The McCain-Palin campaign has reached rock bottom. A New York Times editorial Oct. 8 described the campaign as having “gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia.” The editorial goes on to refer to a Washington Post report that a man at a Palin rally in Florida yelled “kill him!” in response to Palin’s demagogic remarks against Obama. At that same rally, “others shouted epithets at an African American member of a TV crew.”
The country is facing its deepest financial crisis since the Depression of the 1930s. As the war in Iraq rages on, people are losing their homes in record numbers. Thousands of Hurricane Ike victims are still homeless or without power, water and other basics and have joined the thousands who lost
everything after Katrina.
Wall Street gets bailed out while Main Street drowns in debt, foreclosures and unemployment.
Millions are joining the unemployment lines and have little means to pay their bills and feed their families. Not to mention things like sending their kids to college and paying for health emergencies. The oil giants, drunk with record profits, aren’t supplying enough gas to millions of motorists especially in the South, and there are millions more who are facing the horrible “choice” of putting food on the table or gassing up the car or heating their homes this winter. And the bloody, trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan go on.
Under this situation of multiple crises, it is the policies of Obama/Biden that are gaining more and more support while McCain/Palin are losing big ground. They are in a panic and think they can win by appealing to racism. They are playing a dangerous game, a game that proves that they really don’t put “country first.”
So bogus are their accusations against Obama that at Tuesday’s debate, with a huge TV audience, McCain didn’t even mention his slanders.
George W. Bush used “Swift boating,” Bush Senior used Willie Horton and Ronald Reagan used a fictitious Chicago “welfare queen” to rally white voters against their class interests. This is dangerous. If they win with racist appeals, they will rule with even worse racist policies.
Voters beware! There they go again!
However, this time there are many signs that the people are stronger and more united. Even the inadequate polls show that the race card is not as effective.
I think the country is fed up with the smear tactics and the vote stealing of the right. The stock market just dropped another 500 points. Trillions of dollars have been lost. Millions are losing their jobs because of Wall Street’s greed. This is a time for anti-racism, a time for unity of all working people.
History has shown that the only way to win is with unity.
But, this is no time to relax.
These last weeks should be marked by a new offensive against racism as part of the most massive ground effort to bring out the largest vote against the ultra-right in our history.
Jarvis Tyner (jtyner @ cpusa.org) is executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA.