Here we go again. Just like they did when President Obama was running for the White House, the Republican/ tea party candidates are throwing the kitchen sink again at Democratic candidates. This November they are after winning a majority in Congress . In November 2012 they are going for the White House.

The GOP is not for an honest debate on the issues: they believe there’s a better chance of winning if the debate gets down and dirty. Republicans strategists believe they can win if:

  • the focus is on personal attacks and slander instead of principal and policies;
  • they can confuse enough working-and-middle-class voters with bigotry, homophobia, racism, religious intolerance and anti-communism;
  • they can convince people to vote against their own interests;
  • people believe that Obama is against white people and only favors black people;
  • they convince Americans that all Muslims are terrorists;
  • voters believe same sex marriage will destroy the institution of marriage;
  • the electorate concludes doctors who perform legal abortions are baby killers;
  • workers are led to feel immigrants are the cause of high unemployment;
  • people believe that the stimulus did not create any jobs;
  • voters draw the conclusion that because the unemployed are receiving compensation, they will lack the initiative to look for a job.

The GOP is betting on that if they get enough people to push the panic button on deficit spending they will succeed. Indeed, with some of these “tea baggers” any help from the federal government to working people is “socialism” and therefore should be feared and rejected.

They are called “deficit hawks” but in the past they have run up the largest deficits ever. Even their solution to deficits is more deficits.

Somehow their concept of deficits doesn’t include war spending ($900 billion annually), tax subsidies, tax breaks and loopholes, research and development money along with thousands of government hand outs to big business. The extreme right is fine with that kind of “socialism”.

In this election year we are dealing with a revival of McCarthyism. People should be reminded what that did to our democratic rights.

Red baiting is a defense of the racist status quo. It is designed to wreck the labor movement, stifle dissent and frighten people into not looking at advanced solutions to society’s problems. It is McCarthyism that should be rejected. Red baiting is a defense of corporate dictatorship, racism, intolerance and exploitation – it is an obstacle to a future of economic and social justice for all.

The right wing fears socialism because they know it will put people before profits and lead to a more just and democratic society for the vast majority.

Socialism is a natural progression from capitalism and cannot be brought about through conspiracy but can be realized democratically; through the majority will of the American people.

Significantly, in the face of all this red baiting hysteria, recent polls show that the ranks of those in our country who prefer socialism are actually growing.

Notwithstanding this, GOP tactics in the election debate has done a lot of damage to the unity and health of our culture as a nation.

There is a terrible blow-back from the use of overt and covert racism, bigotry, and red baiting.

Hate crimes are on the rise all over the country. For example, the scapegoating of immigrants has encouraged confused and facist-minded people to carry out hundreds of physical attacks against them all across the country. Gay people are being harassed and bullied resulting in suicide in some cases. Gay bashing has become a national past time in some communities across the country.

Criminalizing doctors for performing legal abortions has resulted in murder. Police and civilian racist attacks and murders are up all across the country. New York City spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year settling police brutality cases. A lot of this grows out of trashing President Obama.

The inflammatory rhetoric coming mainly from the right has done incalculable damage to the unity we all experienced back in November 2008 and January 2009 in DC. Our national spirit has diminished as a result of the rhetoric from the right.

It is tragic that the people who are organizing, pushing and financing these right-wing movements and candidates claim the mantel of patriots when in reality it is they who have betrayed all that is honorable and in the real national interest. What is worse they know that is what they are doing and simply don’t care.

To those who don’t see any thing worth fighting for in this election but claim to be committed to a better and more democratic society, I urge you to rethink your conclusions.

I say, as Sam Webb put it, “don’t take a powder”. Sitting out this election is like sitting out World War II. The stakes are almost as high. The consequences are almost as great!



Jarvis Tyner
Jarvis Tyner

Jarvis Tyner is executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA and a long-time member of the party's national board.. He was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress and served on its national coordinating committee for five years.

Tyner was born in the Mill Creek community of West Philadelphia in 1941 and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He joined the Communist Party USA at the age of 20. After several years working in various industrial jobs in the Philadelphia area, where he was a member of the Amalgamated Lithographers and the Teamsters union, he moved to New York in 1967 to become the national chair of the DuBois Clubs of America, and later founding chair of the Young Workers Liberation League. He was the Communist Party USA candidate for vice president of the U.S. in 1972 and 1976, running with party leader Gus Hall.

As a leader of the CPUSA Tyner has been an active public spokesperson against racism, imperialism and war. He has written numerous articles and pamphlets and appears on the media, campuses and in other public venues advocating for peace, equality and the socialist alternative. He currently resides in the Inwood section of Manhattan, N.Y., is married and the father of four adult children and one grandchild.