Joseph Hansen

Stalinist N.Y. Election Policy
Leads to Wall Street Victory

(31 August 1946)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 10 No. 35, 31 August 1946, p. 7.
Transcription/Editing/HTML Markup: 2021 by Einde O’Callaghan.
Public Domain: Joseph Hansen Internet Archive 2021. This work is in the under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists’ Internet Archive as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

(Joseph Hansen is Socialist Workers Party Candidate for U.S. Senator from New York)

Backing candidates of the capitalist political machines betrays the interests of the workers. This is the main lesson to be drawn from the results of the New York primaries.

The Stalinist strategists who control the policy of the American Labor Party made a “coalition” with Wall Street’s political machines. This meant: (1) running ALP candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries; (2) handing over the ALP line on the ballot to Wall Street politicians.

The ALP candidates took a terrific beating from the Democratic and Republican machines. Marcantonio, Baldwin, Connolly, and Powell were all defeated in the Republican primary. In the Democratic primary, Connolly and Geo. Rooney were defeated by a crushing majority. Marcantonio and O’Toole won by extremely narrow margins in the Democratic primaries – and to do this they had to rely on the backing of the Tammany machine. Leo Isaacson lost in both primaries. One of the “victories” ballyhooed by the Stalinists was the success of O’Toole in the Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District. The Daily Worker once branded him for “his anti-labor stand on the Case Bill.”

The policy of handing over the ALP line on the ballot to a Wall Street politician paid off with a stab in the back in the case of Baldwin. On losing the Republican nomination, Baldwin repudiated the American Labor Party. Thus the Stalinist strategists ended up with an enemy of labor and an enemy of the ALP as their candidate!

Warning Signal

A grave warning signal in the primaries was the complete lack of interest on the part of the workers. Less than one out of every ten registered voters went to the polls.

This was an inevitable result of the “coalition” policy followed by the Stalinist strategists in the ALP. The workers could see no difference between the ALP and Wall Street’s candidates. Why go to bat for a reactionary like Baldwin?

The August 22 Daily Worker admitted “there was apathy in the labor and progressive movement for most of the campaign.” The Stalinist “explanation” for this apathy, however, sounds like the story of the cook who returned a borrowed pot with, the bottom broken out. In the first place, said the cook, the bottom was missing when I borrowed it; in the second place the pot was in perfect condition when I sent it back; and in the third place I didn’t borrow it.

Thus the Daily Worker says, “Part of that apathy was undoubtedly induced by the policies of the Truman administration.”

Next the Daily Worker explains, “The conditions of national unity that prevailed in 1942 and 1944, when Rep. Vito Marcantonio took all three primaries, have given way to a bitter struggle by reaction against labor and other progressive elements.” Wall Street doesn’t require Stalinist bootlicking as much now as during the imperialist war!

Weasel Words

And in the third place, according to Stalinist chieftain, Robert Thompson in the August 25 Sunday Worker: “... the ALP ... registered an unprecedented strength among the voters of the two old parties in last Tuesday’s primaries.”

This weasel-worded “explanation” is simply throwing dust in the eyes of the workers. To win, the workers must decisively break with the two capitalist parties. The only way Wall Street’s political rule can be ended is through militant independent political action.


Last updated on: 18 June 2021