RGV workers should reject "Progressive" candidates in 2022
By Jonathan Salinas
As November elections draw near, the capitalist Democratic Party is positioning "Progressive" candidates in place to prevent us from organizing independently and from forming and building a party of, by and for labor.
At the state level, the discredited fraud and weasel Francis "Beto" O'Rourke recently announced his candidacy for Governor, which he will certainly lose. Just as he failed at the U.S. Senate to run for President in 2018, and failed at the Presidency in 2020 to run for Governor in 2022, he is now planning to fail at the Governorship to run for President again in 2024, as Joe Biden's cabinet falls deeper and deeper into crisis, in O'Rourke's vain and endless quest to fail upwards.
In the Rio Grande Valley, the "nonprofit" La Union del Pueblo Entero endorsed a local landlord they're styling as an "entrepreneur" and "Progressive" to replace Congressman Vicente Gonzalez of District 15 who announced he'd be vacating his seat to run for District 34, in the aftermath of congressional redistricting. Michelle Vallejo, a 30-year-old who basically inherited and now "co-owns" a flea market near Mission with her father, was announced as LUPE's pick December 13. After Unete 956 criticized LUPE for the deceptive manner in which they've de facto endorsed political candidates despite their "nonprofit" status, over the years, they launched a political arm called "LUPE Votes" or "We the Pueblo" to legally and openly endorse political candidates. Vallejo is their first endorsement.
According to the McAllen Monitor, now called "My RGV," Vallejo studied political science and history at Columbia University in New York City where she worked with unnamed "nonprofits" after graduation. Moving back home in 2016, Vallejo's collaborated with LUPE to host events at the flea market that her parents opened 23 years ago. The Monitor reports Vallejo also co-owns "Hustle + Socialize," a conference held in San Antonio for women in "business leadership" founded in 2018, as well as co-founding a local chapter of "New Leaders Council" in 2020.
From these affiliations, we can see Vallejo represents a layer of middle-class reformist currents who spread the illusion that capitalism can be improved for workers, if only "Progressive" candidates could be elected. With the failure of the Sanders movement in 2016, the subsequent betrayals of "The Squad" and their ineptitude to do anything for working people and the total and final humiliation of Sanders yet again in 2020, the "Progressive" movement has been completely vacated by working-class militants who were once a part of it. The only remaining members are ambitious middle-class careerists looking to make names for themselves.
Regarding platform, Vallejo was quoted as saying she would run on "Medicare for All," which even Sanders and the overrated "AOC" and the rest of the "Progressive" imposters have abandoned. No serious class-conscious worker believes "single-payer" healthcare is possible under capitalism, as the experience of "Force the Vote" definitively demonstrated. Even when the independent "Movement for a People's Party" organized Medicare for All marches earlier this year, not a single "Progressive" endorsed it or showed up to the events.
The Monitor reports Vallejo also supports raising the federal minimum wage, which working-class militants see as a dead-end as we have found that the only way to fight for better wages is through our unions; she supports a federal jobs guarantee, which is impossible under capitalism as capitalism by its nature requires a "reserve army" of unemployed workers; she supports "green energy jobs," which are a trap for working people as the majority of the world does not possess electricity and the only way to prevent the capitalist bosses from polluting the earth is through workers' control of production; and she supports "immigrant justice," a euphemism for immigration reform and a way of not saying "amnesty for all" -- a demand essential for unifying the labor movement.
Ever since the early twentieth century, the capitalist Democratic Party has used all kinds of schemes to funnel the working-class into voting for it. "Progressives" used to be called "Friends of Labor" from the 30s to the 90s. The Progressive Era at the turn of the twentieth century was characterized by middle-class reforms, during a time when American capitalism tolerated reforms, before bureaucratizing in the 30s. After the 1930s, the "Progressive" label was mostly used by Stalinists to justify support for Democrat Franklin Delanor Roosevelt's entry into the Second Imperialist Bloodbath, as they claimed to be supporting "Progressive forces" within the DP who then framed-up the anti-war Socialist Workers Party as America entered WWII. Today the term "Progressive" is mostly self-serving and, to the extent it attempts to lead us into a counter-revolutionary party, is used to justify "Regressive" politics.
As revolutionary workers, however, we must bear in mind that there is an objective use of the term "Progressive" in our movement going back to Marx. Capitalism once possessed a revolutionary and progressive content, as it overthrew feudalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, breaking humanity away from the rule of kings and queens which plagued us for millennia. But ever since the nineteenth century, as the capitalist class solidified their power and proved incapable of spreading the rights of The Enlightenment to the toiling masses within and without their national borders, the international working-class is the only class that possesses a progressive content and character.
For it is the working-class of every country, who've nothing to lose except our chains, that will wrench production and state power out of the hands of the parasitic capitalists who steal the value our labor produces, as we create a new world based on solidarity and advancing the interests of the vast majority.
The only way we can do that here in America, as exemplified in the Bolshevik and Cuban Revolutions, is by forming a labor party composed of workers that advances a revolutionary internationalist road here in the Valley and the rest of the country. It is precisely this course that the "Progressive" wing of the capitalist Democratic Party seeks to prevent, at all costs.