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Letters to the editor

February 27, 2004 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS BELOW:
We need protest, not the Democrats
Building the fight for abortion rights
We can't take four more years of Bush
Kucinich enables the Democrats

Kerry: Arrogant and elitist

Dear Socialist Worker,
Now that he's emerged as the Democratic frontrunner, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is busy retooling himself as a man of the people. Here's a different view: Twenty years ago, when Kerry first ran for the Massachusetts senate seat, I worked as a secretary for his campaign treasurer.

Every day when the candidate passed by my desk on his way to see my boss, I said, "Good morning, Mr. Kerry," "Good afternoon, Mr. Kerry," and "Here's your coffee, Mr. Kerry." Know what? Not once did Kerry bother to reply

My boss, by the way, was a real-estate developer who repackaged low-income housing as tax shelters for rich investors like Kerry. It was a sick business that only brought more misery to New York City's housing projects. My boss was eager to serve as Kerry's campaign treasurer, explaining to me that this was how "politics" works: "You pay them [the politicians], they do what you want."

History tells us that the only way ordinary people have ever gotten what they want and need is through mass, independent movements. That's what we need now: an independent movement that can represent our--not the bosses'--interests.
Nancy Welch, Burlington, Vt.

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We need protest, not the Democrats

Dear Socialist Worker,
SW should be proud to be one of the only publications on the left today that not only has the courage to tell the truth about Bush, but also about the Democratic Party. The Democrats are against Bush the man, but not his main goals: helping the rich at taxpayers‚ expense, waging wars for oil and empire, slashing social spending and incarcerating minorities.

In addition to pointing out the Democrats' betrayals of the left, Blacks, women, gays and working people, we should add another weapon to our arsenal of arguments against voting for the "lesser evil." Voting for the Democrats didn't stop Bush in 2000. While Bush was throwing out Black votes in Florida, Al Gore kept his mouth shut about it and instead whined about "chads."

Millions of people who voted against Bush in 2000 looked on helplessly as Bush slithered into the White House, despite the popular vote.The only way we could have stopped Bush from stealing the White House last time was through massive protests, demonstrations, walkouts and strikes.

Today, our greatest hope for change is not Democrats who talk left and walk right, but the actions and organization of ordinary people: workers and guerillas in Iraq, protestors booing Bush at Martin Luther King's grave or striking grocery workers in California.
Pham Binh, New York City

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Building the fight for abortion rights

Dear Socialist Worker,
Nationally the pro-choice turnout on the January 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade may have been pathetic, but here in Providence, abortion rights activists took to the streets to defend two clinics against the right-wing zealots. With little more than a day's notice for some, about 50 people rallied in front of Planned Parenthood on Point Street to confront a "funeral for the unborn" that was organized by the religious right.

The action was very spirited, with many signs advertising the April 25 March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. People chanted, "My body, my choice!" and "Bush says go back, we say fight back!" Many folks were angry at Bush's ban on late-term abortions.

When the hearse and funeral procession arrived, the somber crowd of bigots was greeted by shouts of "Pro-Life? That's a lie: You don't care about women's lives!" The raucous group of activists outnumbered the morose coterie, who were visibly shaken by the confrontation.

Another abortion clinic targeted by the right in Providence was also defended. Standing strong against the sexists is the only way to win full rights to abortion. In fact, the energetic response has helped galvanize organizing for the demonstration in Washington, D.C.
John Osmand, Providence, R.I.

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We can't take four more years of Bush

Dear Socialist Worker,
I am a fan of your Web site. Your refreshingly original and true-to-life view of the world at large and especially the United States is so unlike the image of U.S. that an outsider like me has come to encounter time and again. However, I have noticed a strange ambivalence on your part as to who among the candidates for the U.S. presidential election you support.

There are wildly divergent views from various column writers, who seem to criticize anybody and everybody in the race, and I wonder who they stand for today--when merely counting on principles does not help. You need to find at least a majority of the principles in some candidate that is still running.

As an opinion-maker and view-mobilizer, your paper carries a social responsibility, because I see that the campaign is presently being hijacked by media opinions and inane issues like the Dean "grunt."

Many who trust your paper would be helped, if you--in your clear style of calling a spade a spade--would spell out an unbiased commentary on each candidate on various issues of national interest, finally giving out why you would recommend a particular candidate. Please do this, for a nasty U.S. president would be a liability not only for the U.S., but for the entire world.
Krishna Dharasurkar, Pune, India

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Kucinich enables the Democrats

Dear Socialist Worker,
In response to Walt Creekmore's letter (SW, February 6) about Dennis Kucinich: it is good that Kucinich is a good union man. The problem lies with the fact that he is enabling a political party that is not a friend of workers or our unions, but a friend of corporations.

He is putting out left rhetoric to pull people back into the Democratic Party, but as he will not get the nomination, that will leave the people he pulled in to support the "lesser evil"--whoever that will be. Democrats like Harry Truman have stabbed workers in the back. Truman claimed to oppose the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act, but used it to stop a miners' strike, as did Jimmy Carter during his presidency.

Franklin Roosevelt granted reforms like the Wagner Act giving the right to organize, Social Security, welfare, etc., not because he had good politics, but because of the political pressure from the grassroots movements from workers and the poor and unemployed.

We need a political alternative to the twin corporate political parties--ultimately, a socialist alternative. Until this happens, we will be repeating the same process every four years, and we need to stop the poverty, attacks on living standards, union busting, racism, war and everything that is institutionalized in the capitalist system.
Patrick Switzer, Seattle

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