Two Forces Battling in the United States

The Republican Convention that is taking place this week (from September 4th) in New York apart from being a mediatic spectacle full of choreographed movements destined to attract the attention of voters, collect the ballots of those who are indifferent and neutralize the actions of the adversary reveals the presence of two opposite forces in the United States' society and the development of a political struggle that tends to characterize a whole period of the world's most powerful imperialist country.

The meeting at the Madison Square Garden consecrated the candidacy to reelection of current President George W. Bush in dithyrambic terms. It was a manifestation of personality cult and messianism, the exaltation of a minor historic figure led by circumstances to the condition of a symbolic leader of an ultra-conservative and reactionary trend that bears a plan of anti-democratic reconversion of the United States' society and the domination of the world by means of extreme militarization and war. That political force, which manipulates the control levers of the greatest imperialist power or our time and supports its continuity, holds colossal power and has at its disposal advantageous conditions to achieve its ambitions and designs. Thus, it is the non plus ultra of present day reaction, the pole from which anti-democratic trends and threats to peace emanate.

On the opposite side, in the streets, in multitudinous and politically dense manifestations with a multidimensional character regarding popular participation, the creation of a political and social force is being sketched in a surprising demonstration of the vitality of the United States' progressive movement. Repeating the great demonstrations that happened in February and March last year, when the streets of New York and Washington were stages to combative anti-war rallies, the social movement was protagonist this week to a new fact in the electoral campaign. One day after the installation of the Republican conclave, 200 thousand people walked the downtown streets of the city, when, in a peaceful but energetic demonstration, they protested against President Bush's war policy and demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

The peculiarity of the moment was observed by one of the leaders of the demonstration, activist Leslie Cagan, the United For Peace And Justice movement coordinator. 'That is a historical moment in the life of this country.' The rallying cry was forceful: 'No more Bush.' The struggle for peace and the opposition to Bush are the constitutive elements of that new moment, the points to which the democratic, progressive and pacifist forces of the United States' society converge. To the anti-imperialist forces of the world, it is a phenomenon to be supported and observed with attention, since the defeat of the United States' imperialism will only be possible if its policy is fought against both inside and outside that country. As with everything that is new and also due to the heterogeneous character of its composition it is still an imprecise movement with an unforeseeable destiny. But all signs indicate that it is a trend that will linger on. Bush's defeat in the elections in November would be a strong incentive and would create conditions to taking new steps ahead.

The disjunctive between Republican ultra-conservatives and that new emerging social movement is made even clearer when we analyse the platform of the Republican Party, which was approved in the Convention. Titled 'A safer world, a more hopeful America,' it is a document where one can find the detailed fundaments to what is conventionally called throughout Bush's mandate the 'Bush Doctrine' and the programmatic points of the domestic and foreign policies with which the group that holds power today intends to keep it for more four years. 'Our Party's 2004 platform is aimed at the greatest challenges facing America in the first decade of the 21st century.'

The main challenge is 'to win the war against terror,' the strategy of which involves a set of domestic and foreign security acts and initiatives that, as a whole, have generated monstrosities such as the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security, a foreign policy that ignores others' sovereignty and norms of international coexistence and an aggressive conduct that insists on viewing war as the main means to achieve that power's hegemonic objectives. The Republican document makes clear that Bush's reelection would inaugurate a new period of intensified imperialist efforts to strangulate Cuba, defeat the Revolution and 'democratize' the Middle East countries.

The Republican platform is the code of contemporary reaction and it shows that the reelection of Bush would represent a threat to peace and the sovereignty of the peoples and democratic values that are so dear to that part of society that condemns the formulators and executors of such policy in street demonstrations.

--J.R. Carvalho is a journalist and is Vice President of the Communist Party of Brazil, chairman of International Relations.

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