The Choice Between Two Americas

There have always been two Americas – the progressive America of Abraham Lincoln’s Union and the reactionary America of Jefferson Davis’s Confederacy. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy symbolize the progressive tradition, whereas Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are the icons of the reactionary tradition.

The constituency of progressive America consists of the working class, minorities, and the poor. The constituency of reactionary America is made up of the middle and upper classes, and its core consists of wealthy WASP southerners. “WASP” stands for “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant,” and since Anglo-Saxons are by definition white, this term means “double-white” or “super-white” Protestant. Wealthy southern WASPs are the descendants of the slave-owners, and their cultural tradition parallels that of the German Nazis.

In 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that, “If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided, unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength in our land.”

The Bush Administration joins the reactionary economic policies of “old-line Tory Republicanism” to the radical right-wing ideology of the neoconservatives. This poisonous combination has resulted in a creeping Fascism that seeks to install power vested in big banks, business corporations, the President, and the army in place of power vested in the people and Congress.

It was primarily America’s working class, minorities and poor that fought victoriously in World War II and kept their faith in freedom and democracy. However, large parts of the middle and upper classes of the post-war, “baby-boomer,” “me” generation have been attracted by corporate Fascism, U.S. style. It is this constituency that has become a vital part of the Republican Party’s expanded political base.

The Republican Party has become a Confederate party with a program of states’ rights, unrestrained corporate greed, racism, anti-unionism, imperial war, and domestic fear. This Republican president has lied to the American people about 9/11, the Iraq war, the “war on terror,” the domestic economy, and home security. He was utterly incompetent in his response to 9/11, in his prosecution of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, in his attempts to make America secure, and in his response to the Katrina and Rita disasters. His Republican Party’s political gangsters have brazenly stolen two national elections by 2.3 million (in 2000) and 3.4 million (in 2004) popular votes.

The cure for the disease of Fascism is a peaceful anti-Fascist mass movement that demolishes the party of Fascism politically. In today’s America, this movement is a new political coalition of Blacks, Latinos, labor, progressive whites, and Asians, which is committed to the political destruction of the Republican Party. However, it is not enough for this coalition to be against the Republican Party. It must be for a positive program and have clearly defined principles.

The program should be one based on the domestic economic priorities of the 80 percent of American households whose annual income is below $75,000, and a multilateral foreign policy that includes an exit strategy for ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars within a year. Repeal all of the Bush tax cuts, build a strong public sector, regulate the big corporations, repeal NAFTA and CAFTA, replace free trade with fair trade, and support the United Nations.

The principles should consist of 1) the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution which mandates “a more perfect Union,” asserts the primacy of “we the people,” and requires “the promotion of the general welfare” rather than corporate welfare; 2) Abraham Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people”; 3) Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion”; 4) the inclusive Judeo-Christian ethic.

The upcoming New York elections are a political clash between two New Yorks with conflicting interests: The constituency of Blacks, Latinos, Labor, and progressive whites, which is led by the Democratic Party’s candidates Ferrer for Mayor and Spitzer for Governor, versus the constituency of wealthy and middle-class whites and minorities led by Republican “great white hopes.”

Those New York Blacks who support local Republican candidates are the same 8 to 9 percent minority of Black voters who supported George W. Bush in the stolen 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, and voted for racist Mayor Rudy Giuliani against Ruth Messinger. They consistently oppose the interests of the vast majority of African-Americans and are reminders of those house slaves and freedmen who loyally supported the Confederacy at the expense of the field slaves. They have every right to express their political choice, and others have an equal right to criticize that choice publicly.

Amsterdam News
Sept. 5, 2005