Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Editorial: Strengthen the anti-Reagan front

First Published: Unity, Vol. 7, No. 16, November 16-29, 1984.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Democratic Party state chairs will be meeting in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, this month to sum up the election and to devise strategies and plans for Democratic Party candidates in 1986 and 1988. They have already purchased a $6.5 million building in Washington, D.C., with state-of-the-art computer equipment. All that is fine and good, but UNITY would not suggest that any of our readers hold their breaths waiting for them to lead the charge against the right.

The Democratic Party and the liberals in its leadership are fundamentally incapable of leading the forging of a progressive alternative to the Republican Party and the New Right. These liberals themselves are part of the ruling class consensus, which has moved to the right. Don’t forget that the Democratic Party platform passed in San Francisco this year was the most conservative in that party’s history in the past half century.

The left must take the lead

Instead, the alternative to the right must be led by the working class and the left. The development of independent politics is key to the future. The left must take the lead. There must be no respite for Ronald Reagan. We should forge broad coalitions, region by region, state by state, county by county, and city by city, to fight against Reaganism and everything it stands for. These coalitions must include all forces that oppose Reagan and the right, from moderate and liberal Democrats to environmentalists, peace activists, other progressives and the left.

Progressives and the left must take the lead in renewing the call and the determination to forge multinational unity, to recognize the importance of the struggle for democracy of Black people and other minorities as a catalyst for anti-imperialist struggle, and to build the broadest possible united front against Ronald Reagan and the New Right.

Uphold unity of all nationalities

Among liberals and even progressives and the left, there could be a tendency to reason that since Reagan was elected over the almost unanimous opposition of Afro-Americans, Black people and other minorities are not that important because, after all, they are minorities and will not substantially alter the outcome of national policy and direction.

On the part of Afro-Americans and other minority nationalities, there will be a tendency towards nationalism as the election is summed up as the clear unwillingness and inability of whites to uphold even their own interests in the face of prejudice and chauvinism against Black people and other minorities. While understandable, nationalism is not the way to go. The unity of workers and the poor of all nationalities represents the best hope for the future. And it is the particular responsibility of white progressives and leftists to win white workers and the poor away from the racists of the right and into a multinational unity that will be in their own best interests.

The need for democratic reforms

In addition, the anti-Reagan forces must begin to expand voter registration. If the federal government can find everyone to collect the taxes from them, force young men to register for the draft and can reach an overwhelming majority of people to include them in the census, it can find a way to register all eligible voters. We demand universal voter registration!

The electoral college should be abolished. Its existence is a total affront to the most basic notions of democracy. We demand election of presidents by direct popular vote.

These and other restrictions to full democracy, such as gerrymandering and dual primaries, must end.

Local initiative

While it will be difficult on a national scale for the left to take much initiative, the left should attempt to do so on a local basis. Many issues can ultimately be resolved only on a national basis, but we can begin to raise them locally and, where possible, make advances. Where conditions permit, we urge left unity behind a progressive program and candidates to begin to offer a clear alternative to Reagan and the right. Petty sectarianism must end; there is too much at stake.