Socialist Action’s program for the 2016 presidential elections

Nov. 2010 SA banner


Working people around the world face are facing strong social, economic, and environmental crises. That’s true even in the richest country in history, the United States. The cause of these crises can be traced to a single source—a social system ruled by exploiting employers and ruthless bankers. In the U.S., this tiny minority rules through a two-party political monopoly, subverting real democracy.

Socialist Action fights for reforms of this system on the road to our ultimate goal—to replace capitalism with a socialist society in which the majority truly rules. That’s how we can assure a peaceful, ecologically sustainable, just, and prosperous world.

To advance this message, we are running Jeff Mackler for U.S. president and Karen Schraufnagel for vice president. Below is a summary of the main planks of the Socialist Action Platform.

Urgent action to stop climate change!

The greatest crisis yet faced by humanity has been created by the global capitalist economy based on fossil fuels. The half-measures agreed to in the Paris Climate Treaty last year are insufficient to stop global warming short of catastrophe for future generations. • We would declare a Climate Emergency and begin a massive crash program to achieve needed conversion to 100 percent clean renewable energy sources—such as solar, wind, tidal. This effort requires a democratically planned massive restructuring of our economy.

• We would also launch a new Climate Emergency public sector by socializing the energy, transportation, and finance sectors of the economy. This new sector would develop an achievable plan for conversion by scientists, engineers, and data management professionals—and implemented in the workplace by management elected by the workers, who know how to get work done.

• We would leave no worker behind in this new economy. Certainly, many present jobs tied to fossil fuels would be eliminated. But there would be many more new jobs created as we switch to a cleaner, sustainable economy. We would guarantee a Just Transition to provide those losing jobs with retraining and relocation assistance, while maintaining their living standards until they find suitable new employment.

End the wars! Bring U.S. forces home now!

We live in a time of perpetual war—and with a real threat of nuclear annihilation, whether intentional or by miscalculation. Wars such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have been waged as part of the geopolitical strategy of corporate America. “Regime change” imposed by U.S. military power and proxies leaves only “failed states” and is a recruiting tool for those seeking revenge in America and Europe. And these “failed states” have generated 65 million desperate refugees looking mainly in vain for some safe place to relocate. “Regime change” is the job of the people of those countries—not the U.S. military.

American workers have no interest in wars that serve only our bosses. The principle applies: “working-class solidarity has no borders.” As we divert the enormous sums spent on war to better use, we will share the “peace dividend” with those who have been victimized by wars of intervention. As the great pioneer American socialist Eugene V. Debs said at the time of the First World War—“For us there is no war but the class war.”

Human and civil rights

The American working class is among the most diverse in the world. It embraces those whose ancestors were indigenous, others brought here as slaves, and immigrants from many lands. When mutually respected, these differences can make us strong. But the ruling class stirs up bigotry and suspicions to try to keep us divided and fighting among ourselves.

This also enables them to pay women, workers of color, and undocumented immigrants far less in wages. Segregated communities pay more for rent and mortgages—and even groceries. Whether in “prosperity” or recession, Black and Latino workers are last hired, first fired, always with much higher unemployment rates. Racism and sexism is profitable for bosses and merchants, and depress wages and conditions for the whole working class.

The poverty and despair among youth in depressed, segregated neighborhoods, which have been articulated by movements like Black Lives Matter must become the concern of all.

Women workers deserve equal pay for work of equivalent value. We need to fix the inequities of Social Security that leave many widowed or divorced women penniless in old age. Socialist Action supports employer-paid quality, professional child care for working mothers and public funded care for those looking for, or unable to work. We fight against the sometimes violent attacks by the theocratic right on women’s access to birth control.

We applaud the judicial victory allowing same-sex couples to marry if they so desire. But even that advance is facing attacks by religious bigots in public office. The same “social conservatives” have stirred up fresh targeting of transgender people with the so-called “bathroom laws.” And violence against LGBT Americans has continued, as we were reminded by the mass killing at the Pulse club in Orlando.

Socialist Action supports the popular demand for Canadian-style single-payer health care for all as a transitional reform leading to superior socialized medicine—such as won by the British Labor Party decades ago, and the even better system put in place by the Cuban Revolution.

For Fifteen Now!

There are two complementary currents in the mass movement for $15 an hour. It began with fast food workers striking and demonstrating nationwide for “15 and a union,” an upsurge that is not only still growing but that now includes other low-wage workers—even adjunct college instructors. The other component has won numerous victories in establishing state and local minimum-wage increases progressing in stages to $15. Socialist Action has been supportive of both approaches as a modest down-payment toward an adequate raise.

Socialist Action is part of the historic tradition that works simultaneously for a revolutionary socialist party and for a party based on the foundation of our only class-based mass organizations—our unions. We think that a labor party will come about as the outgrowth of a reborn democratic, fighting union movement.

A labor party will be a giant step forward toward breaking the ruling-class political monopoly and will work toward putting a government in power that is run by and for the working class.

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