Elections 2022: Workers Vote For Progressive Ballot Measures While Congress Stagnates

By: Red Nesbitt, Red Phoenix Correspondent Maryland

The 2022 US midterm elections are generally concluded, with votes still being counted in Nevada and a run-off election scheduled for December for the Senate races in Georgia. House results are still unknown in Colorado, New Mexico and Maine. The Democratic Party has seen its greatest success in gubernatorial races since 1986. With its coalition with the two Independents in the Senate, and with a potential victory in Georgia, the Democrats may have the slightest of majorities in both Congressional Houses. Before the votes have even been fully counted, liberal pundits have already triumphantly declared the failure of the “red wave to materialize.”

This is a dangerous enthusiasm from the talking heads of the Democrats. In 2020 the Biden/Harris ticket won the presidency with the largest popular vote in US history, and at that same time the Democrats lost seats in the House and the Republicans won the governor’s race in Virginia. Only the democratic party could be elated at half victories or small defeats. The American people still lack a true voice in congress, with conservative Democrats-in-name-only such as Sinema and Manchin in the Senate and a slim majority, as it stands, of 8 seats in the House. The victory here, though not insignificant, will likely only lead to further stagnation in national government.  Despite possessing a tie-breaking vote, Kamala Harris accepted a compromised COVID relief bill that omitted a $15 minimum wage and $2,000 stimulus checks. Just recently Congress failed to pass federal legislation protecting reproductive rights, which were endangered by the criminal decision of the SCOTUS. 

There are some points of powerful indication to the will and intention of the masses. On several ballot issue items across the nation, the people of this country checked the box for progress, not to be found in the Democrats but in direct action and initiative. Vermont, California, Michigan, and Kentucky voted in decisive margins to protect reproductive rights in their states: 65% in CA, 76% in VT, 56% in MI, and 52% in KY. Maryland and Missouri have legalized recreational marijuana. Nebraska and Nevada have approved increases in the minimum wage as Washington DC has eliminated a legal loophole for minimum wage employment. Orange County, FL has approved a measure of rent control, now left to the mercy of the FL judicial system. In Cook County, IL, voters approved funding alternatives for mental health services and social services to take priority over increased police department spending in order to combat crime. Also in Illinois, a constitutional amendment was passed easily to ban “right to work” in the state. In Kingston, NYC, the rent regulation board rolled back rent for 1200 dwellings by up to 15% in the face of popular mobilization. The American people have proven once again that, given the opportunity, they are more decisive and further to the left than the bourgeois hacks that claim to represent them.

Unlike the Democratic Party, the working class is not resting on its laurels, and activists and organizations must not let up. The meager, regional gains of individual states and the meek promises of the political players of the “Democratic” party cannot meaningfully repair the foundation of exploitation that props up the United States’ sociopolitical-economic edifice. The working masses of this country must continue to organize against reactionary terror, against imperialist war making with Russia, for universal healthcare for all Americans, for social housing, for the end of unemployment, and against the social violence targeting marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ community, women, and POC. The American proletariat has voted today, it will and MUST organize tomorrow, and the American Party of Labor will be on the front lines with them until we have won a nation without exploitation and oppression.

Categories: Statements, U.S. News

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