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Susan Green

Politics as Usual!

Some News and Comment
on the Election Campaign

(26 October 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 43, 26 October 1942, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

When Dean Alfange – Tammany Hall politician – accepted the nomination as gubernatorial candidate for the misnamed American Labor Party he made loud claims to being the one and only true crusader for Roosevelt and for what Roosevelt stands for. Apparently, however, Roosevelt knows better than Alfange what Roosevelt stands for.

At any rate, no one can be arrested for making the kind of bid for presidential support that Alfange made. He just didn’t have any luck.

So Alfange shows signs of shifting his allegiance. While still wearing the drooping plume of a Roosevelt crusader, he is casting sidelong glances in the direction of the man he considers the “heir apparent,” namely, Willkie. Says Alfange of Willkie:

“I recommend his courage and vision as an example of the type of leadership which is needed in these days of upheaval.”

Will Mr. Alfange spare a moment of his precious time to show just why any working man or woman should support a candidate with a Tammany Hall background – running on the ticket of a fake labor party (of which he is not even a member) – and at the same time making eyes at the next presidential candidate of the Republican Party?

Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican Party white hope, has as little to offer the people as his opponents. His main talking point seems to be the blundering, the inefficiency and the inconsistencies of the Democratic administration – although he is a bit timid even on this point for fear of being accused of “disturbing national unity.”

Still, this being his main bone of contention, it is apparent that Mr. Dewey’s is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. His lot is not a happy one. For who is there not acquainted with the blundering, the inefficiency and the inconsistencies of Republican administrations – notably those of the last Republican administration.

Is it Mr. Dewey’s idea of enlightened democracy that the people must place their faith either in a soot-blackened pot or in a soot-blackened kettle?

“We must begin now to prepare America to receive home the millions of Americans who are fighting the battle of democracy ... I shall do everything in my power to see that nothing is left undone to take the fullest care of those whose physical scars have been received through their sacrifice.’’

This post-war promise from Democratic candidate Bennett sounds like the promise to a turkey that it will be roasted in grand style after its head is chopped off.

Labor Action has a better idea – the Socialist system of society that will forever outlaw war, war casualties and post-war cripples.

Israel Amter, Communist Party candidate, follows the party line up and down the State of New York.

From the Kremlin came the ukase that all the brethren must start shouting for a second front p.d.q. So they are all shouting. Mr. Amter uses his campaign speeches to shout the loudest.

If the Stalin-Hitler pact had not been so short-lived, Mr. Amter would now be trying to convince his fellow citizens that naziism is quite innocuous – IN FACT, ONLY A MATTER OF TASTE – as he was doing not so long ago.

American workers never had a taste for naziism. Neither do they or should they have a taste for a Charlie McCarthy for Dictator Stalin.

Here’s another one for Mr. Alfange to answer:

He promises that as Governor of the State of New York he will “preserve labor’s Magna Carta.” He also promises hat as Governor of the State of New York he will “place New York’s full weight behind the President’s seven-point economic program and implement it by state legislation.”

Now then, Mr. Alfange, the right to strike is the MAGNA of labor’s Magna Carta. Without that right, labor is like a glove without the hand in it. However, Mr. Alfange, President Roosevelt’s economic program has taken that elementary right away from labor?

Would you seek to restore that right? Or would you “place New York’s full weight” behind the President’s no-strike edict “AND IMPLEMENT IT BY STATE LEGISLATION”?

Just a question, Mr. Allange. YOU REALLY CAN’T STAND FOR BOTH, YOU KNOW!

In the past week the candidacy of Mr. Bennett, now blessed by President Roosevelt, has been endorsed by the capitalist Owen D. Young, by the Tammany politician, Alfred E. Smith – and by the officials of the “Big Four” Railway Brotherhoods, representing some 175,000 railroad workers.

It is altogether fitting and proper that Boss Young and Political-Henchman Smith should endorse the candidate of their favorite boss party. It is altogether unfitting and improper for officials of workers unions to endorse ANY CANDIDATE OF ANY BOSS PARTY.

That the officials of the Railway Brotherhoods and the officials of other unions do so, indicates that they are still engaged in the Judas job of keeping labor from realising its full political power.

The millions of working people of this country need be beholden to no one for political favors. They don’t have to worry about securing “the good will” of the New Dealers or of the Old Dealers or of any of the Raw Dealers.

Labor must get put of the straightjacket of boss politics into which false leaders have tricked them. With an INDEPENDENT LABOR PARTY and a WORKING CLASS PROGRAM, labor could actually fight for the things it wants.

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