RPP OST-1972 ELECTION STATEMENT
Part 1: The Masters of Deceit
Editors' note: The document printed below comprises the first half of a major political statement by the Rainbow People's Party concerning the 1972 electoral campaign and its results, implications and forebodings for the future, both on the national and on the local level. The second half of the statement will be printed in the next issue of the Ann Arbor SUN.
In the aftermath of yesterday's election a lot of people n our community and around the country seem to have fallen into the depths of despair behind Nixon's victory and McGovern's decisive defeat. The righteous hopes so many people had for a substantive change in the ruling elite of this country - a change which would minimally have brought about a truly honorable end to the war in Indochina instead of the ever-increasing escalation of death, destruction and total control which Nixon continues to carry out - seem to have been replaced overnight by the most severe feelings of depression and gloom, with no hopeful signs on the horizon at all.
Although we certainly share this feeling of despair after hoping and in some ways working for McGovern's victory all summer long, we feel very strongly that people are wrong to believe that "all is lost" and "there is no hope left" just because the more progressive of the two capitalist presidential candidates went down to defeat in the 1972 election. Four more years of Richard P. Nixon is unquestionably serious cause for alarm on the part of the progressive people of this country, particularly those people (like ourselves) who have suffered most grievously under this chomp's rule, but in the final analysis it is the people and not creeps like Nixon who will determine the course of history, and in many ways the people's prospects have never been brighter.
Only if we attempt to view and to understand political and social developments from somewhere outside the course of history, that is, from some place which simply does not exist, can we possibly come to the conclusion that "things are worse than ever," that Nixon's victory signals the death of the people's movement for progressive social change, or that there is no reason to keep on struggling because the imperialists are all-powerful and the people grow increasingly weaker. These are positions which are dictated by an idealist (as opposed to a materialist) point of view, or a point of view which strips events and developments of their historical context and views them as isolated occurrences void of any relationship with other events and developments elsewhere on the planet.
But if, on the other hand, we examine the Nixon victory and its implications in the light of world history and particularly in the light of recent American history, relating the present situation directly to its political and historical context, we can see that our condition as progressive people on the North American continent in the year 1972 is nowhere near as grim as our most cynical sisters and brothers would have us believe.
The fact that McGovern could win the presidential nomination by espousing clearly progressive policies, including an immediate end to the war in Indochina and the unconditional withdrawal of U.S. forces from the area, represents a clear advance from the situation which obtained four years ago; and the lengths to which Nixon was forced to go in order to obtain his electoral victory, including complete reversals of his positions on the People's Republic of China, the USSR, domestic repression of political radicals, and the question of a guaranteed annual income for poor people, among others, should indicate that the overall political climate in this country has changed considerably for the better even as it appears to have worsened.
Since Nixon and his gang are the all-time masters of deceit and mass confusion, however, people who are incapable of weighing and examining political developments in the light of their historical context are very frequently confounded and depressed by the cynical manipulation of events and images which the Nixon clique carries out daily in its increasingly desperate attempts to maintain control over the people of the world. The point is that the reactionaries led by Nixon are turning to ever more blatant strategies and ever more contradictory subterfuges, exposing themselves in the process to more and more people as the vicious beasts and monsters they are, further heightening the contradictions between themselves and the progressive people of the world and bringing more and more of those contradictions out into the open where they were able to keep them suppressed and hidden in the past.
The demands of poor and oppressed people within this country and around the world for freedom and justice grow louder and ever more insistent each year; the reactionaries, as a result, are forced to come up with greater distortions and grosser lies and tricks all the time, striving hopelessly to hold back the tide of human progress which is rising higher and higher against the barrier of an obsolete, inhuman, worthless capitalist/imperialist system. Even as the Nixon forces proclaim their greatest victory ever in the 1972 elections, in reality they are losing more and more ground every minute in their fight to retain control over the people of the world.
Many of us are fooled by the image of total control projected by the Nixon-CIA gang, and of course that's just the way they want us to be. But the fact is that this image is as distorted and perverse as the rest of the images they project, with as little basis in reality as their claim to a peaceful settlement of the war, and it is extremely important for all of us to be able to see through the lies and phony images put out by these gangsters as means to controlling our lives.
And what is even more important is that we understand how the rise of revolutionary forces all over the planet, and particularly within the confines of the American domestic empire, coupled with the increasing progressivism of the people as a whole, have forced these reactionaries to come up with ever more desperate strategies for keeping the people under their control.
Our point is that the reactionaries are presently dealing from a position of weakness instead of strength, and that it is their weakness - and not their supposed strength - which dictates the strategies and tactics they develop and use against the people. If they were strong they wouldn't have to go to such lengths to get people to buy their bullshit lines, and they certainly wouldn't be getting exposed in their crimes as they are now. It is just as certainly a sign of progress, for example, that more and more people every day are becoming aware of the basic criminality and inhumanity of the U.S. government and the capitalist imperialist system it helps administer, as it is a sign of progress that the reactionaries are forced by circumstances beyond their control to commit greater and greater crimes in order simply to preserve the status quo.
The 1972 presidential election campaign, and its results, bring these points out in the sharpest and clearest detail, but we have to be able to see how that campaign and those results were bound up in the overall GOP/CIA plan for total control of the planet, and we especially have to understand that it is the increasingly progressive political climate in this country and around the world which makes such measures as the Nixon clique has adopted necessary to their survival. And, once more, we have to understand how McGovern's candidacy, his nomination, his avowedly progressive policies, and his total of almost 40% of the vote cast in the election itself, were all made possible by the growing political consciousness of the people, spoke to that consciousness, gave it a temporary focus so it could develop to a higher level, and gave rise to even a more general consciousness among the people of the vicious desperado nature of the Nixon regime and the economie system it fronts for.
THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
At the outset of the presidential Campaign, and increasingly as the campaign unfolded, we felt that George McGovern had an excellent chance of winning the election and unseating the unholy Nixon juggernaut. We felt this way not only because the majority sentiment in our own Ann Arbor community was behind McGovern (as the election results indicate beyond a doubt), but primarily because we felt that, all things being equal, the masses of people in this country would jump at the chance to elect what they could see and understand as a clear alternative to Richard the Pig-Hearted and his murderous foreign and domestic policies. We felt that McGovern could create a strong base of support among rainbow people and other oppressed national minorities as well as among Euro-American workers, unemployed people and progressive honks of all stripes, and we felt that McGovern could develop this base and constantly add to it by continuing to espouse the clear-cut progressive policies which had won him the Democratic nomination after a string of primary victories.
We felt that McGovern had won the nomination by positing himself as a clear-cut alternative, within the capitalist system, to the reactionary Nixon clique and its dinosaur policies, and to the lying, double-dealing, gangsterish Nixon himself. We feit that Nixon had reac'hed the end of his rope with the American people, and that anybody who could present himself or herself to the people as an honest, sincere, humanistic candidate with a program for alleviating the people's burdens (without attacking the basic principles of capitalism which cause the people their misery in the first place) could march on into November and the presidential election with an ever-increasing base of support and a decisive victory (albeit a narrow one) over the epitome of pig himself, Richard P. Nixon.
But all things are not equal, as the events of the past few months make clear, and in the end it was the discrepancy between McGovern's potential and his actual performance, on the one hand, and the unprecedented political gangsterism and thuggery of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) and its cohorts in the capitalist "news" media on the other, that gained Nixon his desperate victory.
McGovern's fatal flaw was his incredible inability to establish himself as a real alternative to Nixon; he came out initially as the knight in shining armor who would never stoop to the depths of Richard the Pig-Hearted in attempting to win the votes of the American people, but once he had thus defined himself he did everything within his power to prove that he was in fact as unprincipled, as opportunistic, as callous and as desperate as the big oink in his ambition to hold the throne of U.S. imperialism.
The policies McGovern had originally espoused, and which we believe had gained for him the support he enjoyed early in the summer, he quickly began to repudiate as soon as he had garnered the Democratic nomination; his personal integrity, which he had held up n contradistinction to the obvious crookedness and greed of the Nix, was immediately exposed as a total sham by the Eagleton affair; he took for granted and even ignored the people who had provided him with his initial base while making a big play for the votes of the most incorrigible honkies in the Nixon camp, reversing his somewhat principled and progressive positions on many vital political issues in the process; and he began increasingly to sow confusion and doubt among the people al most everywhere he turned after the Democratic convention was over.
McGovern's most serious mistake, as we see it, was his repudiation of his genuine power base among progressive people, and particularly among rainbow people, in favor of the barely possible support he thought he could enlist from the racists, hack politicians, and other dinosaur elements who make up Nixon's primary power base. As his campaign unfolded McGovern and his campaign staff consistently refused to express solidarity with those elements of the progressive forces who had the most to offer him in the way of energy and material support, and the efforts of many experienced and concerned people from the rainbow culture to offer aid to the McGovern campaign were spurned time and time again (including elements as diverse as Bill Graham and the RPP) in McGovern's frantic rush to dissociate himself from his "radical" supporters ("radical" meaning anyone to the left of say, Dick Cavett).
One major consequence of McGovern's bogus campaign, we believe, was a tremendous defection from his ranks on the part of the large bulk of mildly-progressive honkies who would eagerly endorse a candidate distinctly different from Nixon but who would rather stick with Nixon, a proven quantity if nothing else, than to entrust their fate to the hands of a bungling, incompetent nincompoop who wouldn't be counted on to take the same stand two days in a row.
Another major consequence was the steady erosion of his righteous base of support among rainbow people and other genuinely progressive elements of the people who increasingly came to see McGovern as he really was - a typically opportunistic and unprincipled bourgeois politician who was concerned first of all with gaining political power for himself and his own retinue and only secondarily (if at all) with the needs of the people he proposed as his constituency.
Worthy of special note was McGovern's almost believably inept campaign organization, a collection of political opportunists, totally idealistic college students and intellectuals, would-be party hacks and bright young cynics which found itself almost totally incapable of understanding either the temper of the people or the political and social climate in which we live. The thousands of dedicated McGovern workers who placed themselves under the leadership of these goofy campaign strategists had their energy and time ripped off and misused by the McGovern (pea-)brain trust, while many skilled potential volunteers had their offers of assistance rejected out of hand or piddled away due to disorganization and simple incompetence on the part of the McGovern campaign staff, both locally and nationally.
With the opportunity to wage a hard-driving rock and roll campaign among his largest single class of supporters, for example, a campaign which could've drawn from the entire spectrum of popular music, musicians and music industry personnel and which could've created the most intense popular support movement in the history of presidential elections, McGovern consistently refused to take advantage of the resources at his disposal and instead kept slipping further and further away from the people who were most fervently in his corner. Given his miserable performance in this all-important area, the size of the voting turnout and the determination of so many people, including millions voting for the first time ever, to do at least this one concrete thing they could do to bring about some kind of progressive change, is beautiful testimony to the political level of the supposedly "apathetic" masses of rainbow people and to their commitment to evicting Nixon even if it meant voting for some pud who seemed to have nothing else going for himself except that he was running against the master oinkster himself.
NIXON THE INTERNATIONAL OUTLAW & DOMESTIC GANGSTER
But the failures of the McGovern campaign, heavy as they were, are not the principal factor in McGovern's defeat. Far more important in winning the re-election of the president, in our estimation, were the criminal strategies and tactics of Nixon and his gang of CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President) wire-tappers, saboteurs, counterespionage weirdos, evil genius bankers and rip-off artists galore, master propagandists of the highest order since Goebbels (and the most cooperative press since the fall of the Third Reich), political whores and bandits and outright thugs whose exploits are unparalleled in the annals of political crime, a mob of openly vicious and totally unprincipled criminais of all stripes who were prepared to stop at nothing in their insane determination to keep the government in the hands of the Nixon clique for at least four more years.
The CREEP forces intensified the strategies which had been mapped out by the Republican Party CIA high command in 1968, using the office of the presidency as a platform for staging horrendous international spectacles which played cruelly on the deepest and most beautifully human emotions of millions of people around the world, acts of armed aggression of an unparalleled viciousness and depravity were carried out in the name of "peace"; monstrous distortions of truth and history, along with the most bald-faced lies imaginable, were offered daily as the official line from the office of the president of the United States; thousands of innocent people within the U.S. were terrorized and persecuted by the president's campaign manager, acting under the cloak of the Department of "Justice"; the press and electronic media were masterfully orchestrated and used as primary propaganda devices against the American people by the Nixon clique, with the full and eager cooperation of the media barons whose interests Nixon is paid handsomely to represent; millions upon millions of dollars were stealthily transferred into the CREEP campaign chest by the international bandits of imperialism and their henchmen in the CREEP organization after having been ripped off by thievery and trickery from the people of the world; the Democratic Party campaign organization was burglarized, sabotaged, wiretapped, infiltrated and otherwise crippled by the CREEP agents; the most brutally cynical manipulation of human consciousness of all time was carried out hour by hour over a four-year period, utilizing every resource available to the office of the presidency, solely in order to preserve the interests of the miniscule class of monopoly capitalists Nixon fronts for and serves unceasingly, with his every breath, and to guarantee the re-election of their plastic puppet to another four-year term.
It should be understood that we do not use the terms "criminal," "gangster," or "outlaw" lightly; nor do we mean the terms "vicious," "brutal," and "depraved" to be taken any less seriously. Examined in the light of the most minimal standards of human decency, the Nixon-CREEP re-election effort stands perfectly revealed as the most perverse political campaign in human history, utilizing as it did mass murder, genocide, international treachery, the most massive destructive effort in the history of the world, domestic terrorism, a constant flow of lies and misrepresentations, mass hypnosis, political sabotage, assassination and total control to bring about the shoddy victory Nixon won last Tuesday.
It is important above all to understand the role of the Nixon- CREEP propaganda machinery and the devices at its disposal. We do not mean to exaggerate the actual conditions by saying that the Nixon regime is engaged in the most massive thought-control program yet attempted in the history of humanity, nor do we hesitate to recognize from the results of Tuesday 's election the fact that this brainwashing effort is enjoying a high degree of success among the American people. But the extent to which the Nixon mind-control plan is working is precisely the reason why we have to understand what the CIA/GOP brain trust is up to, and how its brilliant media strategy of the past four years has been successful.
We have quoted many times in the past Huey P. Newton's profound statement that "Power is the ability to define phenomena and make them act in the desired manner," but it has never been more applicable than to the Nixon-CREEP media manipulation campaign. Since his re-entry into national politics in 1968 Nixon and his henchmen have worked relentlessly to impose their own twisted version of reality on the public mind, using every media resource and every vicious trick at their disposal - and remember that these men operate through the office of the president of the United States, which means that they have virtually every mass Communications medium now in existence through which to project their vile propaganda - to define events and situations as they would have people understand and accept them.
The definitions these men project are backed up by acts of armed propaganda on the most massive and inhuman scale; at the same time, their every move in the international arena is accompanied by a steady flow of lies and misrepresentations through the mass Communications media, a constant stream of carefully structured words and images designed to advance the twisted definitions of reality these creeps insist on. A line is put forward or a policy announced, and the armed might of the world's most glutted nation is immediately brought to bear on that unfortunate sector of the world's population, the subjugation of which has been declared indispensable to the survival of the imperialist system.
At the same time the vast economic power of the U.S. is brought into line with the government's stated policy and used mercilessly to force that policy through; and the weapon of cultural imperialism, whereby the degrading culture developed by the imperialists as a means of preserving their economic and political control over their own people is imposed upon oppressed peoples all over the planet who are already in the zone from having to combat the military-political and economic weapons of imperialism - the weapon of cultural imperialism is likewise turned against the targets of this latest plan of ag-
If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. - Malcolm X