Volume 74, Number 15 | August 11 - 17 , 2004

Communists are working for a presidential revolution

By Lincoln Anderson

The Communist Party USA may not be running a candidate for president, but they’re doing a lot less than Ralph Nader to hurt John Kerry’s chances in the election.

While not openly endorsing Kerry, the CP USA is making the defeat of George W. Bush a priority. The CP USA hasn’t run a candidate for president since the mid-1980s, when they last had Gus Hall on the ballot. Since then, they haven’t fielded a candidate, which their spokesperson, Neil Rabinowitz, chalks up to the overwhelming need to defeat the Republicans.

“The CP USA doesn’t endorse any candidate for president in the 2004 election,” said Rabinowitz, speaking from the party’s headquarters in Chelsea at 235 W. 23rd St. “We are educating people on what the next four years would look like if Bush was reelected. We’re trying to build a movement that can break the conservative stranglehold on government. It’s really rough on third parties. It’s why we haven’t run a presidential candidate since the ’80s.”

Regarding Nader, Rabinowitz said, “We think it’s not the time for a protest vote, that the danger is too great. It’s not the time to stand on the sidelines, but to jump into the main effort to defeat Bush. We’re an organization that’s been around since 1919, we like to focus on the real adversary. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do, and get rid of the Republicans. The regular, working people of this country can’t afford four more years of Bush.”

A major risk of a second Bush administration is the potential appointment of conservative Supreme Court judges that would allow the repeal of Roe v. Wade, he noted. In general, the Democrats are more representative of working Americans’ core values, while the Republicans are the party of the corporations, Rabinowitz said.

“If our goal is to fight for social justice, it’s necessary to beat Bush,” Rabinowitz continued. “And not only that, to win by a landslide — because we know this administration is capable of shifting the rules. It represents the majority interest to get rid of the Republican stranglehold. Then we could go further.”

While the CP USA isn’t endorsing Kerry, “the people will know what to do,” Rabinowitz said.

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