Fact Check

CPUSA for John Kerry

Is the Communist Party USA endorsing John Kerry for President?

Published Sep 22, 2004


Claim:   The Communist Party USA is endorsing John Kerry for President.

Status:   Multiple — see below.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

The Communist Party of The United States of America, CPUSA, is publicly supporting the election of John Kerry.

No, this is not a typo...you read it correctly. The CPUSA has made available on its Web site, https://www.cpusa.org/, an advertisement entitled Top Ten Reasons To Defeat Bush. This advertisement can be downloaded. The communist party urges readers to place this ad in local newspapers throughout the country to defeat President Bush.

Remarkably, the "Top Ten Reasons" of the Communist party are identical to those of the Democratic party; out-sourcing, homosexual rights, abortion and the like. At first, it was thought that "this was only a coincidence." The Democratic party of the United States couldn't be in lock step with the Marxists! So, the originator of this email wrote to a spokesman of the CPUSA in Georgia and here is part of the spokesman's letter: "The CPUSA supports the John Kerry campaign with donations and volunteer effort. We believe that defeating George Bush is the single most important issue this November"

**Next, it was discovered that one of Kerry's campaign themes is "Let America be America Again." This slogan was borrowed from a Communist poet, Langston Hughes. This is not common knowledge to the average American. "Let America be America Again" sounds good but is a rambling, gloomy poem.

Interestingly, another poem by Langston goes as follows; "Goodbye, Christ Jesus, Lord, God, Jehovah, Beat it on away from here now. Make way for a new guy with no religion at all — A real guy named Marx, communist, Lenin, Peasant, Stalin, Worker, ME — I said, ME!"

Then, if this was not convincing enough that the Democratic party has lost it, a third discovery!

**A Vietnam vet group took a trip to Communist Hanoi to investigate a report that John Kerry was in the "Hanoi Hall of Fame." Yes, there is a museum in Hanoi with a section dedicated to foreign activists who help defeat the United States Military in Vietnam. Of course, you would expect Jane Fonda's picture to be there. But, alas, there is John Kerry's picture shaking the hand of a communist official. Never has there been such a tragedy! Never has there been such a threat to America! Has the Democratic party been taken over by the far, far left?

It's not only the communists but the homosexual activists who are appalled that George Bush is married to a woman! They are enraged that the President wants a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage between a man and woman.

Then we have the ACLU running to a federal activist judge with every piece of legislation that doesn't fit into their leftist agenda. They support every Democratic socialist whim. The removal of the Ten Commandments is their top priority!

Don't trust this message for the truth — visit the CPUSA website at https://www.cpusa.org/ — read the articles, and then decide for yourself.

Origins:   One of the consequences of the Electoral College system used by the United States in presidential elections is that no fringe party or independent candidate with limited appeal has a realistic chance of gaining the White House. Because each state is allocated a number of electoral votes based on its population, and a successful candidate must win enough states to accumulate a majority of the electoral votes, a presidential aspirant cannot prevail simply by accumulating a large number of votes in one particular region of the country or by receiving a plurality of the popular vote in a crowded


For example, even though segregationist governor George Wallace of Alabama received millions of votes in the 1968 presidential election, he had no chance of capturing an Electoral College majority because his appeal as a candidate was limited to the southern states. Likewise, when the political divisions that preceded the Civil War produced a four-way race for the White House in 1860, Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois finished last despite receiving as many popular votes as the second- and third-place candidates combined, because he was the first-choice candidate of only a single state (Missouri).

Faced with these odds, sometimes fringe parties and independent candidates undertake quixotic runs for the presidency anyway, for a variety of reasons — to make points about our political system, to try to establish themselves as viable entities in future elections, or to publicize a particular issue (or set of issues) which major-party candidates may not be discussing. Other times, though, non-major parties choose not to run candidates of their own, but to instead align themselves with or support the candidate of the party that most closely meshes with their political platform (or has the best chance of defeating the candidate most antithetical to their platform).

The latter point is applicable in this case. The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) has chosen not to field its own candidate in the 2004 presidential election. Since the CPUSA would be classified as a party of the "far left," their platform is more likely to mesh with that of — and thus it is more likely to support the candidate of — the Democratic Party, the more leftward of the two major political parties.

Even at that, however, the CPUSA's response to inquiries about its preference in the upcoming presidential election makes it clear that it don't really "endorse" Senator John Kerry or any other major candidate — its platform is far more anti-Bush than it is pro-Kerry or pro-Democrat, and it "supports" Kerry in the sense of acknowledging that he is the candidate with the best chance of accomplishing the goal of defeating George W. Bush:

Thanks for your question.

We aren't running a candidate for president this year. We haven't endorsed any of the major candidates. However, the reality is that if Bush is going to be defeated this year, it will be by Kerry, and it is crucial that we beat Bush.

While both Kerry and Bush are ruling class candidates, there are significant differences — for example, Cuba is worried that if Bush is re-elected, Bush will invade Cuba. For example, Kerry has pledged to sign a bill legalizing card-check union elections, which would result in the organization of many million more workers into the labor movement. While we disagree with many of Kerry's positions, we aren't indifferent to the differences between the Republican and Democratic positions and policies.

We aren't running national candidates this year for several reasons:

1. Our focus on the defeat (or re-defeat) of Bush. This is the critical task facing our country.

2. Since we are a small party, we don't want to dissipate our efforts.

3. Over the past decades, many state legislatures have made it more difficult to get candidates on the ballot-by requiring huge numbers of voter's signatures, by requiring that anyone who signs a petition to place a "minor" party candidate on the ballot is thereby ineligible to vote in a major party primary, or requiring signatures from all counties in a state. The requirements vary from state to state, but these requirements constitute a significant barrier to ballot access, and consume huge resources just to get on the ballot in most states.

Thanks for your interest, and I hope this response clarifies our position.

CPUSA National Office

As political bedfellows go, this is far less a case of "He's the man for us!" than it is a case of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The coda about there hanging in a "Hanoi Hall of Fame" a picture of "John Kerry's shaking the hand of a communist official" as one of the "foreign activists who help defeat the United States Military in Vietnam" is a non-sequitur. The photograph referred to is one of Senator John Kerry meeting with Vietnamese officials as a duly elected member of the United States government, long after the end of American military involvement in Vietnam, on a mission to normalize relations between the two countries. Our article on that topic explores the matter further.

Last updated:   1 November 2004

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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