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With Obama as president, health care and the economy can be “reformed,” U.S. troops can be evacuated from the Middle East, a second stimulus bill can be passed, the criminal justice system can be overhauled and union rights can be expanded – in other words, it’s a Christmas list come true – declared the leader of the Communist Party USA.
“All these – and many other things – are within our reach now!” exclaimed Sam Webb in a New York banquet speech for the People’s Weekly World, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA.
Webb’s speech was entitled, “The impossible becomes possible.”
Webb declared that under Obama, “We can dream again, knowing that the gap between our dreams and reality is bridgeable.”
“I am confident the American people in their millions – reeling under the weight of this terrible economic crisis and yearning for a more decent, equal, peaceful and just world – will follow their example and turn this country into a more perfect union,” stated Webb.
In this new political climate, we can foresee winning a public option, like Medicare, in the current legislative fight over health-care reform.
We can visualize enacting tough regulatory reforms on the financial industry that brought the economy to ruin.
We can imagine bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, while being part of a regional process that brings peace and stability to the entire region.
In this new political climate, the expansion of union rights in this legislative session is not only sensible, it’s doable.
Much the same can be said about winning a second stimulus bill, and we sure need one, given the still rising and likely long term persistence of unemployment with the heaviest burden, as usual, falling on communities of color.
Isn’t it possible in the post-Bush era to launch a vigorous attack on global warming and create millions of green jobs in manufacturing and elsewhere?
Can’t we envision taking new strides in the long journey for racial and gender equality in this new era, marked at its beginning by the election of the first African American to the presidency?
And isn’t the overhaul of the criminal justice and prison system – a system steeped in racism and employing punitive treatment as it organizing principle – no longer pie in the sky, but something that can be done in the foreseeable future?
Webb pointed out that neither Obama nor “progressive congresspeople” can enact these changes by themselves.
“We have to reach, activate, unite and turn millions of Americans into change agents who can make the political difference in these struggles,” he said.
Webb explained how unions and grass-roots organizations can help bring about important changes.
Indeed, labor unions were instrumental in electing Obama. A Political Affairs article just after last November’s election titled “Special Interest or Class Consciousness? How Labor Put Obama in the White House” reported on polling data released that revealed the extent of union support for Obama.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, sponsored a poll showing union members supported Obama by a 68-30 margin and strongly influenced their family members.
According to the survey, Obama won among white men who are union members by 18 points. Union gun-owners backed Obama by 12 points, while union veterans voted for Obama by a 25-point margin. In the general population, Obama lost these groups by significant margins.
Reacting to Webb’s speech, Communist researcher Trevour London of the New Zeal blog stated, “Now we know every major item on the Communist Party’s agenda. Socialized health care, increased union power, massive controls on the finance sector, ending the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, a heavily regulated ‘green economy’, a second ‘stimulus’ bill, weakening of the ‘racist’ prison system. … Tick the items off as the Obama administration acts on each and every one of them.”
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