Taking issue

I am insulted by Bruce Bostick’s article “Unity — the only road to victory” (PWW 9/20-26). He insults third parties and their supporters as having “no understanding” of the corporate power around Bush/McCain and “no understanding” of strategic approaches toward winning “real change.”

Most progressive third parties understand too well the corporate power around Washington and see the political independence of the “huge people’s movement” as the only hope for real change.

Obama has received more donations than McCain from the following industries: commercial banks, health services and HMOs, hedge funds, securities and investment, and law firms.

The Democrats have continued to fund this completely imperialist, illegal and murderous war.

Will independent parties — including the Communist Party — take a leadership role as capitalism’s world financial system is crumbling, or will they stand behind the Democrats as they band together with their Republican colleagues to save state monopoly capitalism?

Konrad Cukla
Brooklyn NY

Bruce Bostick replies: I welcome Brother Cukla’s comments. I am sorry that he feels “insulted” by my comments on the role of Nader/Greens in this election. That was never my intent (i.e. the title of my article; “Unity — the only road to victory”). However, I do strongly stand by the formulation that these parties are, objectively and regardless of their “left” verbiage, splitting the people’s forces at the time we most need unity.

Obama is the candidate of a wide multi-class democratic coalition that is fighting to replace the ultra-right forces that have been running our nation for the past decade. There are varied, contradictory forces in this wide coalition. They are united in some cases only in their common interest in defeating the ultra-right GOP forces now in power — the most extreme reactionary, racist, pro-war polluters and profiteers.

Brother Cukla says the Nader/Green folks “understand all too well the corporate power around Washington.” I believe that statement is true only in the abstract, divorced from the reality of people’s lives, since they have no real approach to actually winning the changes needed to relieve the suffering corporate forces have forced on our people.

Replacement of the ultra-right with a more progressive administration creates the conditions that make it possible for the people’s forces to be able to win national health care, an end to the wars, real progressive labor law reform, protection for workers’ hard-earned pensions, a new “green” jobs program and other reforms.


Albano and Wojcik’s article (“To bail or not to bail?” PWW 10/4-10) should have been more unambiguously against the bailout. The PWW is supposed to take sides. From what I’ve read the progressive consensus is against the bailout. Progressives disagree with Obama and Biden on several issues such as Afghanistan so Obama’s support for the bailout isn’t relevant to whether or not to support it.

Sean Mulligan
Alpharetta GA

Ever since Reagan, the policy of decreasing taxes on the wealthy, along with huge, increasing military expenditures, has threatened the social programs which originated in the New Deal. The costly and unjustified war in Iraq continues to accelerate the process. Recently, Bush vetoed a $7 billion children’s health care program because it was too expensive! The just completed passage of an outrageous bailout bill by a craven Congress is yet another nail in the coffin of the New Deal and subsequent legislation which protected the people and restrained capitalism’s most predatory tendencies.

Now, with the deadly intent of vampires, corrupt and criminal financial institutions are poised to suck in hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money. Congressional leaders, aghast at the unseemly behavior of the predators, promise a clampdown in the future.

It will soon be clear that the majority of the American people have very different ideas and a new New Deal might be just a first step.

John Mackoviak
Tucson AZ


I’m an art student and I’m currently writing an essay on propaganda art. I want to make a point about how racism can develop subtly without people realizing that they have any prejudices at all, and I was wondering if you could give me any help with information or examples, any subtle ways in which prejudice builds in society. A short response would be a great help to me, thanks.

Stefan Scally
Northern Ireland

Editor’s note: Sounds like an interesting project. Check out this week’s editorial.

Who’s in the Electoral College?

In less than a month many of us believe that we will be voting for president. What a lot of people don’t know, or have forgotten, is that the Electoral College actually chooses who the next president will be. As I understand it, when we vote for a presidential candidate, we are really voting for a slate of electors. The number of our electors is supposed to be equal to the number of our state’s representatives and senators in Congress. I am sure that you knew that. I would like to know the names of the electors, and I would also like to know why they aren’t listed on the ballot.

I hope that this paper will explain the Electoral College to the voters so that they will understand that we the people don’t actually get to decide who becomes president. A group of unknown individuals gets to choose who holds “the highest office in the land.” If they can’t decide then either the House of Representatives or the Supreme Court gets to choose who becomes president. I believe in popular sovereignty. The American people should be allowed to directly elect the next president.

Chuck Mann
Greensboro NC