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Why we are running in the 2012 presidential elections

The Party for Socialism and Liberation is proud to announce that our party is fielding a slate of candidates for the office of president and vice president of the United States in the 2012 elections. 

PSL member and Howard University graduate Peta Lindsay is the PSL’s presidential candidate. PSL member Yari Osorio, an immigrant from Colombia now living in New York City, is the vice-presidential candidate. The party also will run local candidates in various cities across the country.

The PSL is a revolutionary Marxist party in the United States that struggles for socialism. We want a revolution; and, we work hard to make it happen. 

The PSL is involved in struggles—both large and small—that affect the U.S. working class. From the Occupy movement to the anti-war movement and the fight for immigrant rights; from struggles for affordable housing and health care to combating racist police brutality; from the movement for women’s rights and LGBT equality to labor and union struggles—the PSL is at the forefront of the class struggle against the capitalists and their rotten system.

We are comprised of militant, working-class organizers and leaders dedicated to advancing the struggle for workers’ power.

Our party knows that revolution is necessary. We fight for reforms that ease the burden on workers and oppressed people, but ultimately reforms are not enough. We know that revolutions are made in the streets, in the factories and other workplaces, and in the military units when workers—in and out of uniform—become conscious that the power of the capitalist bosses and the generals must be replaced with the power of the people. This is the message that the PSL will bring through its intervention in the 2012 elections. 

Without a doubt, the capitalist electoral system is a sham. It is a rigged system to ensure the domination of the tiny ruling class of Wall Street bankers, corporations and big-business owners over the vast majority of people in the United States—the working class.

The electoral system is not the final arena of struggle for the working class. But it is where the attention of workers will be drawn this year.

Well over 100 million workers, students and organizers participate in the capitalist elections every four years. Those who do not directly participate are forced to listen closely, because the corporate media focuses on the elections many months before they take place. This year is no exception. 

But the elections will sorely disappoint anyone longing for real change. Those who want a better life, a better world, an immediate end to the imperialist war, better wages for workers, free health care, and full economic and social equality for everyone will not get any of those things from the big-business candidates currently on parade.

In the United States, two capitalist parties dominate political life inside the system. Candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties bask in the glow of the electoral contest. The contest, however, is really one between two parties of war and exploitation, two parties of extreme wealth. It is a bankrupt exercise.

More than $2 billion will be spent by the candidates that ultimately get the parties’ nominations. Hundreds of millions have already been raised, much of it spent in the run-up to the primary season. 

These candidates from the parties of big capital do not represent the interests of workers or oppressed people. They may speak demagogically and pay lip-service to “the interests of working people,” but they do not mean a word of it.

All of the pro-corporate candidates, time and time again, have pledged themselves to manage the affairs of the U.S. ruling class if elected. Their campaign platforms may articulate the outlook of different wings of the ruling class, but at the end of the day they all have the same goal. All capitalist candidates could share a single slogan—“Profits over people”—that is, if they wanted to tell the naked truth. 

These capitalist candidates are fighting tooth and nail in the elections process to control the huge U.S. government apparatus and the right to direct, along with bureaucratic government agencies, where the trillions of dollars of government contracts with big business will go in years to come. 

They also are battling to control the state’s repressive apparatus: the police, military, courts and prisons—the real source of the capitalists’ power.

The U.S. electoral system is reflective of a capitalist plutocracy. We live under a government of, by and for the wealthy. These politicians—from President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and on down the line—are fully beholden to their corporate backers, the 1 %. Even if they started off from humble backgrounds or espoused progressive positions earlier in their careers, not one politician will be able to become president of the United States unless they adjust their positions to that which is acceptable to the capitalist vultures and the military-industrial complex. Each one of them will embrace the goals of U.S. imperialist domination or they will be dumped unceremoniously by the Republican and Democratic parties. None of them will forward the working-class struggle. 

They aim to get elected not to serve the “American people” as they claim, but to serve the miniscule capitalist class. Some of them are actual capitalists themselves.

Workers are asked to vote every four years for who will oppress them for the next four years. The PSL’s entry into the 2012 elections gives workers, students and oppressed people the opportunity to vote for and work with candidates from a party that is already fighting in their interests. 

The PSL is not a party of professional politicians. We are a party of professional revolutionaries. Our candidates—Lindsay and Osorio—are different because they do not serve the interests of big capital. Quite the contrary, they have spent their lives fighting against it.

The PSL’s campaign provides a true alternative for workers. Our program is rooted in fundamental working-class interests: peace, not war; jobs and people’s needs; equal rights for all; and socialism.

We want to speak to the tens of millions of working-class and oppressed people who desire real change but will not get it through the capitalist electoral process. We want to fight shoulder to shoulder with our class—the working class—in every struggle against the profit system. We want to be a catalyst to raise working-class consciousness in every arena. 

Most importantly, we want to spread the ideas of revolution, of true change. We know that change is possible; we know that it will happen. We also know that it takes an energetic struggle.

There are some progressives who will argue against our campaign. They will say, “You will not get elected,” and then cynically accuse us of conspiring to take away votes from President Obama, the “liberal” alternative to the right-wing Republican candidates. But nearly three years into Obama’s presidency—things have not simply stayed the same, they have gotten worse for working and poor people. Millions more working-class people are unemployed, over five million more people lack health insurance this year than in 2008, millions of homes have been foreclosed and union busting is on the rise.

We cannot wait around for the “change” that will never come. As people are occupying Wall Street and cities throughout the country, cries for real change—revolutionary change—are building. The PSL is running to push that hunger for revolutionary change into the forefront of this bourgeois electoral campaign cycle.

Put simply: We want to take away the capitalist candidates’ votes. We want to expose the Democratic and Republican Party leaderships as the frauds, bigots and warmongers that they are. We want to shine a bright light on the criminal character of the system and its political representatives. We aim to recruit more working people to the movement for socialism. Socialism is a system that justly turns capitalism on its head—it puts people over profits. 

The capitalist hacks and their media mouthpieces cannot be the only voices speaking to people about “change” throughout the 2012 elections cycle. With the PSL’s vigorous participation and intervention, this will not happen. 

We will get into the debates, we will go door to door, we will hold rallies, speak outs, protests, sit-ins and more to be heard. The PSL’s campaign will reach out to workers and the oppressed with a message of hope, and with a message of real struggle.

The PSL’s 2012 campaign is meant to inspire more working-class organizing, agitation and revolutionary consciousness. We will take the ideas of socialism—a better, more just society; the way forward for humanity—to the workers and poor people in the United States. The PSL’s campaign will open a much-needed avenue for workers to wage political combat against the capitalist establishment and their corrupt representatives.

Our candidates will travel to every part of the country to spread this message.

Join the PSL’s 2012 campaign. Raise the banner of socialism. Champion the cause of the working class. 

Become an advocate for people’s rights and revolutionary change.