How the Game is Played

January 26, 2004

Over the last few months, a number of anti-war activists joined the election campaign of Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich was advertised not only as a "peace" candidate but as a person of principle.

From the beginning, the Workers Party pointed out that Kucinich supported the war in Afghanistan and that his alleged opposition to the war in Iraq only boils down to calling for more multinational troops to help the continuing occupation and colonization of the country.

Moreover, we pointed out that Kucinich, like every Democratic official, has to bear responsibility for the fact that his party has consistently supported the war program of U.S. imperialism, from the days of WW I up to the present "war against terrorism." We insisted, and continue to insist, that any genuine peace candidate must first of all denounce and leave the Democratic Party, this sworn party of war and imperialism.

Kucinich's tactics in the recent Iowa caucuses reinforce this lesson. On caucus day, Kucinich called on his supporters in precincts where he did poorly to throw their support to Senator Edwards, an unabashed proponent of war and a darling of the notorious right-wing Democratic Leadership Conference. Kucinich's support was one of the factors propelling the Edwards' campaign into the limelight. Kucinich explained this deal by calling Edwards his "good friend."

This, in fact, is how the game is played. The so-called "left-wing" of the Democratic Party is used to keep peace activists, trade unionists, and others under the tutelage of the Democrats. First, Kucinich and others create the illusion that the Democrats "may change," that activists must "wage the good fight inside the Democratic Party." But in the end, the "left-wing" collapses and those sincere activists who have been kept in the fold are told: "Well, at least Lieberman or Edwards or Kerry are a 'lesser evil.'" Dennis Kucinich has long been a supporter of U.S. imperialism and its war program. His open assistance to Edwards only proves this again.

The only real way to oppose the war program is to escalate the mass struggles of the people and to strengthen a genuinely independent political movement.