Want to Elect Socialists? Run Them in Democratic Primaries

By Daniel Moraff. First published by In These Times.

There are currently 7,383 state legislators in the United States. Nine of them are affiliated with the Vermont Progressive Party. One of them is an independent from Alaska who caucuses with the Democrats.

This is the grand sum of the left presence in American state legislatures outside the Democratic Party. There has been a single instance of federal-level victory in my lifetime—Bernie Sanders’s election as an independent to the U.S. House, then Senate, in Vermont. No one else has even come close. And Sanders, after 30 years as an Independent, elected to seek the presidency through the Democratic primary. Continue reading

The Real Problem with Jill Stein and the Green Party

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By Scott Jay. First published by Libcom.

As we approach November, the attacks on Jill Stein will only increase from Hillary Clinton’s most enthusiastic supporters. These people are horrified by the possibility – however unlikely – that Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States, but they do not seem to be so horrified at the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming President. They will largely be aware of Clinton’s support for the war in Iraq, her role as an architect of various brutal interventions as the Secretary of State in the Obama administration, her support for her husband’s policies of expanding mass incarceration, and her support for mass deportations. Yes, they will be aware of all of these. But they can put it all aside.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is so bad because he rubs it in your face. That is abominable. Supporting Clinton, on the other hand, gives liberals a nice warm feeling. Sure, she has problems, they will say, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Then, in the next breath, they will declare that Jill Stein is the worst person who has ever walked this planet, because her very existence challenges the narrative of nice, warm-feeling liberalism in support of Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

Radicals in the Democratic Party from Upton Sinclair to Bernie Sanders

By James N. Gregory. First published by The Conversation.

As we watch Bernie Sanders’ supporters struggling to come to terms with the nomination of Hillary Clinton, it makes sense to ask why leftists are involved in the Democratic Party in the first place.

It started in 1934 when Upton Sinclair, author of “The Jungle” and a socialist for most of his life, announced that he would run for governor of California as a Democrat. This began a unique relationship that has been important to American politics ever since.

Why unique?

Continue reading

‘Left’ Objections to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential Campaign

Bernie Sanders won’t announce until April 30 whether he’ll run for president or not but he’s already been roundly condemned by people who are closest to him ideologically. In so doing, they reveal their own political failings. These condemnations fall into one of three categories:

  1. Sanders isn’t a socialist.
  2. Sanders shouldn’t run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary.
  3. Sanders supports [insert your favorite unforgivable sin here]. Continue reading