During each month of 2009, the Democratic Party elected officials in Washington DC have abandoned one or more of the issues that got them elected. Peace went by the wayside fairly early, though there seemed some chance that some troops might be withdrawn. Reforming labor laws to give workers a real chance to organize into unions lasted a few weeks, but ended up on the scrapheap of political promises. Health care for all became health care for some, then no public health care expansion, and now we appear to be headed toward a "compromise" that will force everyone to further enrich insurance companies without actually requiring the privateers to provide health care for anyone. While some unemployed workers have the opportunity to collect unemployment insurance for a few more weeks, the jobs they want are simply not there, and neither Congress nor the President appear willing to lift a finger to provide any jobs.

Tens of millions of Americans are asking themselves why they bothered to vote in Democrats, if this is all the Democrats are willing to do. The Republicans are clearly no alternative for working people, but the Democrats appear determined to minimize the differences between the two big-money parties. Of course, both parties are basically financed and controlled by corporate agents, ensuring that neither party will jeopardize the dominance of the big bankers and industrialists over the government. Neither party represents working people, or will permit workers to gain any power at all over their own lives or over the country.

The recent announcement by President Obama of his policy of open-ended escalation in Afghanistan, dashing the last hopes of those who hoped that common sense would prevail to end a senseless and hopeless land war in Asia, amounted to a declaration of moral bankruptcy on the part of the Democratic Party. Those who remember the Vietnam War, and have studied the formerly secret files that show how American involvement began and escalated, find the circumstances sadly familiar. Each life lost in the war in Afghanistan, on whatever side, is a completely unneccesary waste. There are no rational reasons for this escalation, or for any course other than immediate withdrawal. The weak Karzai government is hopelessly corrupt, brutal and unworthy of respect, and Afghans give it none. But in the style of the misleaders of former empires, the US government is going to ramp up the war to avoid appearing weak. Certain defeat will eventually reveal weakness for all to see, but hundreds of thousands will die before that happens.

There is no way for people in the United States to strike a blow against this stupid war by voting for any Democrat or any Republican for any office. Demonstrations, letters to elected officials, direct action, all have their place in the struggle for peace. But as a necessary accompaniment to other peace-directed activities, independent left candidates for Congress and US Senate are needed in as many states as possible. When every vote for a Democrat is interpreted as support for war, only a vote for an independent peace candidate can send an unmistakeable message of opposition to the empire, and to wars for empire.

For information on how to run for Congress or US Senate, please e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call me at (951) 787-0318. For further information on Peace and Freedom candidates in California, watch our website at www.peaceandfreedom.org
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