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Make Your Vote Count for Socialism

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012
Lillian Thurston

Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2012.

By Scott Tucker

Stewart Alexander believes fair elections are worth a fair fight and he’s asking for your vote. The Occupy Wall Street movement encouraged a more honest discussion of class and capitalism in this country, but Alexander is not simply a critic of big banks and high finance. He is a democratic socialist, an African-American community activist and the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party in 2012.

Alexander believes the candidate of “hope and change” is a defender of the status quo and of corporate rule. In his words:

“The phrase that came to mind immediately upon hearing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech is ‘too little, too late.’ After spending the last few years coddling the banks and the richest 1 percent, Obama has the nerve to now call for ‘economic fairness.’ To him, this means tweaking payroll taxes and making a rhetorical call to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich. For working people in America, real fairness means the right to a job, a guarantee of health care for all and an end to the military-industrial complex. Obama won’t deliver this. That’s why I am running for president against him.”

The boom-and-bust cycles of capitalism require a semblance of representative government, even though Congress has become the front office of the corporate state. Even the most “progressive” reforms of the tax code now proposed by career politicians remain a form of institutionalized robbery of the working and middle classes.

“This is why,” Alexander says, “we propose creating a progressive tax structure where the rich pay far more than the average working person. In a democratic socialist society neither Obama nor Romney would be allowed to pay an effective tax rate of 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Corporate taxation, financial gains taxes and personal income taxes will be modernized—all loopholes will be closed and the rich will pay a steep tax on their income. This is what economic fairness looks like to a socialist.”

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Is a radical revision of the tax code the whole program of democratic socialism? No, but it is certainly one reform consistent with social democracy in the realm of the economy. Alexander is not simply a “left-wing Keynesian” reformer. After all, economist Paul Krugman plays that part admirably in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. Krugman repeatedly insists that the Obama administration must ramp up a “stimulus package” that might actually stimulate, rather than stifle, the economy. But Krugman would need genuine social democrats in the White House to listen to his advice, whereas Obama has filled his inner circle with Wall Street aristocrats such as Timothy Geithner. Alexander’s reform of the tax code has a much deeper foundation in workplace democracy, and in working class solidarity across national borders.

Alexander has also been a strong critic of Obama’s “continuation of the Bush era security state policies.” He has the same moral fire and political clarity as Eugene Debs, a Socialist presidential candidate who won 6 percent of the national vote in 1912, and gained more than 900,000 votes in 1920 even when he was behind bars at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Debs called for working class unity against war and imperialism, and he paid a high price. We now live under a regime of escalating state surveillance and police repression, and Alexander’s class conscious policy of peacemaking will not earn him a Nobel Peace Prize:

“Obama’s approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annihilates centuries of civil rights protections,” Alexander writes. “The president now has the right to indefinitely jail any citizen in America without having to work within the protections of habeas corpus. Added to the NDAA is the fact that, as I write this, Bradley Manning is rotting in a jail cell. Manning is Obama’s prisoner—a moral testament to the president’s commitment to continue the job of restricting civil liberties.”

Alexander was born in Newport News, Va., in 1951. He was one of eight children of Stewart Alexander, a brick mason and minister, and Ann E. McClenney, a nurse and housewife. In 1953, the family moved to the community of Watts in Los Angeles. Bricklaying and masonry jobs were scarcer in Los Angeles, and the family endured some hard times. At the age of 16, Alexander worked nights with his father cleaning airport terminals.

In the late ’60s, Alexander attended George Washington High School in Los Angeles County. Though integration of public schools had become public policy, the foundation of the educational system fractured along lines of race and class. By the time Alexander graduated from high school in 1970, the school had fewer than 50 white students. This was part of a wider social pattern that became known as “white flight.”

In December 1970, Alexander joined the Air Force and trained as a transportation and cargo specialist. Later he attended college full time at a Cal State University campus. One professor actively discouraged his studies, and when he quit college he began working 40-plus hours a week as a stocking clerk. During this time he married his first wife, Freda Alexander, and they had one son.

After working as a licensed general contractor and with Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, Calif., he returned to Los Angeles and applied for a job as a warehouseman and forklift driver. Though his military experience made him well qualified for the job, the warehouse manager refused to interview him. Only the threat of a lawsuit (including filing a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) gained him the interview and the job.

The manager later confessed to Alexander that it was his policy to hire only blacks who were “twice as good” as whites on the job. Having fought to get that job, being “twice as good” also meant that Alexander (one of only two African-Americans among 200 employees) had to work more than twice as hard.

During this time Alexander began working with civic and community groups, including the NAACP. He later traveled to Tampa, Fla., working as a grocery clerk and as an organizer with the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN). In 1986, Ralph Nader was the guest speaker at the state convention of FCAN, and Alexander joined him in political discussions during the event. Alexander also worked briefly with an affiliate organization, the Long Island Citizens Campaign. Both groups were formed to protect the environment and the health and safety of consumers.


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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 4, 2012 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, Actually it was Truthout, not dig, She posted the link below.

Report this

By - bill, March 4, 2012 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Either you’re being hyperbolic, Shen, or your memory is extremely short when it comes to specific allegations about corporate-owned Democrats.  Surely, for example, when reminded you can recall the discussions of Max Baucus’ fealty to the insurance industry during the misnamed ‘Affordable Care Act’ debacle.

While it may or may not be true that most of the Democrats in Congress are securely ensconced in corporate pockets, it’s demonstrably true that most (perhaps all) of them are either there or so dominated by others who are that they’ll pony up corporate-friendly votes when it’s demanded of them (as did all 60-plus members of the CPC who had pledged, in writing, to oppose any health-care ‘reform’ package that lacked a strong ‘public option’ - even poor Dennis Kucinich, whose heart I still suspect is in the right place but whose judgment has dropped considerably in my estimation).

If you’d like to educate yourself in this area, OpenSecrets.org is your friend.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 4, 2012 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Ed Ramano - I don’t “blame” Nader for Gore’s loss to GWB.  His
criticism of the government earned him two million votes in 2000. 
I blame the Democrats for not making a better case that would
have attracted more votes.  They are the party of the people and
should never have a problem with elections.  Voter interference by
Republicans was part of the problem but still Dems should attract
overwhelming support. 

That does not mean, however, I have any affection for Nader!  He has
never won an election and there are reasons why.  Egotism is not an
inconsequential reason.  A great many Democrats felt Nader stole
votes from Gore that ultimately cost him the election.  And it is true
that in the most hotly contested state totals, if the votes had gone to
Gore, that went to Nader, Gore would have won the elections in those
states.  But still Gore should have won by a landslide margin that it
would not have mattered.  In 2004, Nader ran again, but not as a Green
Party candidate.  We do wonder why?  And he did not make it on some
states ballots and received far fewer votes.  I do not think, however, his
candidacy affected the Kerry/Bush opposition.  Kerry just was not as
“charismatic” as the Democratic candidate should have been.  Nor was he
able to counteract the personal attacks leveled at him by Karl Rove’s
Super PAC, Swift Boat ad which he should have been able to do and he
didn’t.  Nader was not a factor. 

The truth about third-parties are as I have reported earlier.  They simply
do not attract enough voters to make anything but a ripple in the big
elections.  They have to start at the local level and convince constituents
directly.  Stein is the only name being bandied about as a third-party
candidate and she doesn’t get one second of airtime, not even a
mention!  There actually is a quasi-third party called Independents. 
More and more people are opting to register as an Independent.  That
seems to be a more propitious way to go. 

Agreed, the corporatocrats control this country because they control the
Republican politicians.  Dems are also blamed for this sickness but I’d
like to see which ones are.  It is always accused but names are never
given or to what corporations they are enslaved.

I am not an anti-Capitalist, nor an anti-Socialist.  Neither system works
in their “classic” form.  A synthesis of the two is in my opinion the way to
salvage the economics and governing of this country.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 4, 2012 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, March 3 at 7:27 am:

Anarcessie, I thought there was an article about infiltration of OWS by police, FBI and opportunist other party agenda folks as well as provokers here on TD, but I cannot find it. I suspect this may also be the answer to your Green question.

I don’t remember seeing an article at TD about it.  I could have missed it.  It’s certainly a subject which has been widely discussed elsewhere.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 4, 2012 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

EmileZ you know making fun of my height seems patently rude!

RD, we may agree on occasion, but when you start sounding sexist like Russ Limbaugh, I find myself cringing from such blatant sexism, the kind of sexism only Russ can appreciate! Obviously you did not take my advice and read Carnegie’s book?

Me thinks Ed Romano, could be onto something, every time I feel hope, there seems to be this puss oozing from under the bridge, so appear the few who seem to view congealment as something to avoid at all costs.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 4, 2012 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

@ Leefeller

You are a nasty little specimen aren’t you???

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 4, 2012 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Boy I really love the way some people show their exclusiveness! Cry me a river Dave, has just shown the path to Sanatorium delirium, only difference is the supposition is given,... Cry really represents the pure as the new driven snow left?

I may have mentioned this before, thorough at the time it may have been suggested to RD instead of Cry. Insulting people usually does not gather objective acceptance. Apparently Cry’s intent is not for acceptance?

Yes Cry, exclusivity of the following kind, sounds so divisively alienating Republican in execution!


‘In the aggregate, old voters are irredeemable. Conceptually, the proactive and holistic Green Party is the most sane and sensible existing electoral alternative that’s timely available — ready for use now by the young, for the young.’

Gebeibiz on a cracker Cry, chomping at the bit here, where can I sign up?

If the Greens or anyone else wants to gather no moss, they will have to appeal to more than one segment of the populous, even work within the system and get some troops on the ground. It appears Cry, you need some help!

You may want to read the book written in 1936 by Dale Carnegie…. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as a primer!

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, Change is in the air. But since the establishment has so much power on its side we can only hope the change doesn’t take us further to the right….I am not a liberal democrat. I would only be completely satisfied with an end to the corporate state. The reason I would encourage third party hopefuls to organize on local levels is because I think that any viable political alternative must build from the ground up…. Efforts like Ralph Nader’s, where he had no ground troops working in local wards and precincts,are merely little ego trips and have zero chance of bringing about any change, and if you are a liberal democrat you probably blame him for insuring the Bush victory. Building a party takes time, and it’s questionable whether of not we now have the luxury of time…. If a couple of major labor unions ( what’s left of them ) led the effort to form an anti corporate party that would be very hopeful. The reason why this will not happen is because the cushy positions labor “leaders” have depends on having corporations to pretend they are fighting against.Without the system as it is there would be little need for them . This little rant is developing into a stump speech. So let me say that, given the entrenched power of the corporations and their agents in government,the chances are slim that any real change is in the offing. But that doesn’t mean we should sit by and be like sheep being led to the slaughter. Jack Reed, the writer and anti capitalist of a hundred years ago, was once told that no one would publish something he was writing because it was too radical. Reed said it was not his job to publish it.He was a writer, he said, and it was his job to write. Somebody else would have to do the publishing. So let’s use whatever talents we have, bloom where we’re planted and hope for the best.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, March 4, 2012 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“Some people (like me) feel that by virtue of merely slightly slowing rather than reversing the disastrous course upon which we’ve been embarked since at least 1981 and simultaneously so effectively blocking the growth of actual progressive alternatives the Democratic party is not the lesser but the greater evil (strengthening it and weakening the Republican party nationally from 2007 to 2011 certainly didn’t significantly alter our direction or even its speed), and that therefore it should be destroyed (at least on the national level, where it’s worst) to make room for something a lot better to grow (sort of like cutting down a dying tree that’s hogging all the sunlight away from younger, more robust growth).”
____________

Yes. Elections in these Corporate States of America will never begin to serve any good purpose unless a Left rises up that is both able and willing to disembowel Democrats.

The Green Party happens to be the “younger, more robust growth” that the fossil-minded (D) dedicated corporate party activist thugs have been most fearful of… frantically stomping upon its Green bud whenever and wherever it begins to sprout.

In the aggregate, old voters are irredeemable. Conceptually, the proactive and holistic Green Party is the most sane and sensible existing electoral alternative that’s timely available — ready for use now by the young, for the young.

Young people should be fiercely occupying the vote now, in 2012; forcefully voting with a vengeance against the sociopathy of the (R) & (D) dedicated dinosaur generations.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, March 4, 2012 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“I think you’re confused, David - unless you can point me to an example where the Democratic party encouraged a new third party to compete to the left of them in a general election in order to keep people from voting for any of the several OTHER third parties to the left of them already present.”
___________

The Working Families Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the (D) faction of the corporate party… “working” like a corporate party grease trap to collect and contain dissident Democrats.

What’s “confused” is people referring to insurgent electoral alternatives as being “third parties” — a terminology that perpetuates a BIG lie upon which so many other lies depend. Republicans and Democrats are joined together, as one — being the major factions within the one corporate party — both factions working in solidarity together, in theatrical “loyal opposition” to achieve their neoliberal team’s shared strategic goal of preserving, protecting and projecting corporatism. The Green Party is a 2nd party alternative, not a 3rd party.

With regard to partisan voting, while I do advocate voting for Greens — because they are the best timely available existing electoral alternative to the sociopaths that mindless majorities habitually vote for — I do not now claim, nor have I in the past claimed that Green votes are the only votes worth casting. Any collection of non-corporate votes that would deny the corporate party a popular vote mandate would be a good thing. Read…

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

Report this

By Robert B. Winn, March 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What you are not taking into account is that the two
major parties finance themselves from public revenues,
meaning a third party will never compete with them. The
only hope for Americans, whatever their political
beliefs, is for them to register independent until
independent voters outnumber party members in order to
establish candidacy for office for ordinary Americans.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Ed Ramano - It was so inspiriting in the course of time to read
someone who expressed similar sentiments that honestly I was
bowled over!

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Shenanymous, I wasn’t aware of any earlier posting that you made, but if ours are similar that’s good….the idea is in the air.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, the Tea Party has never registered as a political party. 
They are a caustic outgrowth of the Right-Wing Conservatives and
very libertarian in flavor and is considered a movement rather than
a political party.  In that respect they are like the Occupy Movement. 

The word Party is attached to their name because they appropriated
it from comparing themselves to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 anti-
government (British) protest over taxation.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

ardee I am not interested in your favorite pastime of denigrating
Me!  You are such a bore when you do that.  I start to think sometimes
you are smarter than that but you always prove me wrong.  You are
bitchsmarting mad because I only present facts that you simply cannot
stand.  So you have a hissy fit.  You would bludgeon anyone, me in
particular because always I hit a painful nerve, but you’ve done it
to others who do not embrace your political viewpoint.  You don’t have
the skill apparently to have a decent discussion where you can defend
your political position.  You are a political thug.  So much for your love
of democracy.  Or maybe you are a Republican in disguise just agitating
the leftist rabble?  They hate democracy too.  I am a liberal, a Liberal
Democrat.  It has never been a secret.  You have known it for years.  So
just stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

Ed Ramano - March 3 at 1:35 pm – I’m curious.  How is your advice
different than mine at March 3 at 8:16 am where I say “Local elections
have the best chance of electing third party candidates?”

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Thanks again She, Bill is vindicated, apparently the Justice Party is Centrist. I found it interesting they did not list the Tea Party as a third party due to two things, one I did not see a posted date, so it may predate the Tea Party or the Tea party is connected at the hip to the Republicans?

Like OWS has done, a third party may be opportunity to change the direction on dialogue of the issues, which seems important, because the crap the Republicans throw on the wall seems pure divisive reactionary emotionalism which has little to do with how our country can become a better place for the common good! Ignoring fairness, disenfranchisement and inequality’s.

We still need to get the money out!

Report this

By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Generally I have found the discussion here to be be
encouraging. The idea that we need a real alternative to the two fiascos now filling the political scene is something I have hoped for since the 2nd Eisenhower election. The very best thing the Green Party ,or any other party hoping to become viable, can do is to put troops on the ground in as many towns and cities as possible….knock on doors and talk to people. The climate has not been this good for many decades and I’m sensing the people are receptive to reasoned arguments.It’s in the air. Lenin once said…Power is lying in the streets and nobody knows how to pick it up….and while I wouldn’t hold Vladimir up to be anybody’s model…the times are certainly ripe.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Also find a list of all political parties in the United States at
http://tinyurl.com/ahl78 where you can find a link to Rocky
Anderson’s Justice Party in the list.  Just click on it and it will
take you to the Justice Party article.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Scroll down to find the section headings for Right-wing, Centrist,
Left-wing, Libertarian, Ethnic nationalism, and single-issue/protest-
oriented

http://tinyurl.com/4z6mzs

Report this

By ardee, March 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, March 3 at 8:16 am

Yet another paean to the status quo from our regular source of such.

This attempt at indictment of third party politics falls rather hollow when viewed in the light of actual fact.

Third party politics faces monumental odds due directly to the influence and interference of both major parties, that, by the by, includes the active attempts to murder them by She’s cherished Democrats as well.

Any research shows plainly that the Green Party has gained more and more access to the ballots in more and more states each election cycle. They are running and electing more candidates each cycle as well. If the Greens, and all such parties, were not threatening to the rightward leaning Democrats we would not see such repeated and awkwardly embarrassing attacks upon third party politics.

But the real point here is the fact that third party politics is a necessity and not a utopian dream. What is a dream is the implication by this fifth columnist for the Democratic Party’s betrayal of all progressives that voting for her heroes will actually bring about change for the better. It certainly will not. That we have seen with our own eyes.

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By - bill, March 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

The claim that any party to the left of the Democrats is sponsored by conservatives hoping to draw votes away from their main competitor is hardly new, and usually made by Democrats.  One might expect them to make that claim regardless of its accuracy (which of course does not mean that it is inaccurate in any given case, just that the source of it should be considered suspect in the absence of solid verification).

Some people (like me) feel that by virtue of merely slightly slowing rather than reversing the disastrous course upon which we’ve been embarked since at least 1981 and simultaneously so effectively blocking the growth of actual progressive alternatives the Democratic party is not the lesser but the greater evil (strengthening it and weakening the Republican party nationally from 2007 to 2011 certainly didn’t significantly alter our direction or even its speed), and that therefore it should be destroyed (at least on the national level, where it’s worst) to make room for something a lot better to grow (sort of like cutting down a dying tree that’s hogging all the sunlight away from younger, more robust growth).  So at least in our cases the reasoning that supporting parties to the left of the Democrats will draw votes away from Democrats is flawed:  if I don’t vote nationally for candidates whose policy positions come close to matching my wishes I’ll be voting Republican (a ‘strategic’ vote which constitutes the most direct route to getting rid of the national Democratic establishment that I have available to me).

Needless to say, the Democratic faithful tend to become apoplectic about such a strategy, but their arguments all boil down to the same old ‘lesser-evilism’ that they’ve been preaching so stridently since at least 2004 and they just can’t seem to wrap their intellects around the idea that according to the reasoning above it’s the Democratic party that is the greater evil over anything but the very short term (no pain, no gain, as the saying goes).  The bottom line is that (somewhat like David with the Green party) the Democratic party faithful (and party shills) just won’t accept ANY reason for not voting Democratic - not ‘voting your conscience’ (they argue lesser evilism in that case) nor lesser evilism itself when turned against them (there they just stone-wall and denigrate anyone for even thinking such a thing).

The idea that the Democratic party actually needs to EARN the votes it gets seems completely foreign to them.  C’est la vie.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Need to do my own home work, but I read someplace the ‘Justice Party’ was sponsored by conservatives?

It would be nice if one could look at the different parties on a comparison chart like searching for software on the web or automobiles in Consumers Reports!

Hell,... with all the different potential third parties maybe there is an unbiased chart someplace?

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By - bill, March 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

I think you’re confused, David - unless you can point me to an example where the Democratic party encouraged a new third party to compete to the left of them in a general election in order to keep people from voting for any of the several OTHER third parties to the left of them already present.

Democrats really, really don’t like anyone to leave the fold for any reason, and that’s why they encourage progressive candidates to compete in their PRIMARIES rather than outside the party in general elections (because every additional progressive third party will take at least some additional votes from the Democratic candidate then).

You’re not all that different, you know:  you claim that any party save the Greens cannot possibly be worth a vote because the Greens are the only viable opposition on the left.  You’re of course welcome to that opinion, but it’s hardly absolute truth and (as I’ve said) I certainly don’t share it:  for me, the Greens have had enough time since their modest showing in 2000 (which I suspect was largely due to Nader’s heading their ticket) to demonstrate their relevance, and (as I also said) I think it’s time to give someone else a shot (hell, the Greens don’t even have a Web presence to rally around in my state, which takes only a single very part-time person plus a few dollars a year to sustain).

Will the Justice Party come to anything?  No evidence yet, but for me that’s more promising than the clear evidence that the Greens aren’t.  I’d be very happy to be proven wrong about that and wish Jill success, but pending evidence of such a change my support has gone elsewhere.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Short reply, have to get going, but no no no. You are right.  It was
an article on Truthdig, taken from Truthout.  Only Truthdig removed
it from their roster of articles for an unexplained reason.

They really should tell us why it was expunged.  It still appears on their
index if a site search is made with the title of the article.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 3, 2012 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Thanks She, so the article was from Truthout, not TD, my mistake.  Appreciate the link, it would be prudent for some of the folks here, especially third party folks to read the article for reality’s sake!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

You won’t get any explanation from TD, Leefeller.  I went to the
original source at Truthout here.  Click on the red high-
lighted word “here” and it will take you to the original article. 

My comment was a Reply to beth8 at 5:31AM March 2, 2012, regarding
the removal of the article from TD.  No answer was forthcoming from
anyone.  Another commenter Bob Marston made an interesting observa-
tion 2/27/2012 11:34PM.  I suspect that maybe the Zeese’s and Flowers’
report may not be completely truthful?  How to find out is a mystery.  I
am waiting for Part II as they made many promises in Part I that infiltra-
tion is the norm in political movements in the United States.  That seems
to be an important piece of information to know.  It is not that it is a new
practice.  It is as old as the history of conflicts.  But it’s something we
should know anyway instead of just speculating.

I also visited the Occupy Buffalo site that had written a little piece on the
Truthout Infiltration article and I was the only one who left a comment??? 
My suspicion grows.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 3, 2012 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Third party candidates very rarely win any elections.  This is not a
personal opinion.

Fact:  Colorado 2010 election, American Constitution Party candidate
Tom Tancredo received 36.8% of the vote in second place, did not win.
Maine 2010 election, independent Eliot Cutler received 36.5% of the
vote in second place, did not win. In the Rhode Island 2010 election,
independent Lincoln Chafee won the election with 36.1% of the vote. 
Of the eight candidates not affiliated with either major party, one won
an election.  5.1% to the most of 12% won the vote in their region. that is
dismal statistics. 

Since 1990, in thirty-three states 78 third-party candi-dates entered
elections.  Five won gubernatorial elections, not in the same year.  That
is in 12 years. 

I am not saying not to work to build parties in lieu of voting Democrat or
Republican.  I am saying they do not attract registration nor significantly
attract votes from independents so that any third party agenda can get
legislation passed.  A better delivery to the voting public of the issues
and programs third-parties hold near and dear needs to happen.  So far
they are hardly a blip on the consciousness of Americans.

Local elections have the best chance of electing third party candidates.

Bernie Sanders is my favorite politician and happens to be an
independent and socialist minded.  But even he wanders around on
the priority of issues.  That is not IMO a terrible trait though.  He does
represent my sentiments on all that he does focus on, and even those
the I find not as important as others.  However, Sanders aligns himself
with Democrats almost all of the time.  He is genetically liberal.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 3, 2012 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Anarcessie, I thought there was an article about infiltration of OWS by police, FBI and opportunist other party agenda folks as well as provokers here on TD, but I cannot find it. I suspect this may also be the answer to your Green question.

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By Ed Romano, March 3, 2012 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse, What you say is so reasonable it’s hard to understand why so many don’t get it. Ralph Nader’s Don Quiote ride had no chance of building any sort of alternative political movement because he had no troops on the ground at the local level. To be successful politics is futile without the grunt work.

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By Anarcissie, March 3, 2012 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

So why is the Green Party so ineffective?  A large part of the American electorate seems to agree with their views more than those of the Democratic Party leadership.  In asking this question I don’t want to provoke the usual avalanche of ranting about the mainstream media.  The Greens (and any other minor party) have plenty of ways to get their message out.

I was impressed that the National Green Party head office could not bother to install PayPal on their site to accept contributions.  Maybe, like the peace movement, they have been infiltrated and neutralized by secret agents from the Democratic Party?

Rocky Anderson may be a fine fellow, but any attempt to affect national politics requires not just an isolated presidential candidate but a broad party structure grounded in local politics.  The Greens have this, or used to have it.  A few years ago a Green Party candidate for the New York City Council drew about 30% of the vote against a strongly entrenched Democrat.  Start getting 30% of the vote in state and national elections and people are going to start paying attention.

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By David J. Cyr, March 3, 2012 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

The ever activist “progressive” thugs of the (D) faction of the corporate party have spent their lives suppressing ballot access and votes for any true alternative candidates honestly advocating for good policies and against corporatism, while those millions of “progressive” liberals robo voted for every evil with a corporate money manufactured (D) label on it.

Now, the corporate party’s “progressives” have loyal opposition offered Rocky Anderson, to be their Democrat dedicated decoy “alternative” to redirect voter support away from any actual alternative.

There’s nothing new about corporate party production of “good” Democrat decoys. They pop up in the candidate pool whenever any actual alternative has an opportunity to rise up from the Left.

Republican voters vote to get any evil done as crudely as possible.

Democrat voters vote to get every evil well done.

Green voters vote for future generations to have a future.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

The “Principles” of Liberal Voters:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

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By Leefeller, March 3, 2012 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

Bill an informative and congenial post, much appreciated, must say presentation is everything, I have heard Rocky Anderson and he sounded knowledgeable and congenial as your post, so refreshing compared to the normal lambasting here on TD and certain segments of society, where respect and rudeness seem the norm, of which my participation is known by me!

Lack of respect is a indicating step towards despotism. Referring here to today’s political stench.  You provide a positive example, but change is so darn hard to accept, especially if it is ones own!

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By - bill, March 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

Hmmmm.  Save for the transition to worker-owned cooperatives Mr. Alexander’s ‘socialism’ sounds an awful lot like the post-WWII/pre-Reagan era:  much more progressive tax rates with FAR higher top brackets, no neocons/neolibs screwing things up, universal health care (while not achieved then it was always part of the Democratic platform and even Republicans had some plans afoot), less militarism (yes, there was Vietnam, but the Cold War created SOME excuse for having gotten into it - as contrasted with the completely indefensible invasion of Iraq), incrementally improving social safety nets, more enlightened attitudes toward crime and rehabilitation, and a military-industrial complex that had not yet matured into a full-fledged instrument of fascism (though Ike had it pegged as likely to if not kept caged).

That’s Bernie-Sanders-style socialism in my book - a mixed New-Deal-inspired economic system based on capital strongly moderated by government for the greater good - and I’m all for it.  It’s largely what the Democratic party USED to stand for (though given what the party establishment has now become I’m not surprised that Bernie felt the need for a label that differentiated him from it).

It’s bad enough that demagogues on the right mislabel such policies as socialism.  But it’s even more alarming that people on the left seem gradually to be accepting that drift in our political discourse.  I was a left-leaning moderate in the ‘60s and have not changed much since then.  I know the difference between that and socialism, and while I’d take socialism in preference to what our country has become over the past three decades I’d much rather see the pendulum stop short of that.

Like it or not, labels matter - especially when they’re misused.  True socialism, where the workers own most of the means of production, is not likely to gain much support in this country, and when what most of us want does not require that particular and very significant change to the system it’s counter-productive to associate those other things with that label.

So while I’m delighted to see this article in Truthdig and whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Alexander’s characterization of Obama’s presidency, if I support a third party rather than ‘vote strategically’ Rocky Anderson will be much more likely to get my vote (the Green party has been so ineffective for the past decade-plus that I think it’s time to give someone else a chance).

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By MimiS, March 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

David, you wrote: “Note how quickly this exceptionally rare TD article about a non-corporate political alternative was cleansed from the home page “featured article” banner — promptly MovedOn to be out of sight, out of mind… while TD ramps up its industrial scale manufacture of articles encouraging people to fear filled race to the bottom with the corporate party’s Democrats.”

Do you think Truthdig moved from the home page for unethical reasons? I’m not saying it wasn’t. I just wonder if there’s any validity to that sort of claim. It’d be a shame if there was.

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By Robert B. Winn, March 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only independent voters can break the two-party
monopoly.  That will happen when they outnumber party
voters in the United States.

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By Korky Day, March 2, 2012 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Sorry, I meant that question period helps to create
democracy, not a parliamentary system (which can be democratic or not).

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By Korky Day, March 2, 2012 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

ElkoJohn wrote ” . . . break the back of the 2-Party dictatorship.  The only way to do that is find your third party and work like hell to build it up.”
Good idea, but it will NOT abolish the 2-party system unless those parties know how to make the USA a democracy so the 2-party system cannot survive.
The trouble with US Americans is that they don’t realize the systemic cause of the Duopoly.  It was caused by the Constitution and the lack of democratic guarantees in the Constitution, such as proportional representation.  The Greens are for pro-rep, so they are worth supporting.  Another democratic deficit in the USA is the lack of a parliamentary-style question period.  (Not that a parliamentary system guarantees democracy.  It does not, but it sure helps.) The president and cabinet should be required to appear before Congress for “question period” once a week to answer surprise questions from all senators and representatives.

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By Leefeller, March 2, 2012 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Jill Steine may be a good and moral person, with noble intentions for the common good and she or anyone else may have a real intention to make the world a better place to live for the huddled masses.

What makes anyone believe she can even come close to achieving anything she proposes even if she just happened to be elected president? Why would she not be just like Obama and make promises and find they cannot be done? It is like some people do not even have a clue how the disgusting world of politics lumbers along?

I would like to see some third party folks at the state level like the Tea Bags did and then lets see what they can do.

Get real folks, Never Never land, last I checked (aside from MJ’s) is really fiction.

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By David J. Cyr, March 2, 2012 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

Note how quickly this exceptionally rare TD article about a non-corporate political alternative was cleansed from the home page “featured article” banner — promptly MovedOn to be out of sight, out of mind… while TD ramps up its industrial scale manufacture of articles encouraging people to fear filled race to the bottom with the corporate party’s Democrats.

If liberals were not evil they wouldn’t be Democrats.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By ardee, March 2, 2012 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Whine all you want, vote for whomever you want, but the reality is that it will be a contest between a Democrat (Obama) and a Republican

A self fulfilling prophesy at best, a blatant piece of propaganda at worst. Change is possible, despite the efforts of this loyalist to convince us all of the hopelessness of attempting change.

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By Robert B. Winn, March 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only way to waste your vote is to vote for someone
you do not want in office.

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By jimmmmmy, March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

yes fascism /capitalism, and communism have text book definitions but in stalins russia hitlers germany and clinton/bush/o’bamas america. [to make the time frames similar]  there are little operational differencs to the worker who is heavily taxed and abused by the security forces in many ways. as well as being forced into the military to fight people with whom he has no issues. as well as being constantly bombarded by propaganda. other than that i guess there different?

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By EmileZ, March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

@ Shenonymous

If you are so hostile to the idea of voting for anyone other than (psychopath) Obama, I would think you might like Nader’s suggestion as a way to galvanize support for Occupy, and empower the movement to actually effect policy. It certainly seems to fall in with the one-step-at-a-time approach.

As I have said elsewhere, I believe pushing hard for single-payer is not only a good idea, but essential to changing the discussion of how we solve the debt “crisis”, control healthcare costs, facilitate job creation, empower workers, and reform the financing of election.

It also would educate people to overcome their knee-jerk reaction against words like “socialist”, undercut and push back against the pressure to privatize everything and it’s accompanying ideaology, and provide a concrete example of the corrupting influence of consolidated wealth in politics.

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By ElkoJohn, March 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Whether you are a ring-wing populist or left-wing populist,
there are several third political parties that will more closely
fit your views, values and ideas.
Green Party
Libertarian Party
Justice Party
Reform Party
Constitution Party
Socialist Party
But we will never get the spectrum of parties we deserve until
we break the back of the 2-Party dictatorship.
The only way to do that is find your third party and work like hell to build it up.
I say to hell with our crony capitalist 2-party system
which is run by the power elite who are in turn funded by big money.
Populists of the world unite,
rise up and throw off the chains of corrupt political systems
that don’t represent the people.

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By Shenonymous, March 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Whine all you want, vote for whomever you want, but the reality is
that it will be a contest between a Democrat (Obama) and a Republican
(the crazy Romney probably but maybe the real crazy, Santorum). 
Don’t think your vote will count if you don’t go with one of the two
major parties, except for the news media noting the oddity vote.  It
is true, the reality is that your vote then will count for nothing. 

As I’ve said 10,000 times, third party candidates best chance at getting
to a national ballot and a fighting chance at getting competitive votes
is to start at the local and then state level.  There are lots of political
offices at both those levels of government.  Making a name as an
honest politician (oh yeah, I almost forgot, that is an oxymoron), is
what will get name recognition.  Course, don’t forget Nader has had
name recognition for decades but look where he is today.  Suggesting
raising the minimum wage at a time when there are quite a few other
major issues to think about, like jobs, the economy.  There is still a
Republican majority in the House and almost 50% in the Senate enough
to block any legislation not bleeding out of the conservative veins. 
Minimum wage is one of their targets to lower not increase.  Nader’s
advice once again is nowhere’sville.  Must learn to take things one at a
time.  Unless of course you like pissing into the wind.

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By Ed Romano, March 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

At the risk of getting lynched I’d like to float an idea concerning alternative political parties. This idea will not appeal to people who desire the abolition of the current fiasco. But traditionally a viable third party can force the major parties to deal with issues that otherwise never get discussed. Many of the so called “entitlements” the Republicans are determined to destroy ( SocialSecurity ,the right to unionize etc. ) were first proposed by alternative parties. The absence of a viable left party in the U.S. is what has allowed our political farce to drift ever more to the right. As the Republicans have lurched rightward the Democrats have moved in to take their place. So if we look at the political spectrum what we now have is a party far to the right and one moderately to the right. There is no party on the left…. Left wing parties in Europe brought about significant changes in their societies, even when they never came to power, by raising issues the dominant parties could not ignore. That’s why European countries have benefits like Socialized Medicine and young people can get a university education without going into debt for the rest of their lives…. If a person would be satisfied with some reasonable reform ,they might come about after what would be a terrific struggle, they can start clamoring for a third party ( and it ain’t that Green thing, folks.)....If they won’t be satisfied with anything less than an end to what we are now saddled with ( that’s me)... they can look forward to going to the grave with the monster still intact.

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By MimiS, March 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

I simply do not believe in the idea that casting a vote for a third party is a wasted vote. If you feel that the third party candidate is the best representation of your voice, casting otherwise would be a wasted vote, in my opinion. The Socialist Party USA is growing, and there is a reason why. People are becoming more and more emboldened and less willing to subject themselves to the greed of the Dems and the GOP. This is a good time for the people to take a stand and work toward creating a society that places the needs of the people above the needs of the one percent.

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By ardee, March 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, February 29 at 9:58 pm

Sorry, dear lady, but snarky you were and snarky you will be again. Its kinda your thing, sadly.

I stand by my opinion that disparaging those who seek or offer alternatives to a broken duopoly is working for the status quo.

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By Korky Day, March 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

I encourage all anti-duopoly parties and efforts at unity and co-operation among them.
The best list of parties I’ve found:
http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm

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By Anarcissie, March 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Toyota etc.—No one’s vote among the people who read this site is going to change the outcome of any large election.  Voting for someone you don’t like on the off chance that that person will do something less bad than someone else is a total waste:

1.  Your vote has no effect on the outcome.

2.  You have to feel bad about the person you did vote for.

You might as well at least try to enjoy yourself.

By the way, your caps key is stuck.  Many people assume that someone with a stuck caps key is an idiot, but I’m fairly easygoing about such things and won’t judge your faulty keyboard.

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By ToyotaBedZRock, March 1, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

WAKE UP

IF ROMNEY IS ELECTED BRADLEY MANNING WILL HAVE ZERO CHANCE

IF OBAMA IS ELECTED BRADLEY AT LEAST HAS SOME!

DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR VOTE SEEKING PERFECTION!

REPUBLICANS IMPLEMENT LONG TERM PLANS THAT MOVE THEM TO THE RIGHT WITH THE COUNTRY

YOU MORONS THINK IT CAN BE DONE IN A SINGLE ELECTION AND YOUR SHORT SIGHTEDNESS HURTS EVERYONE ELSE!!!

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By Ed Romano, March 1, 2012 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Scott425, The bickering and infighting that goes on in these comical organizations is nothing new. During the Vietnam fiasco we had to contend with factions of SDS, the Black Panthers, Maoists, etc. all tearing each other apart verbally trying to control a non existent anti system organization. History tells us that it was like that in the Spanish War of the late 30’s when Communists, Socialists, Anarchists and Republicans would each rather keep the purity of their ideals intact than cooperate with each other to fight a common enemy.

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By scott425, March 1, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Ed,

There are at least 3 socialist parties running candidates.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_third_party_and_independent_presidential_candidates,_2012

In Alexander’s defense he at least thought about running for the Green Party nomination, but apparently changed his mind last summer, citing the Green Party’s requirements.

The whole situation is preposterous and silly.  At this stage, even the 2 most prominent left-wing parties (Justice and Greens) can’t unite even though their platforms are overwelmingly similar. 

Alexander and the rest of the socialists should throw their support behind Stein or Anderson—whoever is better.  Otherwise their effort has no strategic purpose and is purely educational.  An educational effort without strategic merit will have far less impact then a campaign with the potential to challenge the status quo.

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By Anarcissie, March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

The Greens actually have a party and local candidates.  It’s conceivable that they could build up to the point of successfully contesting local and even state elections.  They might be serious.  The rest is like having a play-election in grade school.

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By Ed Romano, March 1, 2012 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

I hesitate to jump into this pool of what looks like snapping baracudas, but does anybody know if the current Socialist Party is a continuation of the venerable party headed by Eugene Debs ? It would be glorious if a coilition of labor unions called for the formation of a political party that could stand over and against the interests of the corporations. Such a party would be fighting the greatest up hill battle in history, but anything else is just whistling Dixie.

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By MeHere, March 1, 2012 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Great report. Finally, something in Truthdig that doesn’t deal with the Republican and Democratic parties and acknowledges the existence of another political entity. Let’s hear about the Greens too.

The deprogramming of a population that has come to believe that “socialism” and “green” in politics are bad words is a development too huge to take place anytime soon. In the meantime, education and information on the subject as well as electoral support for sensible alternatives must continue.

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By Leefeller, March 1, 2012 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Well, I feel touchy feely good about Truthdig once again,.... especially now after reading all the whining from Greens and Rocky Squirrel supporters about TD not giving them the time of day to third parties, maybe this is a new trend, giving the time of day to a snow ball in hell!  I cannot wait for the debates, they may be melting in the sun exciting.

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By Ramon Dapena, March 1, 2012 at 8:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only real and nationally healthy alternative for the USA lies
on the implementation of a Social Democratic System based
on the three things that guarantee a country’s real
development: Free, High Class Compulsory Education for all
until age 18; Free, High Class Health Services for all during
their lifetime, and Social Peace.  The three most important and
beneficial public employees are Teachers, Health Workers, and
Policemen.  That is THE ONLY system that guarantee social
and national development.  There are no ther public servants
more important than these and it’s about time the US opens its
eyes to the fact that having 47 million Afro-Ams deprived of
health services, education and social peace s not the way to
any good place and situation.

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By David J. Cyr, March 1, 2012 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Scott Tucker:

“I am a member of both the Socialist and Green parties of the United States”
____________________

1 journalist, 2 votes?

There’s no good reason for Socialists to not become Greens.

The Greens are the 21st Century’s socialist party; Greens having evolved from a confluence of people from the socialist, feminist and environmental movements — all of which were and are antiwar and antimilitarist.

Since Greens still retain the old socialist’s social justice principles, the differences between old-school Socialists and Greens are primarily a matter of the Greens more affirmatively recognizing the under representation of women who hold up more than half the sky; and in Greens sensibly more strongly focusing on the existential threat of environmental collapse caused by the popularity of constant growth consumer economies.

If workers gain control of the means of production, but continue to produce disposable consumer economy stuff, and continue to seek full employment in a globally competitive constant growth economy, our planet’s capacity to sustain human development will end just as quickly under worker sympathetic socialist management as it is now ending under careless corporate capitalists.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Shenonymous, March 1, 2012 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

Socialism hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of
becoming the economic system of this country. 
Private ownership of property is not going to go
away simply because a few small thinking hard
leftists chronically complain.  The only possibility
of change is to combine the virtues of both while
defrocking the corporate kings.  Money, aka wealth,
also is not going to go away.  Regulated capitalism or
modified capitalism is about the only way to curtail the
rampant tyranny of corporate power.  The problem is
the same, however, in any system.  It is the corruption
of those in charge.  So figure out how to stop that,
then it is possible to have an equitable society.

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By ChaviztaKing, March 1, 2012 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Dear friends, don’t worry we the revolutionaries in
USA will overthrow this oligarchic, plutocratic,
zionist, evil imperialist corrupt capitalist system
in memory of JOHN F. KENNEDY. Here is a song
dedicated to all the revolutionaries and supporters
of The Revolution of Stewart Alexander and the
Revolution of Ron Paul. It’s by a nice rock band
called Molotov USK about Che Guevara:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsdjOoZXnE8

Che Guevara by Molotov USK

Its back! The revolution is back on track.
American helicopters swarm overhead.
You know there are many people dead who didnt listen
to a word he said.
Che Guevara came to Cuban shores but the Argentinian
doctor wont spill your blood.
But hes got it on his hands, he knows what it feels
like to kill a man.
26TH July was the day, who had the price to pay?
Marxist politician aka El Che with Fidel Castro got a
part to play.

Now I know Im losing you, and I dont know what I can
do.
But the people remember the name, Che Guevara, Viva
la Cuba!

1959, Batista gets out of line
In a country where democracy dont work
Communism your only choice, write your wrongs while
they still hear your voice
They took him down in Vallegrande, he didnt die like
a normal man
You know they hacked off his hands, they feared him
dead more than alive
At the age of 39 his life was gone, but his legend
still lives on
The streets of Santiago it travels far, No lo vamos a
olvidar!

Now I know Im losing you, and I dont know what I can
do
But the people remember the name, and they remember
who to blame
Leader of the guerilla campaign, we other throw the
government were taking the land
Shoot coward! Youre gonna kill a man! Viva la Cuba,
Che Guevara!

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By RHONDA, March 1, 2012 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a pleasure to listen to Mr. Alexander.  Sadly, the
label “socialist” these days, like the word “public”,
has become a four-letter word.  Americans have
generally been dumbed down to the meaning of socialism. 
When I’ve mentioned that Scandinavian countries have
very satisfied, advantaged residents overall, almost
everyone reacts by being outraged at the high taxes
they pay.  But Americans cannot quite understand that
everyone receives substantial benefits for the taxes
paid. American militarism may become our undoing.

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

ardee, February 29 at 3:20 pm:

‘... By Anarcissie, February 29 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Leftists think about politics, which is fatal to unity.

By Anarcissie, February 29 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Running for president without a 50-state multi-level party structure is pretty non-serious.

If I may , doing something is preferable to doing nothing. Making comments like this, Anarcissie, is simply useless to any discussion of change. ...’

My comments might be useful if people didn’t, by and large, prefer fables and delusions to all else.

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By vector56, February 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Maybe you over looked my “recap”, so I will recap the recap:

Communism by definition is “pure” unadulterated economic Democracy. The idea is that “the people” own the government; and the government only exist to serve the needs of the people. All the methods of production and commerce are run by the government for and only for the economic beneficent of the people. As a species humanity has not evolved to a point where such a system would work; Karl Marx was far ahead of his time and ours.

jimmmmmy: please avoid the low hanging fruit of pretending Stalin or Chairman Mao were Communist.
You must realize that for ever “fuck-up” who has ever attempted Communism and failed, I can name 10 brutal Capitalist that have taken Capitalism to it’s natural conclusion; Slavery. Shall we start in the American South, say 150 years ago? After that let us move to South and Central America and the unholy decades long bloody partnership between the CIA and Corporate America.

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By jimmmmmy, February 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

ardee nice work with the definitions. the word snarky reminded me of an irishmans definition of “the ugly amerikan debate”: first they yell at you, then they ridicule you,  then they punch you, then they try to kill you. so remember rule number 1 in debating never argue with an amerikan idiot.

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By jimmmmmy, February 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

vector 56 so stalins russia was a democratic paradise? how about maos china another paradise tommy douglas, canadas most loved socialist once quipped, in a capitalist system man exploits man, in a communist system its the other way round.

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By MimiS, February 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

With continued coverage of parties like the Socialist Party USA, we’ll see a decrease in the fear surrounding the word “socialism”. Scott Tucker was courageous in covering this Campaign. Candidates like Stewart Alexander and Alex Mendoza, if afforded a fair-level of media access, can pose a genuine threat to the parties of the 1%.

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By vector56, February 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

“i’ve never been able to see any operational differences between facism and communism, “

jimmmmmy: to your above statement I say “bull”!

The definition of “Fascism” is the merging of Corporations and Government! Communism is the exact opposite.

Communism is pure economic Democracy; apparently your worst nightmare!

The FoxConn workers who slave for Apple are being exploited by Capitalist just as the whole of South and Central America has been for generations. Socialism is Communism-Lite.

Recap:

Communism by definition is “pure” unadulterated economic Democracy. The idea is that “the people” own the government; and the government only exist to serve the needs of the people. All the methods of production and commerce are run by the government for and only for the economic beneficent of the people. As a species humanity has not evolved to a point where such a system would work; Karl Marx was far ahead of his time and ours.

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By ardee, February 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Definition of POLITICS
1
a : the art or science of government b : the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government
2
: political actions, practices, or policies
3
a : political affairs or business; especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government) b : political life especially as a principal activity or profession c : political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices
4
: the political opinions or sympathies of a person
5
a : the total complex of relations between people living in society b : relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view <office politics> <ethnic politics>
Origin of POLITICS
Greek politika, from neuter plural of politikos political
First Known Use: circa 1529

Now, compare the definition above with these useless and snarky comments:
Sorry Ma’am.

By Anarcissie, February 29 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Leftists think about politics, which is fatal to unity.

By Anarcissie, February 29 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Running for president without a 50-state multi-level party structure is pretty non-serious.

If I may , doing something is preferable to doing nothing. Making comments like this, Anarcissie, is simply useless to any discussion of change.

Every time someone stands up for an ideal we all benefit. Every time someone rejects the status quo we all move closer to solution. Every vote against the Duopoly Party is a well cast ballot.

Perhaps our resident anarchist awaits some miracle, I say thank you to Mr. Alexander for his efforts.

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By jimmmmmy, February 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

good article and interview . socialism and . anarchism have strong negative connotation to most amerikans thanks to a hundred year of redefining and spinning the meaning of those terms. i’ve never been able to see any operational differences between facism and communism, both systems view humanity as material to be used then disgarded. facism is propped up by christianity in latin ,communism is propped up by the eastern orthodox church which uses greek.small difference maybe?

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Leftists think about politics, which is fatal to unity.

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By Morpheus, February 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Our system of government has broken down because it’s is totally outdated. It doesn’t matter who runs if the vehicle is the same then nothing changes.

Memo to America: Stop waiting for Democrats and Republicans to save you. It’s bad for your health and your future. Can’t you tell? You have another choice - use it!

“WAKE UP PEOPLE!” 
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM

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By pathman25, February 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with Mr. Alexander. When you have a democratic president that increases the war budget and starts talking about “cutting entitlements” it becomes abundantly clear the only real differences between democrats and republicans is how fast they are going to sell the American people down the river.

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By Moonrider, February 29, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for the wonderful article on Stewart Alexander
and the Socialist Party. There is a renewed interest in
Socialism as most people want a third party. We are
working to get Mr. Alexander on the ballot in my state
and when we do I’ll be voting Socialist. Voting for the
“lesser of the two evils” is no longer an option for
me.

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By scott425, February 29, 2012 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Best of luck to Mr. Alexander in educating the American public on alternative means of government.

However I don’t understand the strategy.  Why are there 5-10 different socialist parties in every western democracy?  Why can’t leftists get together?

Alexander ought to be running for the nomination of the Green Party.  Or the Green Party, the Justice Party, and all these various socialist parties ought to unify into one big tent.  Unify and find ways to make noise for the Unity candidate.

Those candidates who refuse to work to unify the Left to attain practical aims and who thrive in left-wing splinter politics are potential false fronts that we ought to be suspicious of.

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Running for president without a 50-state multi-level party structure is pretty non-serious.

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By Jaded Prole, February 29, 2012 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Times are rapidly changing. For those who might not have noticed, the public has awakened to a class conscious perspective since last fall. The rise of the Occupy movement has changed the conversation. Previous to that polls have shown that “socialism” is not the bogeyman many think and that it is slightly more favored as a term than “capitalism.” If we are to credit any group for this, ultimately it is the capitalists themselves. The economy remains in the tank, neither corporate party has even the language to ask the right questions much less any answers. The reality is that capitalism can’t even begin to address the most vital issue of our time: the ecological disaster that threatens our survival and a growing number realize it.

People are angry, they are afraid and they are looking for real change. This candidate may not be able to even get on the ballot much less into the debates BUT he is offering an alternative vision that makes sense. He is offering to change the conversation. Even if he pulled a significant minority, it would be very important to the overall direction of policy and set the stage for further change by emboldening progressives and democrats. We must do all we can to help. And you never know, just as Occupy has caught fire, this could too.  And really, what is the alternative?

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By Robert B. Winn, February 29, 2012 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What European political party imitators do not
realize is that the United States government created
independent voters, not political parties.  Political
parties were created by Europeans to advance their
agendas in monarchies, dictatorships, and other
European forms of government.  American independence
lasted for eight years under the Constitution before
a political party started by Thomas Jefferson took
over the government and gained control of elections
at state level.  Today the worst problem is not the
parties themselves, but the party-controlled Supreme
Court, which seeks to nationalize the two major
parties by refusing to hear complaints of minor
parties and independent voters while the federal
courts below them keep independent voters from being
candidates for office by upholding un-Constitutional
state election laws that require independent voters
in some states to obtain five times as many
nomination petition signatures as a Republican or
Democrat running for the same office. 
  Until this obvious violation of the Voting Rights
Act of 1965 is overcome, independent voters cannot
become candidates for office. 
  The problem party members have is that 43% of
American voters are now independent voters.  The
failure political parties have experienced in their
attempt to stop independent voters from participating
in the government is in their effort to stop
independent voter registration.  Their most recent
effort in Arizona in this regard took place in 2005
when Governor Janet Napolitano signed into law a bill
to remove the option to register independent from the
Arizona voter registration form with the following
effect on independent voter registration:

          2000-2002   107,715
          2002-2004   165,771
          2004-2006   26,384

This drop in independent voter registration was only
temporary as citizens of Arizona learned that they
could still register independent with a voter
registration form that tells them that they must
register as members of political parties. 
Independent voter registration is now up to its
former level, while both major parties have started
to lose voters in Arizona. 
  My advice to all Americans of all political
beliefs is to register independent and work to
establish free and open elections.  Political parties
destroy free elections.

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By prisnersdilema, February 29, 2012 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

Yes there are altenatives to voting for Obama. Don’t kid yourself a vote for Obama is a
vote thrown down the toilet anyway. The same is true if you vote Republican.  So why
not make a political statement?

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By balkas, February 29, 2012 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

what a pleasant surprise when a privately-owned [or seems so] site like truthdig allows on
it a piece on socialism and about a socialist running for president.
kudos to truthdig for this piece by scott tucker. this may explain why truthdig allows me
to post socialist ideas.
generally, i avoid to talk about socialism—i prefer to call socialist ideas “equality” or
“egalitarianism”, but not to an utopian degree.
some inequality is ok with or rather would be ok with me if it would be ok with, say, 98%
of people.
provided, tho, the 98% would at all times be able to obtain true information and
education.
for if they don’t get correct information or necessary elucidation, they may always spurn
what is best for them and accept what is best for a minority of people! thanks

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By vector56, February 29, 2012 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

“The American voters are so “dumbed down” by major media and national provincialisms and repressions that the very word “socialism” increases their “fear of differences” and “foreignness” and “anti-patriotism” so that they automatically, without a moment’s thought, gravitate toward the D-R false dichotomy.”


I too agree with gerard’s above statement. The corporate media “sells” capitalism as the only reasonable path to prosperity continuously. From “cradle to grave” we are bombarded with a popular culture that tells of to “get rich, or die trying!”

Remember during the facade that was the so-called Health Care debates (Obama had already cut deals in the backroom) when Single Payer was preemptively taken off the table allowing the Public Option to be cast in the role of “a bridge to far”? 

A similar “Jedi Mind Trick” has been played on the public when it comes to labels for economic systems in general.

Communism
Socialism
Capitalism

Please, try for a moment to put aside years of conditioning and subliminal suggestion and assume a neutral frame of mind.

Communism by definition is “pure” unadulterated economic Democracy. The idea is that “the people” own the government; and the government only exist to serve the needs of the people. All the methods of production and commerce are run by the government for and only for the economic beneficent of the people. As a species humanity has not evolved to a point where such a system would work; Karl Marx was far ahead of his time and ours.

Even though (in my opinion) we sociologically knuckle dragging hairless Apes could never pull off Communism even if we wanted to (USSR) the very thought of it drives the Capitalist 1% mad! Deep down in their dark, cold hearts they realize that if Communism or real robust Socialism (Communism-Lite) ever took hold it is “game over” for them! All of the “surplus labor” they have deceive billions of human beings into channeling into their bank accounts (FoxConn, Apple, Wall Street); the countless lives over generations given up to maintain their permanent monopolies (blood for oil)would crumble!

The first to go would be the incredible ingrain myth that the good of the many should yield to the comfort of the few. 

“Kill a Commie for Mommie!” from the perspective of Wall Street is totally logical. 

Socialism is the prize behind door number 2, just as a Public Option was a second choice to Single Payer notice we got neither.

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By theway, February 29, 2012 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Initially I thought that at last there is hope but unfortunately I have to agree with gerard.
It is now time that moral decadence is replaced with justice for all, fairness, generosity and peace.
Don’t give up Mr Alexander!

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By gerard, February 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Please correct me if you think I’m wrong, but in my opinion it is time that some of us start to level with each other and try to find some commonality, if there is any. 
  As to this article, this worthy candidate, and what it means to run in this election campaign, it is essenatial to raise some obvious questions:
  1. Is it possible for anyone, no matter how well qualified, to run as a Socialist for the American presidency in 2012? My opinion is “No!” for a number of obvious (sad) reasons:  Most important:  The American voters are so “dumbed down” by major media and national provincialisms and repressions that the very word “socialism” increases their “fear of differences” and “foreignness” and “anti-patriotism” so that they automatically, without a moment’s thought, gravitate toward the D-R false dichotomy.
  2. It is too late and would take too long to destroy the prejudices of these “average” Americans even though it is a vitally needed effort if we are to remain a “modern” nation. In the modern world, political naivete is a very dangerous “frame of mind” especially if the democratic ideal is to find its way into the human future.
  3. Pretending to sponsor or seriously put forward such a candidate (no matter how worthy and qualified) is a cruel jest if one knows anything at all about what is going on in Washington. Whatever changes are to succeed will have to come from movements and agitation of individuals who are willing to step forward and assume major roles in defense of those changes, and bring to the political scene not only the evidences for the need of those specific changes, but practical suggestions and demands for implementation of specific step-by-step ways in which the changes can be brought about. (What has to be given up? What will replace what is given up? Who will decide, and how? By what methods can we all work together to effect these changes?
  I am deeply sorry to have to emphasize that needed changes are going to require months and years of hard, committed political work—preferably without the “ism” labels that prejudice semi-ignorant people in advance—to bring about mutually beneficial changes. And if the changes are not mutually beneficial and mutually understood and adopted, (I might add) they won’t do much good.
  We need to think and discuss long-term about our problems. Simple solutions are out of the question. The problems are too complicated, stubbornly ingrained, and supported by too much ingrained belief in religious and politically doctrinaire
“tooth fairies.”
  If we will commit ourselves to facing the truth, maybe in ten years a man like this brave soul could be elected.  I am deeply sorry to have to say this, but I think we all need to fact facts here and now, not hopes. Everything indicates the almost total collalpse of democratic ideals at present. They will pass into history unless real partiots are willing to roll up their sleeves for longer than a campaign season or two.  Occupy Wall Street indicates that they know this; therefore no easy answer is forthcoming from them or from anybody else.
  Again, show me where I’m wrong, please.

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By Galens Links, February 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Been attending ISO meetings here in Providence, RI. Unfortunately, so far, I am unconvinced. The government we live under today is clearly untrustworthy and I haven’t seen evidence of a government structure that would be held more accountable. Would have never thought 4 years ago that anarchy would make more sense than socialism but I don’t see that government does anything well besides consolidate power for oppression.

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By vector56, February 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Stewart Alexander sounds like the man Obama only plays on TV. I will not attempt to argue the merits of socialism in a country populated by mostly “rugged individuals” and Libertarians.

I personally think that socialism as an economic system would vastly improve the lives of most of the citizens of this country and is a much more humane system than it’s counter part (capitalism). One server the good of the many, and the others serves the few.

That being said, unless socialist can “sell” their basic ideas of fairness and “cooperation” over competition they will always be bit players in human history.

The Capitalism love to remind us that people are naturally greedy and will always put their own narrow self interest above that of the society as a whole.

Both systems temp us with offers of a better life; one preaches competition, the other community.

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By rumblingspire, February 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Socialism Now.
Communism Tomorrow.
Anarchy Always!

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