Top Communist Admits: Communist Party ‘Utilizes’ the Democratic Party – a Lesson for Constitutionalists
By Trevor Loudon
New national chair of the Communist Party USA, Chicago man John Bachtell has admitted that his Party “utilizes” the Democratic Party “to advance its agenda.”
Writing on the People’s World website Bachtell explains that much of the left wants to abandon the Democratic Party (as much of the “right” wants to abandon the GOP) to form a radical third party.
In an article entitled A radical third party? I agree! Bachtell explains;
Certainly, there’s widespread disillusionment with both the Democratic and Republican parties. That’s reflected in the latest Pew Research poll: 38 percent of voters describe themselves as independent, 32 percent as Democrats, and 25 percent as Republicans. In 1991, the three were approximately equal.
While acknowledging that both major parties are heavily influenced by Wall Street, Bachtell sees a big difference;
However, it’s not enough to make sweeping generalizations about the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s true both parties are dominated by Wall Street interests, but it’s also necessary to see how each party differs, particularly their social bases and how this affects their policies.
While the Republican Party is led by the most reactionary sections of Wall Street capital including the energy extractive sector and military industrial complex, it also consists of extreme right-wing elements including the Tea Party, white supremacists, social conservatives, right-wing evangelicals, climate deniers, anti-reproductive rights groups, etc.
Meanwhile the Democratic Party is also home to labor, African Americans, Latinos, other communities of color, women, most union members, young people, and a wide range of social and democratic movements. These constituencies exert influence on party leadership and hold positions at all levels.
Therefore it makes sense, according to Bachtell, for the Communist Party, to stick with the Democrats until a viable third party is feasible. To Bachtell, progress towards socialism is possible only after the “right” is soundly defeated.
The Communist Party’s tactics for political independence rest on several interrelated elements. First, they occur within the constraints of the two-party system. We don’t operate in a parliamentary system which allows proportional voting. Instead, winner takes all, and during the general election it usually comes down to voting for one of two candidates most likely to win.
That means candidates are backed by coalitions. Under these circumstances voting based on purity of positions is not a viable tactic. Coalition forces may disagree with a candidate on one or another issue, but find they must support candidates for strategic reasons – to advance issues and create a more favorable terrain of struggle.
Our tactics also occur within the framework of our strategic policy of building a broad coalition to defeat the extreme right, which we see as the main danger to democracy and social progress, embodied within today’s Republican Party. There are voting constituencies that presently support the GOP that have to be won over. Such an approach sees the need to actively challenge right-wing and GOP ideas that influence sections of the people, especially working-class whites, for example, through hate talk radio. This includes racism and intolerance which are key issues dividing the working class.
We see this as one of the stages in the long struggle for advanced democracy and socialism.