Editorial

The Election Have Not Settled Anything

November 10, 2008

The one thing that stands out most clearly about the 2008 elections is that the masses of people are fed up with the current political situation. Despite unprecedented efforts by the forces of the status quo to "get out the vote," 40% of the electorate chose not to vote. Further, vast numbers of the people who cast a ballot were only reluctant voters for the so-called "lesser-evil." This is evidence of people's alienation from the current setup in which the Democrats and Republicans monopolize political affairs. It is a clear rejection of a politics that goes against the basic interests of the vast majority of the people and prevents their voice from being heard in the political arena.

And it is no wonder. Throughout the entire post-election period, Obama has made it clear that he will continue the capitalist offensive against the people, and that he will not be bound by any of the promises he made during the election campaign. On foreign policy, Obama's transition team is already admitting that Obama seeks "continuity" with the policies of the Bush administration. On the issue of the economy too, he embraces the logic of "trickle down economics," and has already announced plans to pass new tax cuts for business.

No, the elections have settled nothing. The economic, political and other crises afflicting our society will continue. The government will continue to base its actions on the narrow, selfish interest of the big capitalists and will continue to attack the basic rights and needs of the workers and vast majority of people.

The profound political polarization between rich and poor, between the government and the people, reflects the fact that our country is at a turning point. Will the workers and people come forward to assert themselves as the real sovereign power, or will the few continue to rule over the many? While it is true that huge sections of the people are disillusioned and are already rejecting the current system, this is only a starting point.

The post-election period is not a time to sit back and wait. It is a time for the workers and people to advance our struggle by coming out in large numbers to fight for our own political program and to build up our own independent political party and organizations.

Throughout the entire election circus, the Workers Party did not give way to the pressure of capitalist politics. We held high the deep aspirations and independent agenda of the people by sticking to the fundamental demands for peace, economic rights, and for the genuine empowerment of the people. We used the elections to deepen the politicalization of the people, to criticize and struggle against the parties of war and imperialism, exposing their ideologies and isolating their politics. We created new space for the independent political movement of the people--we initiated political forums, carried out political mobilizations in schools, communities, and workplaces, and we worked to strengthen the independent press.

In all of these situations, the Workers Party refused to be confined to the agenda set by the Democrats and Republicans. For example, we did not accept the "logic" that the people must bail out the bankers or face disaster. We pointed out that all we have to do is to force the rich to pay for the crisis of their capitalist system.

Building up the consciousness and independent organizations of the people is the decisive factor for pushing forward the manifold struggles of the people. The Workers Party will strive to lead the many partial struggles which break out everyday--struggles against wage cuts and lay-offs, struggles against racial discrimination, immigration raids, etc.

At the same time, the Workers Party will continue to fight for generalized and fundamental solutions to the problems of the people--for the independent political aims of the working class. Ours is a forward-looking agenda based on the program of economic rights, democratic renewal, a democratic foreign policy and socialism.

Only the working class and its independent political movement can find solutions to the grave problems affecting our society. The decisive task in accelerating this movement is to build and strengthen the workers' own political party. Join with us in this vital work.