By: Veronica Nowakowski
In 2009, Tea Parties sprung up across America, and despite the insistence of the Tea Partiers, it was understood as a Republican movement. In hindsight, it went much further than that – they were a force to the right of the Republican Party that has been driving it ever more radically to the right. In October of 2011, Occupy protests sprung up across the nation claiming to represent the 99%. Initially, the Democratic Party shunned the protests before they began giving it lip service, which was before they began moving against the protesters, as in Democrat-controlled Oakland, California.
Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party USA nominee for President, says the Occupy movement is similarly to the left of the Democratic Party. More so, he claims that Barack Obama represents the 1%, not the 99%.
“The Democratic Party has a long and treasured history of solidarity with corporate interests and our richest one percent,” says Alexander. “They won’t tell you they are with the one percent. They’ll outwardly profess their love for the ninety-nine percent. Yet, all we get are words and we have access to the trillion dollar credit card bill and can smell the perfume and cologne on them.”
Alexander points to various events which he believes show Obama’s love affair with our richest citizens. He points out how Obama went to bat to get a trillion dollar bailout for Wall Street, continuing the policies of the Bush administration, while giving nothing but a token fight against extending the Bush tax cuts.
“We didn’t need a bailout, we needed a buyout. Wall Street failed. Capitalism failed. What we should have done is gone in and extended consumer credit directly with low interest rates. Instead, Wall Street kept the money for themselves and continued to give out predatory interest rates,” Alexander retorted.
Time and time again, according to Alexander, Obama has failed to fight for the 99%. He sold out federal workers by freezing their pay for two years so they could shoulder the burden for Wall Street. Obama readily agreed to various cuts to programs needed by those most in need, such as heating assistance for the impoverished, and then later to greater cuts to programs which benefit other parts of the 99%.
“Every time Obama comes to the negotiating table,” states Alexander, “he starts with huge concessions to the one percent. It doesn’t stop with these concessions, the Tea Party demands more and more until we have almost nothing left. The strategy never changes. He is not a stupid man; he was a law professor at a prestigious university. That brings his allegiance into question.”
Alexander illustrates his point with examples of what Democrats do when they have full power. He notes that the national healthcare Americans were demanding in 2008 was prevented by a Democratic supermajority, not Republicans. Instead, he claims, we have a Republican plan from the 90’s which grants guaranteed profits to the insurance industry. “These are the bureaucrats who override your doctor’s decisions on what will save your life,” he quips, “under national healthcare, the government bureaucrat who makes those decisions is your doctor, the person with the medical training who you trust.”
He also references how working people were up in arms over the stripping of public workers’ rights in Wisconsin. When similar provisions were enacted in the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts by Democratic officials, everyone looked the other way.
Asked about the Occupy movements across the country, Alexander did not claim to already have their support. Alexander responded, “I want their support. I certainly support them. However, they are currently focused on the problem: the policies of the Democrats and Republicans which prop up the one percent and corporations at the expense of the rest. They’re disillusioned because the ‘change’ they were promised ended up as coins in their pocket after the rent was paid. Hopefully, they’ll join me and my V.P. Candidate Alex Mendoza, and the Socialist Party USA to make tear the weed that is this economic system out at the root to create economic democracy instead of economic tyranny.”
Find more articles: Stewart Alexander for President; Stewart Alexander 2012; Alexander/Mendoza 2012
Stewart Alexander / Alex Mendoza 2012 – Socialist Party USA http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stewart-Alexander-Alex-Mendoza-2012-Socialist-Party-USA/305242179487567
Socialist Party of California Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Socialist-Party-of-California/123576857687203