Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line


The presidential election: No support for any candidate

First Published: Unity, Vol. 3, No. 20, October 24-November 6, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain 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 Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

UNITY newspaper does not endorse any candidate in the presidential election to take place this November 4. The working class and oppressed nationality peoples should not support any of the presidential candidates this year, as none of these offer any program which would benefit the working people of the United States.

The policies advanced by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and John Anderson differ only in very minor respects. All three would continue the assault on the living standards of working people, boost corporate profits, continue to slash social services and take back reforms won through hard struggle over the past 25 years, and step up U.S. imperialism’s war preparations.

This year the Democrats and Republicans have never looked so similar, with both reflecting the conservative motion within the U.S. bourgeoisie. The 1980 presidential election in fact demonstrates more clearly than ever the hypocrisy of American bourgeois democracy. Despite the elaborate and lengthy primary season, the extravagant nominating conventions, and the last two months of jet-hopping campaigning with the daily opinion polls and analyses of voter trends – millions of people have realized that the great “choice” they will face when they enter the voting booth is no real choice at all.

The working class should reject the big business candidates and their common programs of economic austerity, repression and war preparations. Working people must reject the “lesser evil” argument for Carter (or for Reagan, for that matter) – there is no such thing when the choice is between mumps and measles. The “lesser evil” fallacy serves only to underestimate the danger of the poison you pick, and keeps the masses chained to the bourgeois political system and its two parties.

Not voting in the presidential election is not a matter of principle. The working class can utilize the electoral arena as part of its long-term struggle for socialism. Working people might possibly vote for one of the bourgeois candidates if there were major differences in the ruling class and the election of one candidate over another would objectively benefit the working class. Or else the working people might support an alternative candidate, as part of building up the political strength of the mass movement against the monopolies.

However, none of these choices exist concretely this year. Voting in this year’s presidential election when none of the candidates offer any alternative for the masses would only strengthen the two-party system and hold back the process of forging a political trend independent of the bourgeoisie.

By not voting for any candidate in this year’s election, working people will register their rejection of the big business candidates.

The presidential office is the highest in the land, and is therefore controlled most tightly by the big bourgeoisie. The same is true for most national elected positions. However, there may be local elections taking place this November where it might be beneficial for the working class to support a candidate. Additionally, many states and cities run referendums or propositions on the ballot on issues like taxes, rent control, public works projects and so on. Working people should take a position on these issues and vote accordingly.