This report on the 2008 elections was delivered by Joelle Fishman and will be available soon in a complete form at cpusa.org.
"This election presents an historic opportunity to end ultra-right-wing rule of this country, " Fishman started.
Our role and the main goal of all progressive forces should be to defeat McCain and to win with a landslide victory in November.
"A massive voter turnout in November is needed to provide the political strength to win new priorities," Fishman said.
Obama's candidacy is new an unique. He recognizes the role of the people in bringing about progressive change. He also understands the need for maximum unity to win social progress, Fishman said.
His contribution on the issue of racism recognizes that racism holds everyone back and that ending racism benefits everyone, she said.
"Neither candidate is of the left," Fishman said, but history teaches us that when people mobilize candidates can be forced to act to do the right things.
Keeping fire on McCain and exposing the fact that he is the favorite off the ultra-right and of Wall street, is a main task for us.
"John McCain is a favorite of the military industrial complex," Fishman noted. "He is the favorite of Wall Street.
He opposes S-CHIP and universal health care; he supports obscene tax cuts for the super-rich; he supports Bush's war policy and wants to stay in Iraq endlessly and spread that war to Iran.
(Fishman noted here some examples of the key policy differences between the Communist Party and the Democratic Party. While Democratic candidates seem to favor repealing the worst of Bush's tax cuts for the rich, Communists want tax policy to be moved back to 1970s levels to ensure that the very richest people pay their fair share into the treasury and lift the burden off of working families. Democratic candidates appear to favor the ongoing war and occupation of Afghanistan, while the Communist Party calls for bringing those troops home as well as ending the Iraq war and transforming US foreign policy. Also, while the Democratic candidates have offered plans that move toward universal health care, the Communist Party seeks passage of a national health insurance program that is a single-payer, not for profit Medicare for all system.)
In addition to winning the presidency, Fishman argued, bigger Democratic majorities need to be won in Congress. Citing failed efforts to win passage of several bills that would have mandated timetables for withdrawal from Iraq as examples, Fishman said larger majorities could override vetoes and block Senate Republican filibusters.
"There is a need to increase the pro-labor and pro-peace members of Congress," she said.
The Communist Party plans to watch closely 28 House races, 4 Senate races, 2 governorships, and several ballot initiatives across the country, Fishman announced.
Fishman also reported on the role of "core forces" in the 2008 election cycle. The Communist Party uses the term "core forces" to refer to those communities in our country who have a special role within the working class and around the working class in bringing about social progress.
Fishman stated that Latino, youth and women voters have dramatically increased their votes for the Democratic candidates, while African Americans have increased their turnout in the South.
Labor is making a huge national effort to win the presidency for a Democratic candidate. Additionally, the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition are launching a massive postcard campaign to get 1 million signatures in support of passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and for universal health care. While some AFL-CIO unions have endorsed Obama and some have backed Clinton, the federation itself is waiting to endorse the Democratic nominee. CtW has backed Obama.
The labor campaign will also work to expose the real McCain. He is not on the side of workers. He supports NAFTA unquestioningly. He opposes universal health care. And he will seek to expand the war.
African Americans have been inspired and energized by the Obama campaign. Massive new efforts to register Black voters are underway. If African American voters in some southern states like South Carolina and Georgia vote in proportion to their populations, they could flip those states from red to blue, Fishman argued.
Fishman also described as "hype" the notion that Latino voters will not back Black candidates. Latino voters have voted in the primaries 79% for Democratic candidates (up from 60 in 2004 general election). Latino turnout has tripled. New registration drives among Latino voters aim for 12 million registered with 10 million voter turnout.
Fishman called for Democratic candidates to reject the divisiveness promoted by the ultra-right Republicans on the immigration question.
Women voters have also turned out higher for the Democratic candidates.
Additionally, youth voters, environmentally-oriented, and peace voters have an opportunity to make their mark on this election.
For its part, the Communist Party will develop multimedia/Internet tools and printed pamphlets that expose the real McCain and his record and introduce voters to the election platform of the Communist Party. Communist Party members will work in local communities registering voters from the core forces and mobilizing them to defeat John McCain and to win bigger majorities in Congress.