When the Communist Party and other leftists decided it was a priority to elect President Roosevelt in 1936, they didn’t slow down their labor organizing and civil rights agitation- they escalated it. The Committee Of Industrial Organizations (CIO), founded in 1935, conducted aggressive organizing drives in the automobile, steel, and electrical industries during 1936,many of them spearheaded by radicals, and the sitdown strike movement, culminating during the Flint strike, actually began during the Presidential elections.
Obama supporters who want progressives to take precious energies away from grass roots movements to re-elect the president are, whether intentionally or not, sabotaging long term possibilities of democratic change. And they are NOT following the example of radicals from the Depression Era who built the industrial labor movement.
Let us remember that the Occupy Movement, the most important grassroots Democratic upsurge in recent US History, was suppressed by Democratic mayors around the country, with the White House’s tacit support, probably because they feared it would jeopardize the President’s chance of winning a second term.
So we are now in the unenviable position of having no major grassroots upsurge to accompany the Obama re-election campaign. Preventing a Right Wing/Republican capture of the Presidency is a laudable goal, but not at the cost of discrediting, undermining, and suppressing grass roots movements independent of the Democratic Party and the wealthy elites who control it.
With a Brooklyn Accent
Posted: Monday, 13 August 2012