Break with Obama and the Democrats

Build a socialist movement against mass unemployment and war

By Socialist and International Students for Social Equality
30 October 2010

The following leaflet will be distributed to participants at the October 30 “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington DC called by comedian Jon Stewart.

The working people, youth and students who are taking part in today’s rally have a serious purpose: they want to fight for jobs, peace and social justice, and against the growth of the radical right-wing Tea Party movement.

Such a struggle requires, first and foremost, a complete break with the Democratic Party and the Obama administration. Those who claim that the threat from the right makes it necessary to support Obama are leading the population down a blind alley. It is precisely the right-wing, pro-war, pro-Wall Street policies of the Democrats that enable the Tea Party demagogues to posture as advocates of the “common man” against the Washington establishment.

Nearly two years since the presidential election, the Obama administration has proven its class character. It is a government of, by and for the financial aristocracy, which has plunged the world into the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Obama provided trillions for the banks while rejecting any significant measures to create jobs or alleviate growing poverty, the spread of home foreclosures and hunger, and cuts to education and social services. He escalated the war in Afghanistan and continues the war in Iraq, conflicts in which American imperialism is implicated in horrific crimes, as documented in the WikiLeaks reports.

Comedian Jon Stewart has done little to disguise the pro-Obama purpose of this rally. He invited Obama onto his program this week for a friendly interview. While making a few mild criticisms, he did so entirely within the framework of support for the Democrats in the 2010 elections and he did not even mention the ongoing bloodbath in Afghanistan.

This rally was called under the slogan “Restore Sanity” in an effort to appeal broadly to the popular opposition to the Tea Party and the ultra-right. But the reactionary politics of the Tea Party are a product, not of the mental disturbance of individuals, but of the social disorders produced by the greatest crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression.

There is no solution to this crisis within the framework of the profit system. It is that system, based on the insatiable drive of the financial aristocracy to accumulate wealth at the expense of the whole of society, which is truly insane.

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality offer an alternative. We urge youth and students to turn to the working class, the only class which has the ability to wage a revolutionary struggle for socialism. The way forward is to break with the Democrats and the entire two-party structure of American politics and build a new, independent mass party of, by and for the working people.

All over the world, insurgent workers and youth are straining to break out of the straitjacket of old organizations and outmoded political structures, from South Africa to China to Greece. Most recently, millions of workers in France have joined forces with high school and college students in a mass movement against cuts in pensions and other social benefits.

The United States is no exception to this worldwide trend. There is mounting opposition among working people and youth, expressed in strikes and protests against job cuts, wage cuts and budget cuts, and widespread alienation from the two-party system, expressed in opinion polls showing growing numbers supporting a third-party alternative.

The Socialist Equality Party welcomes and encourages this spreading spirit of rebellion by the working class against all the organizations and political groups that defend the profit system. It is impossible for workers to defend their jobs and living standards and to oppose imperialist war and attacks on democratic rights without an offensive against the financial aristocracy that dominates our society.

Above all, working people and youth need a new political perspective. The Socialist Equality Party program calls for workers to take up the struggle for their basic social rights: the right to a job and a livable income, to decent housing, health care, education, utilities and a secure retirement, to a healthy and safe environment, and access to culture.

This fight must be linked with the struggle to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and block the plans of the military and the government for even wider wars, including against Iran and China. The demand must be raised for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

These rights are the minimum condition for a decent life in modern society, but they are incompatible with a system in which a tiny minority, less than one percent of the population, monopolizes the wealth and controls the government and both political parties.

We are confident that the American working class will fight for these rights. We call on working people and youth to reject the capitalist system and the domination of the giant banks and corporations. End the rule of a new aristocracy that is expanding its own wealth on the backs of the people!

We urge all those at today’s rally to read the World Socialist Web Site, the socialist voice of the international working class, study our program, and join the Socialist Equality Party and its youth organization, the International Students for Social Equality.