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Starry Messenger

Profile Information

Name: Decline to State
Gender: Female
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Home country: USA
Current location: Left Coast
Member since: Sat Apr 9, 2005, 08:01 PM
Number of posts: 32,339

About Me

Artist, high school teacher and "hard-liner" (yet to be defined).

Journal Archives

The Election of Abraham Lincoln


"The election in 1860 was the hardest fought in the history of the United States up to that time. The Republican Party made an all-out successful effort to win the decisive support of the great masses of turners, workers, immigrants, and free Negroes, who were all part of great new coalition under the leadership of the northern bourgeoisie. Philip S. Foner states that "It is not an exaggeration to say that the Republican Party fought its way to victory in the campaign of 1860 as the party of free labor."

Lincoln was a very popular candidate among the toiling masses. He was known to be an enemy of slavery; his many pro-labor expressions had won him a wide following among the workers; his advocacy of the Homestead bill had secured him backing among the farmers of the North and West; and his fight against bigoted native "know-nothingism" had entrenched him generally among the foreign-born. He faced three opposing presidential candidates—Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell—representing the three-way split in the Democratic Party, and all supporting slavery in one way or another. Lincoln stood on a platform of "containing slavery" to its existing areas. There was no candidate pledged for outright abolition.

In the bitterly fought election the slavocrats, who also had many contacts and supporters in the North, denounced Lincoln with every slander that their fertile minds could concoct. The redbaiters of the time shouted against "Black Republicanism" and "Red Republicanism." Pro-slavery employers and newspapers tried to intimidate the workers by threatening them with discharge, by menacing them with a prospect of economic crisis, and by warning them that Negro emancipation would create a flood of cheap labor which would ruin wage rates. At the same time, the reactionaries tried to split the young Republican Party by cultivating "know-nothing" anti-foreign movements inside its ranks.

The Marxists were very active in this vital election struggle. The clarity of their anti-slavery stand and their militant spirit made up for their still very small numbers. Their key positions in many trade unions enabled them to be a real factor in mobilizing the workers behind Lincoln's candidacy. To this end they spared no effort, holding election meetings of workers in many parts of the North and East. Undoubtedly; the labor vote swung the election for Lincoln, and for this the Marxists were entitled to no small share of the credit.

The Marxists were energetic in winning the decisive foreign-born masses to support Lincoln. In 1860 the foreign-born made up 47.62 percent of the population of New York, 50 percent of Chicago and Pittsburgh, and 59.66 percent of St. Louis, with other cities in proportion. The Germans, by far the largest immigrant group in the country, were a powerful force in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin; Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. They heavily backed Lincoln. "Of the 87 German language newspapers, 69 were for Lincoln."

The Marxists were especially effective in creating pro-Lincoln sentiment among the German-American masses. This was graphically demonstrated at the significant Deutsches Haus conference held in Chicago two days before the opening of the nominating convention of the Republican Party. This national conference represented all sections of German-American life. The Marxists Weydemeyer and Douai, who led the working class forces at the conference, were of decisive importance in shaping the meeting's action. Douai, selected as head of the resolutions committee, wrote for the conference a series of resolutions demanding that "they be applied in a sense most hostile to slavery." These resolutions largely furnished the basis for the election platform of the Republican Party.

The fierce campaign of 1860 concluded with the election of Lincoln. The final tabulation showed: Lincoln, 1,857,710; Douglas, 1,291,574; Breckinridge, 850,082; Bell, 646,124."

~The History of the Communist Party of the United States, William Z. Foster 1947
Posted by Starry Messenger | Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:11 PM (13 replies)

New labor SuperPAC jumps into the political field


Labor's new SuperPAC will be called Workers' Voice, the AFL-CIO announced this week. The labor movement says it formed the SuperPac not because it expects, like the corporate SuperPacs, to be able to raise billions of dollars for political campaigns but because it will allow unions to bring their program to non-union members.

Workers' Voice, the new union SuperPAC, has an initial warchest of $5.4 million, according to the AFL-CIO. It will "activate and energize networks of working families -- both union and non-union -- around political campaigns, legislative issues and holding elected officials accountable," said the labor federation in a statement.

Workers' Voice is the first entry by anyone other than large corporations into a political field of SuperPACs awash in corporate campaign cash thus far funneled into campaign operations with little or no disclosure or accountability. The SuperPACs were made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling two years ago.


Workers' Voice will focus on social networking on issues, on voter registration and protection, and on get-out-the-vote efforts, she said. "It will be dedicated to helping communities of color, seniors, and students exercise their right to participate in the process," Shuler added.

Link to join Worker's Voice: http://www.workersvoice.org/

Like 'em on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WorkersVoice

Posted by Starry Messenger | Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:58 AM (2 replies)
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