In their effort to win the Congress this year and the White House in 2012, the Republican Party and their tea party attack dogs are unashamedly promoting fear, racism, bigotry and red-baiting. This has been the subtext of all of their rallies.
President Obama is one of the most capable and responsible leaders to occupy the White House. His policies have turned the resources of the federal government more towards the benefit of working people than any president since FDR.
This is the people’s money: it should be used to help the people. Efforts to regulate Wall Street, to cover the uninsured and extend unemployment compensation show a compassion we have not seen coming from the White House for some time.
The president’s policy in Iraq is now at the exit stage. He is promoting negotiation instead of war between the Palestinians and Israelis. The same is true with respect to Iran.
There is a planned exit from Afghanistan.
President Obama has said the military budget should be cut and the resources used to help the people.
From the point of view of the ongoing struggle to rid the nation of the scourge of racism it is significant that these pro-working-class policies are coming from the first African American president.
We take exception to Obama’s policies aimed at appeasing the right. His better policies often don’t go far enough considering the depth of the crisis. However, with a broad coalition, with a broad people’s movement pushing on the issues, the door to bigger gains can be opened.
It is this potential for change that is turning powerful sections of big business against Obama and driving the right wing to extremes.
The tea party with big funds from people like the Koch brothers and an open mike on Fox News represents this extreme.
Sections of the the GOP think it has become the last hope for their party to “bring down Obama.” However, the struggle isn’t over.
If the Congress ends up in the hands of the Republicans their “A Pledge to America” program will continue the Bush tax cuts for the rich. At a time when the opposite is needed, there will be drastic cuts in working-class entitlements.
With a GOP-led Congress we can expect an Arizona-style national racist attack on immigrant rights, and on marriage equality. Anti-Muslim provocations will increase.
Abortion rights will be in their cross hairs. A double dip recession is also likely.
What else could happen if they have a majority? What atrocities will be carried out against anyone who opposes them? They framed up and destroyed ACORN. Like the criminals they are, these extremists tried to frame Shirley Sherrod in order to attack the NAACP as racist. There are signs that they are out to suppress the black vote in November. The ghost of Joe McCarthy is alive and well in their ranks. Who will the witch hunters be after next?
The November 2nd election is critical. And because of the use of racism, bigotry and anti-communist hysteria against the Democrats and the president, defeating them at the polls has become vital to saving the nation.
Hope is stronger than hate. The coalition that united and elected Obama and the new Congress is bigger and stronger then the tea party/Republican/Libertarian right. Grassroots organizing came from the left not the right. They have the money but they do not have justice on their side.
There is no law that says the midterm elections have to always be a disaster for the majority party. This battle can be won. Black, brown, white, Native American Indian, Asian Pacific people united against racism, hypocrisy and hatred is a powerful thing. Labor, civil rights, women, youth, LGBT, peace activists and environmentalists united can win.
The march on October 2nd must lead to the voting booth in November. That is the path to progress.
Photo: Marguerite Herbst