Re: [sixties-l] Todd Jones against Nader

From: Bill Mandel (
Date: 11/03/00

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    What does voting for Gore have to do with whether there will be a 
    Democratic Congress? Nader voters will overwhelmingly vote for the 
    lesser evil candidate for Congress, in the great majority cases a 
    Democrat, and in some cases not evil at all.
         Social Security and the right of labor to organize and 
    unemployment insurance and the Home Owners' Loan Act and the rest of 
    the New Deal were won precisely by direct action. Some of them were 
    literally drafted by organizations practicing direct action, and 
    introduced by sympathetic senators and members of congress. Of course 
    we who were Communists did none of those things on our own. Perhaps 
    our greatest merit was that we understood the need for coalitions (in 
    those days called United Front and, when even broader, People's 
    Front). The battle for unemployment insurance was won in the A.F.of L. 
    by a rank-and-file organization headed by a Communist house painter, 
    Louis Weinstock, against the A.F. of L. leadership. Once the A.F. of 
    L. officially accepted it, the Democratic politicians fell in line.
        I was a very active teen-ager at the time, as knowledgeable about 
    the issues of my day as the marvelous 15-to-19-year-olds of Seattle. 
    Roosevelt's genius lay in the fact that he, a Hudson River Valley 
    aristocrat, understood the need for major concessions to what the 
    people wanted in order to save the entire system, at a time when the 
    most devastating of all depressions put its existence in doubt. 
                            Bill Mandel

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