Letters to John Christopher Burton, candidate for California governor
24 September 2003
Below we post a selection of letters to John Christopher Burton, the candidate for governor supported by the Socialist Equality Party in the California recall election. To contact Mr. Burton’s campaign, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I find myself reading through the news of the day that seems to grow more dividing and volatile. It is as if the focus in this recall is on race and special interest groups. None of the candidates focus on the real issues of the people or even give any depth to what will happen once the election is over and what will happen next year with the next budget slashes.
During the presidential election, I voted for Ralph Nader and took a lot of flak from Democrats. I still take a lot of flak from Democrats because I don’t agree and decided to assert my own individuality in my own small way in my right to vote for my choice. I read this stuff from Democrats and Republicans and come away feeling totally confused. Then I turn to the World Socialist Web Site, read an article, read your platform and clarity returns.
I know that you will not be elected governor of this state, but by voting for you I join others in letting the media and main party candidates know there are people out here with a different voice. Your platform is ethical and sound and provides clarity in the midst of fear about what is happening now and may happen to California and the USA down the road.
I signed petitions on MoveOn.Org against our invasion of Iraq. I was called un-American by some for doing this. And look, today everybody agrees this war is wrong and we were misled. My father once told me that even if I was in the minority of opinion, I needed to go ahead and express myself because the minority opinion is what effects real changes in the greater whole. My father was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, along with his colleagues and friends because they were progressives and active in supporting Henry Wallace for president.
So, I guess I tend to feel fear as well and live in a city that is very right-winged. Every day, however, I get a little stronger and to the point where I dare announce, “You know who I’m going to vote for? I’m going to vote for John Burton.”* * *
Thank you for covering so extensively the John Christopher Burton campaign in the California recall election. His reported remarks help us all to understand more fully and precisely what the platform is of the Socialist Equality Party—a party we want to support. Through his campaign we are getting a chance to see how a socialist perspective would be translated into tangible policies and initiatives. But I say, JCB for Governor—NOT! JCB for President!
21 September 2003* * *
John Christopher Burton,
I want to wish all the best in your campaign.
I followed Bush’s election to the presidency of America with a lot of disgust. I do not understand up to now why Americans could have voted such a person into presidency. I know the debacle of the Florida votes—why they were refused to be counted, and the repercussions for that has squarely translated into suffering of the Americans. Bush and his inner circle have proved beyond any doubt that they are a gang of thieves who have no interest whatsoever in workers throughout the whole world. It is absolutely a shame to see a country that has a lot of resources being mismanaged to such an extent they can be chronicled by people thousands of miles away from you—even people in my remote part of the [world].
Bush and Blair have been the most disastrous presidents/prime ministers the world has ever produced. The suffering of the Iraq people caused by these two should never be allowed to rest by the international community. They went to war with Iraq with the explicit aim of stealing an entire country for its resources.
Up to now the Americans have not been told the truth about this imperialist war and this is why two years afterwards Americans can still believe Saddam was involved in September 11. It is common knowledge outside America that the Bush administration was warned of the impending catastrophe but deliberately stood down their security agency to intercept the would-be hijackers. Why up to now have no investigations been carried out? All these are questions Americans have the right to demand from the Bush administration.
Your campaign should not leave any stone unturned, the truth must be said. I know you will have a big problem with the media blackout on your campaign, but it is important for you to soldier on. I will suggest to you to use emails and public addresses, especially at universities. Please use your campaign to enlighten the American masses to vote out both the Republicans and Democrats in the next presidential election, as both parties are driven by multinationals for profit motivations. Please, I beg you to really consider having a socialist candidate for the next presidential election.
The suffering we are also going through here in Zimbabwe is unbelievable. This is caused by none other than Bush/Blair’s policies towards our country because Zimbabweans have forcibly taken some of the land from the hands of the white minority here. The land was to be shared equally amongst Zimbabweans, but the two countries have reneged on their commitment to fund the land reform and this has caused great suffering. The masses have had enough of the double standards of both the Americans and British and demanded land from the white minority. Since 1998 the country has been under sanctions from America and the European Union for no reason other than that Zimbabweans are claiming what is rightfully theirs. I cannot see less than 1 percent of the people allowed to own 90 percent of prime land in Zimbabwe, 23 years after Zimbabwe independence. Which country on earth will tolerate such stupidity?
I therefore ask your campaign to highlight the magnitude of Bush’s thuggery throughout the whole world. There is no single corner of the world which is not hurt by America’s imperialist policies. Throughout the world people are resenting America so much that it is now a disgrace to be an American. Bush’s policies are creating more enemies for America than any other president ever did. Please, I once again ask you to seriously expose Bush’s leadership. The UN has been turned into a spectator in Iraq and throughout the world—is that good? We might as well dismantle it because right now the UN is serving the imperialist interests of America. No sane person will accept that rubbish.
You have thousands of people throughout the world behind you—please bring back the respect America deserves.
Zimbabwe* * *
After reading your candidate’s statement for the California recall election of 2003, I found we have similar political interests. I want to take this moment to wish you well and best of luck with your campaign. Finally, I wanted to let you know that you can count on my vote.
RB* * *
Dear Mr. Burton,
I’ve just read about your election campaign in beautiful California. I’m very happy that there are really interesting guys out there in the US. I’ve been over there in the western states several times during the last 20 years, first as a German air force trainee, then as a tourist, and I always dreamed about going to the US to retire.
Since the last Gulf War with Bush senior and the illegal election of your current president, I don’t even want to go to the US for a vacation. There are so many offenses against civil rights and illegal acts against foreign guests that we decided to go for Canada or maybe Sweden.
I am happy to have been born in 1958, so that I didn’t have to live under the Nazi terror like my parents. I love to live without fear. Now many of our friends ask why we feared the USSR for so many years, when the US is doing things worse.
Please do your best to get the US back to a kind and friendly member of the world. The best of your country are the people who are honest, helpful, kind and friendly. There were times when I was sad not to be born an American. Maybe this will come back in the future.
All the best for your campaign and your family and friends,
Kiel, Germany (old Europe)