The Only Real Choice

March 9, 2004

by Bill Foster

Over the last several months, I have met several anti-war activists, trade unionists and other progressive-minded people who were campaigning for Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean or Al Sharpton. These activists, although mistaken in their views about Kucinich, Dean or Sharpton, had hoped to find an alternative to the Bush program of war, racism, repression, slashing social investments, etc.

Today, of course, these activists face a decision. Kucinich, Dean and Sharpton will not be nominated. Kerry will be. And Kerry is quite open in trying to prove his credentials as a militarist and a loyalist of big business. What is more, Kucinich, Dean and Sharpton will all campaign wholeheartedly for Kerry and the Democratic Party.

In fact, the capitalist politicians have been playing this game for years. Certain Democrats are advertised as "anti-war" or "progressive" and activists are told to set aside their independent activity in order to electioneer for these candidates. When these "good" candidates do not get nominated, activists are told to stay with the Democrats, elect the "lesser evil," and hope for the future. This year, the Kerry campaign and other Democratic Party bigshots have repeatedly thanked Dean, Kucinich and Sharpton for bringing millions of "disillusioned" voters into the Democratic fold where they are expected to stay and vote for Kerry.

The game goes on and after each election, the activists who have stayed under the tutelage of the Democrats have nothing to show for their efforts. They have not helped build organizations which can be used by the people in future struggles and the so-called "lesser evil" keeps getting more and more evil every time around.

So what are the sincere anti-war activists, trade unionists and others to do? In my opinion, there is only one choice. They must denounce Kerry and the Democratic Party. They must step up their anti-war and progressive struggles, keep the initiative in their own hands and direct their activities towards strengthening a real alternative. They must join in building the Workers Party and other independent organizations -- join in building an organized opposition to the parties of war and exploitation.

The fact is that in political life, good intentions are not enough. Undoubtedly, many people will still vote for the Democrats in the hope of defeating Bush and his program. But regardless of who wins the November election, the capitalist government -- whether headed by Kerry or Bush -- will continue the Bush program. The Democratic Party, just like the Republicans, is a party of war, racism, repression and exploitation.

We simply cannot express our opposition to war, racism and exploitation through the Democratic Party. We can only express our aspirations and advance our cause by strengthening our own political party, our own mass organizations and our own struggles.

There is no other choice.