The quality of life and democratic rights of ordinary working people and young people, and the future of the planet are all on the line in the 2016 elections.
Also on the line is the momentum of the political revolution and the grassroots upsurge to get big money out of politics and move forward for economic, racial, environmental and social justice.
A united landslide vote that renounces hate and fear and makes the movement for a progressive agenda stronger could deliver a blow against the extremist corporate right-wing and change politics in our country. A close vote is not enough to empower the on-going peoples’ movement. Many obstacles will have to be overcome, but a landslide vote is possible. That should be the goal for the last 90 days until November 8.
- Expose Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s campaign, filled with hatred and race baiting of immigrants, Muslims and women, and his incitement to violence has the hallmark of a potential fascist movement.
Donald Trump’s claims that he represents the interests and safety of the American working people, are false. The truth is that his plans for yet more tax cuts for the super rich, an end to regulation of big corporations, ending federal support for education and outlawing unions all benefit the top 1% at the expense of everyone else. Our country and the world is less safe with threats to use nuclear weapons and with more guns on our streets.
- Support the upsurge for workers rights and racial justice
The Fight for $15 and a union along with Black Lives Matter, the Dreamers, Rev. Barber’s Forward Together Moral Movement, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution are raising consciousness about how systemic racism and low wage jobs are good for big corporations but not for the people or our country. The AFL-CIO and Working America are going door to door in swing states with this message.
These movements pushed the Democratic Party to adopt the most pro-worker and progressive platform in its history. A landslide vote that wins a Democratic president, Senate and House of Representatives will send a message that racist “dog whistle” politics are unacceptable. The real win will be if and when labor and community organizing pushes even harder after the election to enact the progressive platform, and to run its own candidates at the local level. If Trump were to become president all of our peoples rights and needs will be endangered putting the fightback on to the defensive.
- Uphold the right to vote and overcome voter suppression
Republican Supreme Court Justices gutted the Voting Rights Act, allowing states to enact laws that have severely limited the right to vote especially affecting African American voters in the South, Latino, Native American, Asian Pacific Island communities, youth and seniors. Court victories in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Texas just overturned the worst of these laws in those states The next president will appoint as many as four justices to the Supreme Court. If Donald Trump becomes president he will appoint judges that reflect his views and could further weaken the Voting Rights Act.
All-out voter registration at work, school, community, church, family, friends is the fight for the basic right to representation. Set your own goal to register a few new voters, reach out to organizations already registering voters. Laws for voter registration vary from state to state. Find out about your state. Register online here.
- Support progressive candidates and ballot measures to take back Congress and state houses
A landslide vote for president can help win the Senate and House of Representatives. Under Republican control the Congress has obstructed much of what President Obama wanted to accomplish. A broad alliance elected President Obama,, but was not strong enough to stay united behind a common program and action after election day. The upsurge for workers rights and racial justice today is already preparing for what happens after the election. However, to effectively push and win a progressive platform will require a Democratic controlled White House and Congress and as many progressives elected to Congress as possible, like Zephyr Teachout in New York and Tulsi Gabbard in Hawaii and Pramila Jayapal in Washington State all of whom are allied with Bernie Sanders political revolution..
A landslide vote for president can also help elect progressives to state houses. It can upend the Koch Brothers focus on gaining Republican control in states and destroying public sector unions and services, enacting voter suppression laws and rigging elections. A landslide vote can also give added momentum to progressive ballot measures like the universal health care measure on the ballot in Colorado.
- Think long term
There is growing support, especially among youth, that our nation change priorities from Wall St. to Main St. and go on to the offensive for jobs, housing, education, health care, gender equality, an end to racial profiling, police accountability, and reallocation of resources to environmental sustainability instead of war. How to get from here to there? This election year showed that all methods are needed from street heat to voting to lobbying to building strong unions and community groups. The Bernie Sanders vote showed the possibility of a serious campaign without big money contributors. It showed wide support for a bold agenda. Bernie Sanders did not become the Democratic candidate, but the campaign was a big victory.
That victory will be largely set back if Donald Trump becomes president. The victory will lose steam if it is a close election. But if everybody sticks together and Trump is crushed, the momentum will be strong to organize and possibly win $15 an hour, more funds for public education, infrastructure jobs creation and criminal justice reform.
It is shortsighted and just not true to argue that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the same, in order to justify voting for a third party whose issues sound good, or just stay at home. It is shortsighted because the number one issue right now is the threat that Trump and Republicans pose to our future. Contributing to a close election, or a possible Trump victory will not win those issues. On the other hand, sticking together in a united vote and crushing Trump can create conditions to support a President Clinton where it is deserved, like pay equity for women, and to push and oppose where it is needed, like an aggressive foreign policy.
A people’s agenda that challenges corporate control will not be able to move forward without strong, multi-racial, multi-cultural participation and unity. It can’t move forward without strong participation from workers and their unions, who are working hard to defeat Trump and elect Hillary Clinton because of her support for working family issues. Campaigning together builds new alliances. The most important campaign work is with unions and movements of people’s forces because discussing the issues with their members and getting their vote also serves to strengthen their own organizations. Labor, African American, Latino, Native American, Asian Pacific Island, women, youth, LGBTQ and retiree voters are the core forces for social change.
- Get engaged and get others engaged
A landslide vote can’t happen without each and every one. Don’t miss being part of this great effort to move our country forward. There is a way for everyone to be involved. Top priority is door knocking or phone banking with your local union or progressive organization. Take a friend along. That kind of campaigning helps build up the organizations of working people and youth. It is about the issues.
If you can’t do that, you can make a difference online. Share articles on social media from the People’s World, CPUSA.ORG and other sources that clarify the issues and inspire participation. Have a conversation with your friends, family and co-workers about the urgency of this election. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Find a way to make your voice heard.
- Stay engaged after election day
Winning an election is the start, not the end. It is up to the people who voted a candidate into office to hold that candidate accountable. It is up to the people who voted to make sure the elected official is aware of their needs and issues.
In 2008 after President Obama was elected, a commission was appointed to study Social Security. It came out with a bad report that included ideas for privatizing and cutting Social Security. Retirees began to organize. They and their unions were relentless about the need to protect and expand Social Security and accomplishing that by scrapping the cap on contributions from the wealthy. In this election year the conversation changed. Democratic candidates are supporting expansion of Social Security, unlike Donald Trump and the Republicans.
- Find local candidates for Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Working Families, etc.
Our Revolution, the organization coming out of the Bernie Sanders campaign, is launching with house parties across the country on August 24. Brand New Congress, with the goal of 400 new progressive candidates for Congress in 2016, has already begun outreach for candidates from the grassroots. In some states the Working Families Party is also seeking candidates. Union members and leaders, community activists, peace and justice activists are all potential elected officials. This exciting forward looking project opens the door for new political formations free from corporate domination and control.
Will you consider running for office as part of this effort? Or someone you know?
- Help expand the Communist Party USA
The Communist Party contributes a long term vision of a more just and equal socialist society. We are an active part of the people’s movements to build unity and win better conditions now. The Communist Party welcomes those who agree that capitalism is rotten and believe in People and Nature Before Profits. It is the most effective way to help the people’s movements be a strong as possible and make a better future.
This 10 point strategy to win a landslide unity vote on November 8 and build on-going grassroots power reflects the approach of the Communist Party to build a broad front that can defeat the extremist corporate-right wing and build a new political balance of forces on the side of working people in our country.
Issued by: Political Action Commission, Communist Party USA August, 2016