better than the alternatives.

    M. Cvetic | August 13, 2016 at 4:08 AM

    Do you actually believe than V.I. Lenin would endorse Clinton, or voting in a liberal democracy at all? This is not what he was talking about when discussing praticality over praxis. Have you ever actual read An Infantile Disorder? I ask because it just looks like you flipped through the spark notes provided by the Bureau’s internal web service.

J. | February 29, 2016 at 6:49 PM

Supporting Hillary in an election when there’s a chance to reach out to the youth about an alternative solution to capitalism? When Bernie loses and the Communist Party supports Hillary the youth is going to see this party for what it is, nothing more than an organization co-opted by the Democratic Party establishment in favor of the status quo rather than proposing meaningful change.

This is why I and other’s I know on campus refuse to become members. Why join an organization for the status quo when the status quo is obviously not working.

What a deranged leadership you have here.

Ana Bathrum | February 27, 2016 at 3:56 PM

You have to be one of the worst communists I’ve ever heard of.

River Ezell | February 24, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Stuff like this is the reason the Communist Party is dying. You’re not even Marxist anymore. You’re just a pro-labor wing of the Democrats at this point. You’re spineless.

alex | February 24, 2016 at 2:49 AM

what an embarrassingly passive attitude in this shameful article.
But I’ve seen in in many places where social movements raise and surpasses what YOU weren’t remotly able to do.

“Left parties” feeling overlooked are many times the worst backstabbers of progress.

You seem to be exactly that.

| February 24, 2016 at 1:59 AM

GULAG 4 U

Steven | February 24, 2016 at 12:21 AM

Your party defends Stalin while supporting capitalists… looks like you’ve never known what a left stance was.

Steven | February 24, 2016 at 12:13 AM

“Clinton’s program is within the traditional bounds of the Democratic Party. Sanders’s program is transformational and radical.”

What on earth are you talking about?? When the CPUSA calls Clinton traditional (neo-liberal and a warhawk) and will go as far as calling Sanders radical (a democrat traditionalist), I think it’s time they give up and join the democratic party instead of continuing this joke. It’s as if you don’t know the CP’s history let alone the democrat history when you prescribe terms like that.

Just end the CPUSA already, the real left thinks your a laughing stock.

And sorry, but I can’t bother myself writing an intellectual response to this flaccid article that panders to selling out any principles the CPUSA thinks it has and your continued cheerleading for democrats over the years.

Jim Lane | February 23, 2016 at 6:05 PM

I have to agree with the critics who say this is a willy-nilly kind of analysis. If Ms Clinton wins the nomination, I have no doubt that helping her win will be necessary, but I can’t see any reason that progressives shouldn’t be working for the better choice in the primaries.

Aren’t we, after all, socialists? The part that hurt the most was the sentence, “At this moment, Sanders or Clinton will need the cooperation of a section of Wall Street to govern effectively.” Since when did we care how effectively a capitalist government governed? Aren’t we for overcoming capitalism anymore?

Do we really want it to govern effectively?

    E.E.W. Clay | October 24, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Jim Lane,
    I am just reading your comment, which I do agree with. Because even if we vote for Hilary, we don’t have to concede to be “governed” by capitalists and imperialists, instead by the activities of the workers, as they change to world from old to new.

marx | February 22, 2016 at 6:06 PM

You should stop calling yourselves communists. Disband your party and just join the Democrats, you’re just like them. Shameful

Jack Radey | February 22, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Back in 1968, a guy named Paul Glusman, a political comedian, put out a pair of leaflets in the name of the Progressive Labor Party. The first was a leaflet denouncing the candidacy of George Wallace, from the point of view of PL’s “proletarian revolution” rhetoric. The second used the same rhetoric to urge workers, in the name of PL, to support George Wallace, using the same logic.

Hillary has “baggage”? Dear Jesus on a Pogo Stick. This is remarkable, and will do nicely as an epitaph for the once-glorious party of the American working class, the CPUSA. The ability to twist oneself into a complex knot using your own rhetoric is downright scary. Next I expect to see an editorial pointing out the progressive elements of Donald Trump’s “platform” (hey, he has vaguely supported single payer, opposed – when he wasn’t supporting – the invasion of Iraq, denounced Wall Street and its buying of candidates…), and giving him a tentative and nuanced endorsement in his race against Cruz?

I say all this with incredible sadness. Sic transit gloria. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Dillon | February 22, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Class traitors. You should be critical of Bernie and Clinton, not supportive.

Ahab | February 22, 2016 at 11:08 AM

I had so much love and respect for yall. Doing this hurt me. It’s like you stabbed in my gut and then laughed about it.

Mike Diel | February 22, 2016 at 8:43 AM

On the issue of electability, It’s always a matter of turn out. Bernie will bring in a lot of new voters, Hillary will cause them to stay home. If Bernie takes off he could have some extremely long coattails.

Eric | February 21, 2016 at 4:37 PM

So what exactly is communist about building multiclass unity? Last time I checked, the working class was the vast majority and collaborating with other classes only helps delay the badly needed revolution. It also wastes the little money and time that communists have in order to throw in with people who raised over a billion dollars in recent presidential elections. What a waste. How many times will the rank and file of CPUSA be hoodwinked by their leadership who wants them to through the school of the Democrats yet again. As if the first Clinton wasn’t bad enough, you want a second, rather than stand up for communist principles and lose to people who do nothing but use lubrication when they screw rhe working class. There is no lesser evil here. We are smarter than falling for good cop bad cop. Rank and file wake up!

Eric | February 21, 2016 at 4:21 PM

So what exactly is communist about building multiclass unity? Last time I checked, the working class was the vast majority and collaborating with other classes only helps delay the badly needed revolution. It also wastes the little money and time that communists have in order to throw in with people who raised over a billion dollars in recent presidential elections. What a waste. How many times will the rank and file of CPUSA be hoodwinked by their leadership who wants them to through the school of the Democrats yet again. As if the first Clinton wasn’t bad enough, you want a second, rather than stand up for communist principles and lose to people who do nothing but use lubrication when they screw rhe working class. There is no lesser evil here. We are smarter than falling for good cop bad cop. Rank and file wake up!

Gary Hicks | February 18, 2016 at 9:14 AM

Endorse Clinton? The Communist Party? Now you know we don’t do kiss of death politics.

Then again, a rethink. Should we endorse the GOP candidates??!

Sereniama YET AGAIN | February 17, 2016 at 10:09 PM

Ahh… it’s YOU again.

Listen here, buddy. First of all, you are being a COMPLETE hypocrite, and frankly, a DONBASS NAZI. OFFICIALLY endorsing Hillary Clinton?! I know you are a Donbass Nazi, and you PRETEND to be a Communist. Sanders is too RADICAL?!?!? RADICAL?!?!? COMMUNISTS ARE RADICAL!!! YOU are taking the VERY context of what WE stand for, RADICALISM to CHANGE this NATIONS BROKEN SYSTEM!!! I don’t know what sort of Putinist propaganda they are feeding you, but it sounds ALLOT like you’re fucking taking them this way and sucking their dick. Are you saying that life under Hillary will be BETTER?! NO IT WONT!!! WHY ENDORSE SOMEONE WHO WILL START WORLD WAR III??? If the CPUSA is really going to take this seriously, I will seriously consider writing a letter to kick YOU out of it. Because really, as I said in my previous rant to you, YOU deserve it. YOU are a Donbass Nazi, possible SPY for the FSB hell you might even support Donbass yourself! I’ve seen some of your articles on that, and FRANKLY you support those terrorists. And with this, you SHOW your Nazi self by saying you SUPPORT HER. ALL BECAUSE. SHES A WOMAN. SO FUCKING WHAT!?!?!? SO WHAT IF SHES A WOMAN!?!? IT WOULD MAKE NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE IF IT WAS BILL RUNNING OR SOME SHIT. SHE IS A GOD DAMN MOTHERFUCKING NAZI! LOOK AT HER POLICIES. SHE WILL DESTROY AMERICA AND WE WILL SEE NUCLEAR WEAPONS FLY!!!!

So please, go fuck yourself with your fascist propaganda. You have betrayed me, the one who might be the most prominent revolutionary figure in American Communism alongside my friend, Mister Bell. You have betrayed Communism. Marx, Engles, Lenin, Trotsky, Tito, Goldman and all those who had fought for the true cause are rolling in their graves from this.

“JOHN BACHTELL” AKA PAVEL GUBARYEV AGENT.

Signed,
Sereniama, a TRUE Communist. Not a traitor to the revolution.

PS: If you remove this comment, it proves on how you are revealing that you are indeed, a Donbass Nazi. I want you to actually have the BALLS to read and accept this. What’s next? You’re gonna say Donald Trump isn’t so bad? I can’t wait to see your bullshit come yet again.

Dylan Springer | February 17, 2016 at 8:31 PM

I’m surprised to see the support for Clinton. While she is leagues ahead of any Republican, I have little faith that she will actually carry out anything she has promised. She has a record of flip-flopping when politically expedient and there is nothing that’s convinced she won’t continue to do so if elected.

If endorsement is on the table, I strongly suggest supporting Sen. Sanders. In just a few short weeks since this article was written, much has changed. Sanders tied in Iowa, won by an unprecedented landslide in New Hampshire, and (according to the polls) is tied with Clinton in Nevada and following close behind in South Carolina.

Clinton isn’t as bad as any Republican, but when you’ve got Sanders in the race–well, it’s not even a contest. Obviously all due support can be redirected to Clinton if she is the nominee, and it can and should be made clear that a civil discourse between both Democratic Party factions should preside. Nevertheless, I would strongly support this party endorse Sen. Sanders, the true progressive with a strong chance of victory.

Sincerely,
D.A. Springer,
a (new) Millennial voter

Phil Orban | February 15, 2016 at 10:34 PM

Aren’t yinz being over critical to the Sanders campaign? He espouses the far-lefts’ agenda, yet you seem to be more receptive to the Clinton campaign!!! We are being attacked by the Koch bros’ et al ! Do I need to rescind my membership? How has the Right-wing infiltrated CPUSA? Please reply, because, as it stands, I’ve been duped. Are yinz getting rich off of us to benefit the 1%??? If so, why? Also, why are comments moderate??? Phil

Timothy Wheeler | February 13, 2016 at 5:51 PM

Thank you for this thoughtful report on the 2016 elections. Tomorrow, we will drive into Seattle and use it as the basis of a discussion by the Unity Club of the Communist Party USA. My wife, Joyce & I are active supporters of Bernie Sanders. We see strong support for Bernie in our grassroots work in Clallam County. I am concerned that inadvertently, the Bernie campaign may actually be an intimidating force, so strong in our advocacy that we actually silence people who support Hillary. We should not be sending that message. We have Democratic Debate watch parties at Clallam Democratic Party headquarters. Some cheer Bernie and berate Hillary. But my response is different: Listen to what both these candidates are saying. Both offer real answers to the problems facing our country. They agree on so many crucial points. And contrast their positions to the racist hatemongering of every one of the Republicans. Even as we campaign for Bernie, we need to be building the unity to defeat the Republicans in November.

Susan | February 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM

I agree with some things but not with others. Yes the overall strategy is to defeat the ultra right but I believe that Hillary is part of that. A big clues is that she looks to Henry Kissinger. I think it is important that we listen to a lot of the things the young people are saying. We must not shut them down because we have more experience . Many of the same go slow things were said to us in the civil rights movement.
We must not be tailers but leaders. The Clinton’s brought African American people mass incarceration,the NAFTA sending of jobs out of the country,and millions being thrown off benefits. If she is liked by many that is fine but I believe that Hillary is only making progressive statements now because of the pressure of the movement for economic fairness.

I harken back to the election of Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war. We did not campaign for Johnson but worked against Goldwater.

We must not promote illusions about Hillary
She is a Margaret Thatcher and Gilda Meir kind of woman. That will hurt all people men and women. Right now I think we should be immersed in the young people’s struggles and help broaden this movement but not tell people to support Hillary now. We must fight for an FDR type of party not the Clinton’s centrist vision. We have a teachable moment now. We must not choose Hillary. We can support her if we have to or organize against the Republicans if she gets the nomination. For young people who are saying they like socialism better than capitalism we must not miss the boat by sailing with Hillary.

Susan | February 13, 2016 at 5:24 PM

I agree with some things but not with others. Yes the overall strategy is to defeat the ultra right but I believe that Hillary is part of that. A big clues is that she looks to Henry Kissinger. I think it is important that we listen to a lot of the things the young people are saying. We must not shut them down because we have more experience . Many of the same go slow things were said to us in the civil rights movement.
We must not be tailers but leaders. The Clinton’s brought African American people mass incarceration,the NAFTA sending of jobs out of the country,and millions being thrown off benefits. If she is liked by many that is fine but I believe that Hillary is only making progressive statements now because of the pressure of the movement for economic fairness.

I harken back to the election of Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war. We did not campaign for Johnson but worked against Goldwater.

We must not promote illusions about Hillary
She is a Margaret Thatcher and Gilda Meir kind of woman. That will hurt all people men and women. Right now I think we should be immersed in the young people’s struggles and help broaden this movement but not tell people to support Hillary now. We must fight for an FDR type of party not the Clinton’s centrist vision. We have a teachable moment now. We must not choose Hillary. We can support her if we have to or organize against the Republicans if she gets the nomination. For young people who are saying they like socialism better than capitalism we must not miss the boat by sailing with Hillary.

Daniel M | February 10, 2016 at 4:25 PM

The Sanders support from youth doesn’t surprise me at all, but the surprise around it reveals just how much money separates people in this country. You get caught in the rat race, always striving for the next position. A mentality that the people around you are not your final people, your job not your final job, your home not your final home. We treat everything like stepping stones to reach our “true place” and maintain zero connection with what we leave behind each step, oblivious to all the struggles shared there. So those who have established some kind of living for themselves seem unaware of just how bad it is for those behind because they are in different circles. Yet the youth mingle across ages because they mostly still live with their parents, either due to age or financial hardship, and perhaps also due to similar use of technology for social involvement.

The late-20s to mid-30s are struggling after so long with nothing to show except perhaps a massive school debt for the degree that hasn’t found them a job. The kids graduating high school are talking to them about it and have no trust that their turn will go any better. Both want to fix it, together, with extreme urgency. Similarly, the younger have never known a world where we weren’t fighting terrorists. They hear from the 30-somethings that once it wasn’t that way, and it’s the result of fallacious policy choices for market controls. Now someone like Clinton doesn’t just sound sub-optimal but destructive to the world. They want a world where they have room to hope. The up-to-mid-30-somethings want to prove not all their efforts are in vain. It’s not hard to understand if it’s the world you’re in, but if you have a steady job and are concerned mostly with things like the change in healthcare prices, you’re so far from the reality it’s a confusing phenomenon and wild guesses come out. So you get all this weird commentary about feminism, which is definitely an issue, but it has nothing to do with why youth aren’t behind Clinton. They aren’t ignorant, they just have priorities. Little things like trying to make sure that we don’t reach the point of half the country hitting retirement age with no savings and social security dried up.

Dusty | February 06, 2016 at 6:30 PM

I haven’t been in touch with you guys for a while but I always take an interest in your acute analysis of a difficult political ‘mind-field’,
Best regards Dusty

E.E. W. Clay | February 02, 2016 at 11:59 AM

It is widely agreed, although oftentimes left unsaid and unrecognized, that all; left, center, and rational forces on the right even, agree that the billionaire military industrial complex, the fossil fuel magnates and the rabid supporters of American Apartheid must go. Rapidly, among the working class and many advanced movements and organizations, this is being more and more recognized as necessity-a need for human survival on the planet. This message and action on it by the workers, is what we have to focus on in these 2016 elections and its movements.
None of the pragmatism of who is electable, Clinton vs Sanders, will matter, if there is no massive activity to turn back the military-industrial-prison complex, the billionaires who enrich themselves through it, the New Jim Crow and the Slavery by Another Name in an economy dominated by deadly oil and coal baron billionaires.
We, the workers and communists have to stress that humankind the world over, is in the 2016 U. S. presidential election, in its present system of functioning, has to make room for a change that will allow for human survival.
Valid, relevant, computer models everywhere verify that the planet is dying along with its many species of both plant and animal, and will reach a tipping point of no return soon-one of no return.
Ignoring the problems of the 19th, 20th, and now the 21st centuries; those pointed out by Marx, then Du Bois, then Lenin, is starting to double back and leave wanton, irreversible destruction in its wake. Rich and poor, people of color and those who presume they are not people of color, have to unify and work to marshal the labor of humankind to reverse the effects of climate change or global warming, or deadly carbon imprint-or we all die.
This will mean ownership and control of coal and oil industries, military-industrial-prison complex industries, transportation, communication industries, by the collective peoples-yes, socialism.
Capitalism, in function dictates this.
It has to be recognized for what it is and attacked with sharp weapons at this juncture, or its too late.
The United Nations and conglomerates of nation-states, unions, cooperatives-any and all kinds of unions have to recognized the key role the 2016 elections will play in determining whether humanity survives or not on this one planet, as a species.
All international pressure and influence of the communists and the workers has to be brought to bear on the in many ways backwards political system in the United States of America to make it more responsive to democracy and reason-for the sake of the planet’s survival, and all the peoples on it.
The communist and workers parties, however weak we are, have to put pressure on the U. S. political system to be accountable for the devastation it has brought to the planet since the Genesis of Capitalism-which is the modern slave trade and its origins in the Primitive Accumulation of capital.
Between this 2 February and 8 November 2016 the communist, socialist, worker, especially, but all political exigencies which have any rationality(including those right wing interstices) have to work on a coalescence which will practically mesh for the planet’s survival.
The internet is already giving this life or death message, and expressing this necessity for human survival.
Our grandchildren, grandmothers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and mothers, our greats, our mothers, fathers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, enemies, neighbors, co-workers-even those we consider apolitical, non-political, atheist, anarchist or despondent, have to be turned to on this-not to mention all NGOs, GOs, and political organizations of every stripe.
It is now peace with the planet or die-for everybody and all life.
Go peoples of our planet-the planet you help save is yours, and your only!

Rod Casey | February 01, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Let’s openly support the Democrats. I want to see the headline “Communist Party USA endorses Clinton/Sanders”.

vince | January 30, 2016 at 6:54 AM

Go Bernie!

Mama Cassie | January 29, 2016 at 9:27 PM
Chris | January 29, 2016 at 7:49 PM

Ditto on sexism. It somehow seems harder to talk about than it has been. You touched on – I think – all the points of consideration and so many I’ve been thinking about, and how to articulate in a unifying way. I guess that’s the point – we need to keep thinking about the longer range.

Cindy Farquhar | January 29, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Thanks for section on sexism. So hard to bring it up when so few women and men deny its existence.

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