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Views in brief

May 5, 2006 | Page 8

Reading SW behind bars
Immigration hurts U.S. workers
Crushed by the FTAA
A world with no borders

Dems abandon women's rights LAST TIME I checked, the Democrats' strategy involved ignoring their base (especially women) and focusing on winning the votes of male veterans, NASCAR dads, Alabama guys with gun racks in their pickup trucks, and the "ban abortion" crowd.

The uber-patriotic rhetoric, combined with support for the war, confirmation of right-wing judges, and distancing themselves from women's reproductive rights, is starting to make a lot of Democrats look like "Republican Lite": same bad aftertaste, one-third fewer votes.

Repeat after me: It's not a winning strategy. Ignoring your base will not bring success at the polls. Ignoring the deeply held convictions of the majority of Democratic voters won't either.

The Democrats want to convince us they have ideas that will turn this country in a new direction. I'm all for it. End this disastrous war, don't start a new one, restore public programs that were cruelly cut by this administration, raise the minimum wage and secure the homeland in a responsible way--not by cracking down on hardworking immigrants. And restore our right to privacy--on our telephones and in our bedrooms. Just for starters.

But George W. Bush's losing strategy is not the Democrats' winning strategy. It will take more than "I'm not George Bush" to move the disillusioned to the polls. They will have to convince us that liberty and equality will have a place at the table.

Speaking of George W. Bush's losing strategy, the Democracy Corps report had this to say about South Dakota's ban on abortions: "The South Dakota ban on all abortions, except for the life of the mother, is not a popular act. By 64 percent to 33 percent, voters say they would be less likely to support a candidate who endorsed it; almost half the country says they are 'much less likely' to support that candidate. That act, as it moves up the judicial ladder, may well create a new issue that pushes voters further away from Bush and the Republicans."

Hmmmm...passing a law designed to challenge the Constitutional right to privacy that women have depended upon for more than three decades is unpopular? You don't say.

This poll is good news because it sends a message to legislators on both sides of the aisle: Voters will not stand for lawmakers who try to control women's lives, and especially our reproductive health options. And both parties should remember that.

Here's a thought: If people are moving away from the Republicans because of anti-women laws like South Dakota's, perhaps the Democrats should give them somewhere to move. They could start by ending the recruitment of Democratic candidates who would ban abortion, just like South Dakota. Now there's an idea.

But November 7 is still six months away, and there's lots to do before then--like the April 29 "March for Peace, Justice and Democracy" in New York City. I'll be there, telling the world that I don't like George W. Bush's plan. And I think we need a new one.
Jon Wexler, Atlanta

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Reading SW behind bars

I HAVE been receiving Socialist Worker while incarcerated in Martinez Detention Facility. My friend in the International Socialist Organization's San Francisco branch arranged the subscription for me while I was locked down.

SW has been very useful in cementing a small group of anti-racist inmates together in a "Nazi-free" zone. After I read it, we circulate it through a readers' circle of six to eight men. It is greatly appreciated.

I am writing to you to request that you transfer the remainder of the subscription to another prisoner. I will be getting out of jail on April 25, and I would like my inmate comrades to continue to receive SW.
Steve Orcutt, Martinez Detention Facility, Martinez, Calif.

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Immigration hurts U.S. workers

WHY DOES your socialist organization defend illegal Mexican immigrants? These people are used to depress U.S. wages. How is it "pro-labor" to support this?

It is my understanding that even Cesar Chavez was opposed to illegal immigration because the resulting surplus in labor only helped to further lower wages for the Mexican immigrant population.

Why doesn't your organization better acknowledge that these are economic refugees from a Third World country under oppressive trade agreements arranged by the capitalists? The solution is not to admit these waves of refugees into the U.S. and thus increase racial tensions in this country. This only serves the interests of the capitalists. The solution would better be served by demanding that the U.S. desist from its harmful economic policies and begin to aid Mexico in its own economic development.
Jason Wright, from the Internet

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Crushed by the FTAA

CURRENTLY WE see the world in an uproar, with the immigrant issue. Many of us recognize that it is only a symptom of a greater threat.

Could you please inform me as to where I can get more information on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)? The word is out, if NAFTA hasn't crushed you, then the FTAA will.

It is time to unite. We must get our voices back, and we must peacefully come into unity for the betterment of all citizens, pilgrims, or immigrants. We cannot continue to fight ourselves, and believe it is the "other guy's" problem. We have problems in this world, and it is up to each one of us, to seek a higher ground and a higher way of reasoning.

It is too easy to be a member of the NRA and rally behind their reasoning. It takes civility, maturity, and wisdom to see the broader picture, and to make a commitment to get it done in a way that encourages and fosters permanent and lasting change for the betterment of all.

Your reports and your information is important to me, it helps me to see another side of the media, and it is refreshing.
Elizabeth Estrada, From the Internet

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A world with no borders

ROSEMARIE JACKOWSKI correctly observed in her letter, "The history of the southern border is relevant today." ("A call for open borders," April 7) However, the United States acquired far more than Texas as a result of the Mexican War, as it is called in U.S. history books.

As part of what Sidney Lens describes as the "territorial fee" imposed on Mexico "for the privilege of being conquered," the United States acquired most of the Southwest, "an area greater than France and Germany combined."

Jackowski may well be correct in identifying "the least we should do" as "allowing Mexicans to live and work here permanently, or else return Texas" and, I assume, the rest of the Southwest, to Mexico. Ultimately, however, the logic of "the new civil rights movement" cannot be contained within the boundaries of the present international political system.

It demands the transformation of that system and the achievement of one in which the movement of people faces no more impediments than does that of capital in the current global system.
Mark Clinton, Northampton, Mass.

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