Let’s re-enter the electoral arena

BY: Garron Daniels| September 24, 2020
Let’s re-enter the electoral arena


If anything is clear, it’s the lack of real choice in this day and age of politics in America. As I’ve always put it, the current decay of capitalism in America is a never-ending horror film. The Republicans embrace it while the Democrats put on a blindfold and pretend it’s not happening. This country needs options — better yet, an option that has long existed but should come out of retirement. That option is the Communist Party USA.

For decades the Communist Party has focused its efforts on other movements within the U.S., whether it be fighting mass incarceration or pushing for a better health care system. The Communist Party has always been fighting the progressive battles, but one thing it hasn’t done for decades is run a political candidate on a national level. The last shot the Communist Party took at the presidential race was in 1984 with Gus Hall and Angela Davis. Since then the Communist Party has put their efforts towards mobilizing the people instead of elections. Though this is a good option to take, it should no longer be the only one.

Times are changing. The word “socialism” is not as scary as it once was. New generations of youth are coming to see it as the only option to make real change. Bernie Sanders’ campaigns in 2016 and 2020 have shown the extent of progressive forces that exist in the United States. More and more Americans are liking the ideas of universal health care, defunding the police, focusing on the environment, and more. These are all ideas that fall under socialism. We see the phenomenal growth of organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America who had roughly 5,000–10,000 members before 2016 and now have a whopping 70,000 members. This is a clear sign of growth among fellow progressives. Times are changing, and this change calls for different options in the ring of electoral politics on the local, state, and national levels.

A recent poll conducted by CNBC shows that “most voters in six 2020 swing states do not consider either President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mentally fit to be president.” It’s a sad situation when people think they’re voting for the lesser of two evils or, worse, the least unfit. Furthermore, we clearly see a frustration on the left when you have the Movement for a People’s Party forming and recently holding a convention that had more than 400,000 people tune into it. This shows that they are tired of the current electoral options, which is the Democrats and the Green Party, and are looking for a better one. The Communist Party, though an older, more established option, hasn’t been available in a very long time. Most young voters like myself have never even seen a CPUSA candidate run in our lifetimes.

With the growing number of Americans tired of the two-party system and lack of choices, it’s time to give progressives another option, the Communist Party USA. I urge and encourage the Communist Party and its members to begin to strategize and re-enter the realm of politics. Of course, this isn’t going to be easy, and there will be plenty of small failures from time to time. But the time is now. The Communist Party must look at strategic local and state elections that they have a chance to hold seats in: mayoral positions, school boards, state legislatures, etc. An example of what’s possible is the 2019 election of Wahsayah Whitebird, who serves on the Ashland, Wisconsin, city council. In a press interview Whitebird said, “The Party should try to run its own candidates and make alliances where it can and should with other candidates. The key is to focus on policies, not partisan affiliation.”

Focusing on policies means that elections are battles about ideas. Our party should get out there and show what we believe in. When we ran candidates in the past, we reached thousands of people who signed petitions to get the Party on the ballot and who voted for our candidates. Running campaigns also gives us the chance to gain new members and more local clubs that can take part in direct action in their communities. Elections matter in the long run and only give the Communist Party more of a chance to reach more Americans who are tired of the Democratic and Republican fighting. With this in effect, it will give the CPUSA enough momentum and time to start running presidential candidates and again be a force to reckon with.

The time is now, as we see the Green Party and Socialist Party USA unite, the growth of the DSA, and the growth of Our Revolution. It’s time for CPUSA to rise like a fiery phoenix from the ashes of the bourgeoisie parties and unite to truly represent the American people.

Image: Mpls55408 (CC BY-NC 2.0).


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