Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Statement from the Central Committee of the CPUSA/ML

Workers’ Only Choice: No Vote November 4!


First Published: Unite!, Vol. 6, No. 19, October 15, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Working Men and Women of the U.S.,

Don’t go to the polls on November 4th! Don’t lend your support to the imperialist election circus! There is no genuine choice between Carter, Reagan or Anderson. Each may promise prosperity, but will only bring poverty, war and fascist reaction. There is no choice among any of the reformist or revisionist so-called “third parties.”

Think about it this way. Imagine walking into a room and being asked to join a poker game. Upon closer inspection it turns out that each and every player is a known card shark. Each and every player promises a fair game, but all the time, they deal from the bottom of the deck. Is this a game you would enter?

The imperialist election circus is the biggest con game of them all. Here the players promise honesty, promise peace and promise virtually anything that appears to appeal to voters for the moment. Then they tell us if we don’t vote, we have no right to complain about inflation, war and fascism! As if refusing to join a crooked card game means you have no right to get rid of the crooks!

The last weeks have seen the imperialists, launch a massive propaganda campaign to get people to vote. Here they don’t trot out David Rockefeller asking you to vote, but reformists of all nationalities. This is a sign that the ruling class is going to new lengths to try to get you back into the game, to try to get you to vote.

But what does a vote for President of the U.S mean today? Fewer and fewer believe that the person who gets elected will follow the directive: of his electors. Once in office, it is Wall Street and Wall Street alone who writes the script.

They want you to vote because they want some verification of their reactionary imperialism and “democracy”, as if a larger voter turn-out means there is real democracy. They want to promote the illusion that maybe this election or that candidate will make a difference. This illusion is an obstacle in the way of the workers’ march toward real democracy, real power.

What kind of democracy is it when regardless of who gets elected, working people face round after round of inflation, unemployment and escalating threats of war? The democracy of U.S. imperialism is democracy for the rich only. There is no democracy for the working class.

There is no choice offered November 4th, no working class politicians running on a working class platform. Regardless of who gets elected, there will be no change in the direction of the state, except that things will get worse. They will get worse because the underlying cause of the crisis, the exploitation and oppression of the working class by the capitalist class, the evil of private property and maximum profit-taking by the monopolies, will not change.

They will get worse because U.S. imperialism is heading for a new imperialist world war, to strengthen and consolidate the world imperialist system, to restore its lost gains, and to rebuild a new era of U.S. hegemony in the world imperialist system. The candidates all want to Make America Great Again by intensifying the threats of hunger, war and fascism. There certainly are differences between Carter and Reagan, but only differences on how best to rule, how best to exploit the working people and plunder the oppressed people of the world.

Both Carter and Reagan will only step up defense spending and increasingly restrict federal welfare programs. They may promote both “guns and butter” but as the guns heat up, the butter is melting away.

Ed Clark of the Libertarian Party and Barry Commoner of the Citizen’s Party are merely candidates of the petty bourgeoisie, of small-scale production and small-scale ownership. Their only complaint is that they don’t have a big enough piece of the imperialist pie. They don’t want to get rid of capitalism, they want it only to have a prettier face. Clark is from the reactionary Right wing, Commoner from the reformist Left wing. Neither represents the working class.

Nor does Gus Hall, Andrew Pulley or other revisionist or Trotskyite candidates offer any real alternative. They, too, represent the interests of the labor aristocrats, of petty bourgeois intellectuals, of corrupt opportunists out for fame and glory and a bigger piece of the pie for themselves.

The central political question in the U.S. today is the growth of fascism. Fascism is not merely a step-up in terror and violence, but a change in the form of the state itself, the rule of an openly terroristic dictatorship over all working people. The only road to stop the fascist offensive of imperialism is the bold, militant struggle of the working class as a united class. This requires a vigilant and active defense by the working class of its own interests, combining revolutionary propaganda with revolutionary action at the decisive moment. This requires a strong revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party which is actually at the forefront of the class struggle and has a correct policy toward the vacillating petty bourgeoisie.

Fascism cannot be stopped by voting for the lesser of two evils. Remember when Lyndon Johnson was voted into office as the lesser evil than Barry Goldwater and remember the massive escalation in Vietnam by Johnson! The present evil today is not any particular candidate, but the system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

There is only one way out of the crisis. This way begins with the refusal to vote November 4th. With the mounting rejection not only of the present candidates, but the Presidential election circus itself.

The road out of the crisis is to build the independent activity and consciousness of the working class, its revolutionary mass organizations and its Marxist-Leninist party, the CPUSA/ML. It is to build the united front of the working class in defense of its living standards and political rights. It is to unite the working class with its allies in struggle, through the building of a popular front against war and fascism.

Working men and women of the U.S., there is no choice November 4th! Don’t vote November 4th!

Rally to the Call of the Communist Party U.S.A./Marxist-Leninist! Fight for Socialism!