Motion of the Solidarity National Committee on 2008 Elections

Motion from Solidarity National Committee
(Passed 5/17/08)

Solidarity endorses the Cynthia McKinney campaign in the Green Party as the most viable option for an independent political alternative in the 2008 presidential election. We make this choice in the context of the following considerations:

1) We fully recognize that the political space available to independent politics in this election is small, and we are not anticipating or banking on a mass “breakthrough” or indeed a showing on the scale of Ralph Nader’s campaign in 2000. Supporting independent politics is an important statement of principled opposition to the parties of corporate capital.

2) The choice of supporting a McKinney candidacy in 2008 over other options, in particular the independent campaign of Ralph Nader, isn’t because we see fundamental differences in principled politics between them. It’s our assessment that the McKinney campaign has a greater potential “upside,” particularly in advancing the possibility of the Green Party becoming a people of color-led formation with a chance to develop real social roots. Again, this is not a question of expecting the McKinney or any other independent campaign on the left to be a mass phenomenon this time around.

3) We respect the fact that for a number of reasons, our assessment isn’t shared unanimously by committed activists for independent politics. We respect those in particular who are working for the Nader campaign and we’re committed to helping ensure that differences among IPA forces over strategy for 2008 don’t become barriers to unity in struggle over the long haul.

4) We have to recognize that choosing “our” candidate for 2008 isn’t the only issue for us, and indeed not the most important. We need to address ourselves critically and sympathetically, but without illusions, to the mass sentiment among African Americans and among youth of all races rallying around Barack Obama. There are powerful and valid reasons why the Black community – which is overwhelmingly loyal to the Democratic Party – sees the need to defend Obama’s nomination for president from being “hijacked” by party superdelegates. Black Americans know that failing to do so now would be to sacrifice an opportunity that will not come around again for a long time to come, if ever. They know that ANY Black politician’s pastor could be attacked like Jeremiah Wright. And they know that throwing the nomination to Hillary Clinton on grounds of “electability” would be saying that the Black vote can be taken for granted but white voters have to be carefully massaged.

5) The most important thing for us is to simultaneously present our critique of Obama – which is not complicated, it’s simply that he’s a centrist corporate Democrat – with a defense of the Black community’s (and young people’s) defense of Obama. We suggest the approach taken in the ATC 134 editorial and Malik Miah’s article on Obama, Wright and Black Liberation Theology.