This document was passed by the National Committee of Socialist Alternative on February 20, 2012 and has been slightly edited for public publication. It provides the basic foundations for a socialist analysis of the politics of the 2012 U.S. elections and explains what approach socialists should take.

There is one element that requires updating and more explanation. The recent meteoric rise of Rick Santorum in these dizzying and bizarre Republican presidential primaries developed followed the drafting of this document in late January. At that time, Newt Gingrich had won the South Carolina primary and Santorum had failed to make a mark in that state.

Despite the document not addressing the specific features of the Santorum campaign, which developed steam after it was drafted, the document clearly lays out the underlying dynamics of the Republican primary battle – the major swing to the right within the Republican base, the hostility of large sections of the GOP base towards Romney, and how if the right wing could consolidate behind one candidate it would have a strong base of support, which Santorum’s rise is an expression of. As explained, this will further complicate attempts by the big business Republican Party leadership to ensure Mitt Romney is selected as a reliable pro-big business candidate who can protect their corporate interests.