GOP aims to divide and conquer with racism, red-baiting

BY:Joelle Fishman| May 4, 2012

UNITY: Newsletter of the Political Action Commission of the Communist Party USA

On May Day, International Worker’s Day, we honor the contributions and struggles of working people and their unions and organizations who are under frontal attack from the corporate funded extreme right-wing and their think tanks. Fabulously funded secret super PACs are beginning to flood airwaves, social media and postal boxes with lies and hysteria to create provocations, confusion, fear and hate. In recent weeks voters have had a chance to peek behind the curtain at who is really the brains and muscle behind the GOP and how they really feel, as they express themselves, both on and off the record. The ramblings of red-baiters, and racists, as well as the now not-so-secret plans of fat-cats in search of yet more tax breaks have been on full display. A united people’s crusade for truth, workers’ rights, human rights and justice is needed to turn back the “attack dogs,” show how racism hurts everyone and raise sights in the interests of working people. Nothing can be taken for granted. That was proven in the 2010 elections.

Behind closed doors

Mitt Romney has managed to outmaneuver his Republican opponents and now appears to have a clear path to the Republican nomination. One of the ongoing criticisms of Romney has been that it is hard to determine what his true core beliefs may be, since he shelved his chamber of commerce type Republican views that guided him during his Governorship for even still more reactionary right-wing culture war positions during the campaign. One NBC reporter however found a telling way to get to the core of Mitt Romney. Barred from a $50,000 a person Romney fundraiser in Palm Beach reporters had to confine themselves to the public sidewalk, hoping to get a glimpse of the rich and famous as they prepared to rub shoulders with the presumptive Republican nominee. What neither press nor candidate had counted on however was that a sound system used at the event, which was held in a fancy outdoor tent, would make every word audible. Romney used the occasion to layout his true plans to those who filled his campaign coffers.

For instance, Romney would take aim at federal housing assistance, even though modern ‘Hoover-villes’ still dot the American landscape. Note to Mr. Romney, it is imperialist military adventures that have cost the nation billions of dollars in the last decade, not bare bones housing programs.

Present is prologue

The Republican ‘war on women’ continues, and as their office-holders demonstrate, this war is not simply a figment of the imagination of political commentators as some in the GOP charge. It is in fact a matter as policy.  Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker proved this as he removed work place protection for women.

And Florida’s Republican Governor Scott slashed funds from rape crisis centers. On April 28 United Women rallies at every state capitol registered new voters and geared up to mobilize the vote. We’ll remember in November was one of the rallying cries.

Republican Governors have also targeted immigrants. Arizona’s Republican Governor’s infamous anti-immigrant law, SB 1070 is now under consideration by the US Supreme Court. Romney has said he would make this law a model for the nation. Protests took place across the country during May Day week.  In Milwaukee, 20,000 people marched for immigrant rights and called for repeal of the Arizona bill.

Justice delayed is justice denied

The murderer of Trayvon Martin has finally started his long walk to justice and is under arrest and awaiting trail. This curious case raises many critical questions, such as, how does an armed vigilante use the law as a shield? Legislation such as the so-called stand your ground law certainly didn’t come as a result of a popular ground swell, so where did it come from?  Turning over the rocks in garden of reaction, brings the extreme right agenda of ALEC to light. 

The Martin case was marked by nation-wide protests and demands for justice, but not everyone reacted in the same way to the murder of an unarmed innocent child.  Polls showed that Republicans quickly tired of the story. 

Is it any wonder that these reactionary attitudes persist when the leading think-tanks and journals on the right  continue to employ the purveyors of the same old junk-science, race-purity merchants, and fossilized bigots.

Take Action!

Over the last two weeks 28 Democratic legislators and 14 major corporations have dropped their affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council  (ALEC) — the voter-suppression, union-busting group as the result of a national “Dump ALEC” campaign. Click on the link to sign a petition.  Sign the petition to the remaining Democrats in ALEC telling them to dump ALEC? Click here.

Joe McCarthy, call your office 

Speaking of blasts from the past Rep. Alan West (R-Fl.) raised the ghost of Joe McCarthy when, at a town hall meeting with constituents, he proclaimed that over 80 members of the United States Congress to be members of the Communist Party.

Of course, West’s assertion is preposterous, and the CPUSA has said as much.

But the incident is not isolated. Similar red-baiting tactics are being used around the country, and aimed at President Obama. West’s reckless statements brought no condemnation from the GOP leadership who didn’t seem to mind having the statement out there to linger in the minds of voters who have been subjected to a lifetime of anti-Communist propaganda.

Certainly some Democrats are more progressive than others and are prepared to defend some of the historic gains of the working class, but does this mean that all of those who built the programs of the ‘New Deal’ or want to expand the barely adequate social safety programs of the ‘Great Society’ are ‘Communists’? That is the nonsense being spread by one of the Republican members of one of America’s highest deliberative bodies.

Communists know that socialism begins with public ownership for public good, not private ownership that engages labor-power for private profits, and so far, we know of no member of Congress that has expressed changing the current make-up of this system of exploitation.   

It is sad that even those who have had the privilege (since in this country it is not a right) to a higher education have little concepts or even the definitions of socialism, capitalism or communism. Perhaps Rep. West could broaden his education with a little bed time reading. Or perhaps, just speak with some working people, their experiences may open his mind, if he had the interest or patience to listen.

The struggles ahead

One might think that this sort of candor would show up Romney and his ultra-right allies for what he really is and whose interests he really serves. He is a candidate who hails from the 1% and intends to create a government by, for and of the 1%. Despite this sort of damning evidence of the real Mitt Romney, revealed at last, the polls the President with only a fragile lead. The mobilization of 400,000 members by the AFL-CIO and 200,000 by SEIU, along with the mobilizations of civil rights, women and youth organizations are crucial to preserve historic gains that took generations to win and then once victory is secured, prepare to move the people’s agenda forward.

Contact Congress – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

The U.S. Senate passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) this week. The bill is now awaiting action in the House. House Republicans are standing in the way of reauthorization at the expense of victims of domestic violence. Click here to sign a letter to your Representative to pass VAWA without delay or restriction.

Hand outs to share with your community

Save Our Nation – Tax Corporations – Tax the Rich (PDF)

¡Salvemos nuestra nación! – !Impuesto para las empresas! – ¡Impuesto para los ricos! (PDF)

“Why Vote?” flyer [English / Spanish] (PDF)

Reports from the recent National Members Conference April 21-22

Defeating the Rightwing on the Road to Socialism by Sam Webb

We Are the Real Uniters by Jarvis Tyner

2012: A United People’s Crusade for Truth, Workers’ Rights, Human Rights and Justice by Joelle Fishman

For more information

Communist Party USA

Young Communist League USA

People’s World

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Political Affairs




    Joelle Fishman chairs the Connecticut Communist Party USA. She is a Commissioner on the City of New Haven Peace Commission, serves on the executive board of the Alliance of Retired Americans in Connecticut and is an active member of many economic rights and social justice organizations. She was a candidate for Congress from 1973 to 1982, maintaining minor-party ballot status for the Communist Party in Connecticut's Third Congressional District. As chair of the CPUSA Political Action Commission, she has played an active role in the broad labor and people's alliance that defeated the ultra-right in the 2008 elections and continues to mobilize for health care, worker rights and peace.



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