Statement of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA at its November 15-16th 2008 meeting n New York
The National Committee of the Communist Party USA calls on all of those concerned about the economic crisis that has gripped our country and the world to unite and fight for the election mandate.
We hail the tens of millions who came to the polls and registered an historic defeat of the ultra right. These voters saw through the direct and indirect appeals to racism and voted for Obama. We salute those who rejected the Republican anti-communist, anti-immigrant attacks and numerous other slanders and voted their hopes and not their fears. Their votes represent the highest expression of patriotism.
Our party has a proud history in the fight against racism, for unity and equality. We fully appreciate what this election represents in terms of the ongoing freedom struggle.
The election of Barack Obama was indeed historic. While many of the pundits and other candidates rejected the idea, it was clear that the majority of voters were ready to elect our nation’s first African American President. The over 66 million votes cast for Obama represent a major blow against racism.
Obama’s grassroots election tactics created a new model of election campaigns, which will change; forever the way elections are run. The extraordinarily innovative use of the Internet helped build a powerful movement of millions and created a very effective ground operation.
While the Republicans ridiculed Obama’s background as a community organizer, it was those skills that made it possible to build a movement with thousands of dedicated volunteers, raise record amounts of money, draw record crowds and ultimately win the election.
In order to win the Obama campaign had to battle racism and promote racial unity, and they did. The great strength of his campaign was its ability to unite people of all races and nationalities. Organized labor made an historic contribution to this effort. A quarter million workers trekked door to door, in state after state, convincing their fellow workers to “do the right thing,” including put aside racial prejudice, and elect a pro-labor president. This was very effective and will have long-term effects on the entire workingclass movement.
The Communist Party has always been confident that racial divisions, though entrenched, can be overcome when real class interests are understood — and that’s what happened in this historic election.
We also want to emphasis the role of the African American vote, which made a massive move to the Obama camp after his primary victory in predominantly white Iowa. African Americans voted against the Republicans in the high ninety percent – in some areas, the vote was almost unanimous for Obama and the Democrats. This was historic, as was the massive majority support of youth. The huge Latino vote took on new political significance, and women came forward in large numbers. This broad electoral coalition included many independents and anti-Bush Republicans.
This election shows that our country may have never been a center-right country and is in fact moving towards politics that are far more progressive. It was a landslide victory that is realigning our nation politically.
President-elect Obama faces enormous challenges both domestically and internationally. There is much speculation as to what he will do. We believe that the key to success lies in Obama’s ongoing relationship with the magnificent coalition that won the day on November 4th and with continuing to expand that coalition.
That movement is still intact and will be present in massive numbers at the inauguration.
Throughout the campaign at his record-breaking rallies, Sen. Obama constantly emphasized that his all-people’s movement was built from the bottom up. We are very mindful of what the President-elect said in his acceptance speech, “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change.”
As one union supporter said just days after the election, “Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. There is legislation to be drafted, there is organizing to be done. Obama can’t do it by himself.”
It’s time for post-election action to guarantee that the American people’s “great expectations” become reality. Again, the movement approach is needed, aimed at winning the grass roots and moving the labor and peoples movement to the next level.
There is still a tough fight ahead. The ultra right is down — but not out.
With the sharpening economic crisis wreaking havoc, emergency measures are needed to help Main Street. With millions losing their homes and jobs, it is time for action.
A Chance to Make Change
Millions of people have responded to the Obama campaign’s request for input on what the priorities of the new administration should be. Labor, the women’s movement, and other people’s organizations are already making proposals that include the following:
— A stimulus package of a half trillion dollars or more, to create millions of jobs, including a public works program.
— Emergency help for the jobless and the victims of the sub prime mortgage crisis.
— Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, so more workers can have unions.
— A concrete timetable for pulling out our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as rapidly as possible.
— Step up the campaign for universal healthcare through such means as passing HR676; preserve and improve Medicare and Medicaid; extend children’s health care plans and unemployment compensation.
— Emergency aid to cities and states.
In addition, there are calls to review and where necessary repeal Bush’s executive orders, as well as the Patriot Act. United action is called for, against California’s Proposition 8 (gay marriage ban), against racist violence and to end the ICE raids and deportations of immigrant workers, and for comprehensive, democratic immigration reform including a path towards citizenship.
While we participate in all of these struggles, we must take part in the important conversations on the future of our country, including the socialist alternative. Building the Communist Party is something positive and necessary; history shows that a large Communist contingent in the people’s movement, and a wide circulation of our press, contribute substantially to advancing the cause of democracy and social progress.
It is a new day. Great changes are possible. Yes, it’s time for action. On January 20th, big history will be made in our country. The mobilization by the labor and people’s movement for a People’s Inauguration will put the fight for the mandate on the mark and ready to go.