National Board update: One month to go until the election

October 18, 2016
National Board update: One month to go until the election



This report was presented to the National Board, CPUSA on October 12, 2016.

Between the debates, hot mics and Wikileaks, this last month is going to be a wild ride.  Trump and the Republicans are dragging the country through the gutter.  Sexual assault, degrading and abuse of women is impacting women and children and the whole country and is creating havoc for Republican candidates.  Michelle Obama’s speech was an outstanding response and should be circulated far and wide

From the start Trump’s entire campaign is based on the abuse of immigrants, Muslims, people with disabilities,  African Americans and Latinos. Trump wants to militarize the country under the guise of “law and order”.  His campaign has been based on setting working-class people against one another.  Trump is openly calling for a “movement” that incites to violence – it will be with us after the election no matter the results.

Beyond the unacceptable personal behavior of the GOP nominee is the Republican platform which all Republican candidates endorse. Its planks have a  pro-life stance along with opposition to both raising the minimum wage and granting paid family and medical leave.  On every issue the GOP platform debases women and working-class people in general in favor of no regulations and no taxes on the rich and corporations.  The GOP favors appointing Supreme Court justices that will rule like Scalia.  It is not just Trump.  It is the Republican platform.

The Democratic standard bearer, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform which was won during the primary support massive infrastructure development, pay equity, raising the minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, expanding Social Security, and much more. Her campaign is in a position of having to overcome decades of attack and being called a “liar” with complicity by mainstream media which has had a significant impact including on voters including  union members.  The importance of face-to-face conversations on the issues, including under which president can working people move forward cannot be overstated. This underscores the fundamental issue of upholding democratic rights which is at stake in this election.

Across the country, pressure is being placed on Republican candidates to disavow Trump.   In Connecticut  a press conference by leading women including the Lt Governor and the president of the state AFL-CIO and a top contested state senate candidate called on Republicans to condemn Trump.  Lt Gov Nancy Wyman said: “This is not just a women’s issue this is a human being issue.”

While Trump’s base is staying firm, there are many defections. One-fourth of Republican Governors, Senators and House members are no longer supporting Trump.  But that also means that three-fourths continue to stay with him. The urgency of a landslide vote grows even more important: to elect not only the president but also to wrest the Senate and House from Republican obstructionists.  And even beyond that to be in position to repudiate the ugliness and build unity against fascist like attacks on people of color, immigrants and large sections of the population.

In the battleground states Clinton is leading now, but Republican senators also leading or very close in the polls.  These Republicans have to be held accountable for the platform of their Party that does not serve the needs of the majority of people. Five more Senate seats held by Democrats are needed to win the majority.

All this shapes the framework for continued organizing after the election.  We have to argue that every vote that helps achieve a unity landslide is a vote to empower the new coming together of racial, economic justice, and  gender equality issues and organizations. Every vote in a unity landslide is a vote for the dignity and respect of women as equal human beings. Every vote for a unity landslide is a vote that enables rising class consciousness and presents new possibilities for the working class, labor and community. Every vote in a unity landslide is a vote to overcome the poison of racism and bigotry the Trump campaign has brought to the fore.  How labor and people’s movements fare and go forward after the election depends on the size of voter turnout, and whether or not the Senate and House change majorities. As Bernie Sanders has said, the only way to continue to organize and win the elements of the progressive platform is to elect a democratic president now.  That is why our strategy to push toward a unity landslide should continue to guide our work.

It is one month to election day and still anything can happen. It would be a grave mistake to take the result for granted.  Early voting has begun in some states, and will begin soon in others.  Voter registration is still open in many states, in some states there is same day voter registration.

Trump believes he is above any scrutiny or accountability legal or otherwise.  Beware his approach to election day at the polls.  He is crying about the elections being rigged.  Especially in Philadelphia, in voting districts with a large Latino and African American population we could face vigilante presence like in 2008 to scare people away and further depress the Democratic vote.  Every community needs strong voter protection plans.

Our work:  Across the country, our comrades continue campaigning with labor and allies, including getting out the vote for down ballot and progressive candidates and ballot initiatives.  Some travel is taking place.  The youth project was held in MO.

While there has been some spotlight on circulation of election articles, it would be a major contribution if a special campaign could be put into effect now to election day to make some more of these stories go viral. The strategic approach to involving every comrade to build the people’s movements and the Party as part of building the unity landslide is getting results. This is key to going forward after election day.  Those experiences will be important to our assessments at the National Committee meeting.  We should begin to think about major issue campaigns, including for massive infrastructure, to kick off pretty quickly after election day.


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