The reformist Peace and Freedom Party, a “socialist” party that regularly gives its ballot line to non-socialist candidates (Nader, McKinney) has done it again. This time P&F gave its ballot line to Roseanne Barr, who is better known for her comedy. (see story below)
What’s at issue?
First, it would seem common sensical for a socialist party to give its nomination to actual socialists. The P&F bypassed two socialists in order to give Roseanne the nod — Stephen Durham of the Freedom Socialist Party and Stewart Alexander of the social-democratic Socialist Party, USA. This happened because the candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation threw her support behind Roseanne at the P&F convention. Roseanne, who lives on a macadamia farm in Hawaii, has espoused populist and “99 percent” rhetoric but has also embraced reactionary conspiracy theories such as the “9/11 Truth” movement. Her politics are a rejection of the Democrats and the status quo but do not offer a way out for workers and the oppressed.
We can only guess why the Marcyite PSL supported a bourgeois actress over two socialists. This would not be the first time that Marcyites have supported a bourgeois candidate – even the occasional “progressive” Democrat. Marcyism itself is a semi-Stalinist splinter from the Trotskyist movement with its origins in the US SWP.
“Said Durham, whose running mate is Chicana feminist organizer Christina López of Seattle, “The convention of the socialist and feminist PFP was hijacked by a millionaire celebrity making grand promises. But her total contribution to the PFP so far has been a 15-minute talk at the convention that was half political speech and half comedy act.”” quoted from Durham/López campaign press release
What’s at stake?
As revolutionaries, we oppose any support for the candidates of bourgeois parties. While we may, at times, call for a vote for socialist candidates, we also understand that these are not mass-based campaigns and are designed to build the organizations the candidates represent.
The question before us is how do electoral campaigns advance the struggle against capitalism? What are needed are independent campaigns based in the labor movement, occupy and movements of the oppressed.
Workers need their own party (excerpt)
Socialists argue against support for electoral campaigns that do not have a base in the organized struggles of the working class and oppressed people. We believe it is a mistake to sow illusions in reformist candidates, or to downplay putting forward a clear working-class program in order to find a short cut for obtaining votes. Rocky Anderson, the Greens, and similar electoral campaigns—like that of Ralph Nader before them—will result in no lasting mass working-class organization and little in the way of fundamental change.
That is why socialists call for a labor party in the United States, based in the unions. This isn’t an abstraction, but a reflection of the real needs and interests of the working class. Class independence and the ability to fight and speak in our own name are fundamental tasks for working people. The working class is the one force in society with the potential strength and economic power to fundamentally change society.
More than 25 million working-class people remain either underemployed or unemployed, with no action from Washington to solve the problem. Spending on infrastructure projects would benefit some sectors of the economy, but what is really needed is a massive public works jobs program to put the unemployed back to work at good union wages. Millions could be put to work in a matter of weeks—improving infrastructure, weatherizing homes and public buildings, cleaning and protecting the environment, providing needed social services and education.
Without class independence, we are forced to depend on the goodwill of politicians who answer to Wall Street. A workers party, or labor party, will emerge from mass struggles to defend the interests and living standards of the working class, protect the environment, and stand behind all oppressed people—Blacks, women, immigrants, LGBT people, etc.—who are fighting for their rights.
Such a party would not have to be a bureaucratic, pro-capitalist party like the Social Democratic Parties of Europe. Nor would it be a party that merely puts forward candidates in the electoral arena. The labor party that we see on the horizon, having come out of a renewed upsurge in the U.S. class struggle, would remain first and foremost a mass-action party—organizing people who are fighting back in their workplaces and in the streets.
Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan To Be Running Mates
Roseanne Barr is joining up with Cindy Sheehan for a run for the White House.
Barr asked Sheehan to join her in an attempt to win the nomination for the Peace and Freedom Party, according to Fox News.
|Roseanne Barr is making a run for the White House. (Getty Images)|
The Peace and Freedom Party represents a far-left point on the political spectrum, explicitly stating on its website that it is “committed to socialism . . .”
Sheehan, a Peace and Freedom Party member who gained fame for her strident opposition to the Iraq war, agreed this week to be Barr’s running mate.
Barr was unsuccessful in her previous effort to secure the position of presidential nominee of the Green Party.
On Friday evening, at the Peace and Freedom Party Convention, Sheehan will deliver a speech on behalf of the Barr-Sheehan ticket.
Barr is also scheduled to make an appearance at the convention on Saturday, in a final pitch to be the Peace and Freedom Party’s nominee.
Barr’s campaign website elaborates on the presidential hopeful’s pursuit of the Peace and Freedom nomination.
“Roseanne Barr for President!” the website declares.
The actor-comedienne is described on the site as being a “. . . mother, grandmother, activist, leader, feminist, and successful business woman that is addressing the concerns of the 99 percent” and “the lone voice of courage and reason who is unstoppable as she holds corporate-funded politicians feet to the fire.”
Sheehan is mentioned on the website as a Barr supporter.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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