Letters to the Editor

An Example of Democratic Party Politics

August 24, 2004

For the last few months, several co-workers and I have been building an anti-war discussion group at my work place. Nearly every week, we get together to discuss such issues as the war in Iraq, the situation in Palestine and other fronts of the so-called "war on terrorism." We investigate and discuss the issues and inform our co-workers through discussions and on-line reports of our meetings. These discussions not only create a lively atmosphere at work but have already led people to be more active in the broader anti-war movement.

A few weeks ago, our meeting was scheduled to take up the issue of U.S. intervention on the Korean Peninsula, an issue which we were eager to learn more about. However, the meeting got diverted by an individual who showed up to insist that the only thing our group should or could do was "elect John Kerry" in November because he would be better than Bush.

Several of us responded by showing that Kerry is a pro-war candidate and that the Democratic Party has a long history as a party of war. I quoted the platform and positions of Kerry and the Democrats as published in a recent issue of "The Worker."

After these facts were presented, the Kerry supporter admitted that we should vote for Kerry because he would be able to create an "international coalition" and "bring more troops to Iraq from other countries." The person also said Kerry would "restore U.S. credibility in the world." In other words, it turned out that this Kerry supporter had only pretended to be for peace but actually supported continuing the U.S. occupation, U.S. colonialism and the U.S. war in Iraq by giving it an "international face."

This experience showed me that the anti-war movement can only consolidate and strengthen itself by actively struggling against the politics of the Democratic Party. In the first place, this politics tried to liquidate our group's independent, anti-war activity and replace it with electioneering for Kerry. In the second place, it turned out that the Kerry politics is not anti-war but pro-war and is importing the chauvinism of U.S. imperialism into the people's movement.