There’s a lot of talk about the viability of TRULY Progressive Candidates like Bernie Sanders & Tulsi Gabbard. Two candidates that have spoken out against unjust economic systems, healthcare systems and electoral systems. They also have very strong support and are even some conservatives seem to like them! I know some folks are going to lose it here and say “well if conservatives like them they probably stand for awful things!” Or what they stand for goes beyond the binary of party lines and resonates with all types of people.
But there are some people on the left that consider them spoilers or unrealistic candidates, but think someone like Joe Biden is realistic. Biden, who’s been a walking ad for dimensia on the Campaign trail is apparently more viable than Bernie, a man stood by the people for over 3 decades. And he’s more viable than a woman of color who stood by Bernie when she was told not to!
Some people think Amy Klobuchar is more viable. If viability was a measured by how many platitudes per minute you can throw you on the debate stage. And the Democrats are all about the platitudes. Some people consider Elizabeth Warren more viable. Sure if viability was about someone who says they’re going to take corporate money because well “The Republicans are going to do it!” Well Liz, the Republicans also want to restrict black & brown people from voting and women to not have access to services, so maybe that’s not a good reason. Just say you wanna take the cold corporate cash to fill a pool and swim in it, just to know what it feels like. At least we the people would appreciate your honesty.
The primary reason a candidate like Bernie Sanders is not considered viable is because the term ‘Socialism’ has been turned into a boogeyman by the 2-Party system and corporate media! So is there any chance that a Socialist that can actually run for President and become President? Well before Bernie, Tulsi and the Democratic Socialists that are in Congress, Eugene Debs ran for President as a Socialist 5 times and once from Prison.
In 1901, Debs founded the Socialist Party of America and effectively became a thorn in the side of the 2-Party Imperialism ever since. When he ran against Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912 he was able to get 6% of the votes! Debs was put in to prison going to trial because he criticized World War 1 and the draft in 1918. At that time, criticizing the military, including their fashion, was against the Sedition Act, which was basically the Espionage Act light. And over 100 years later, it’s a good thing we’re not putting politicians behind bars based on this outdated law, just REAL publishers that have never had to retract a story. I am of course referring to Julian Asange.
So what the hell did Debs say in that speech that warranted an arrest from a Democratic leadership? Debs points out that only the rich make war and only they decide the terms of peace. The Middle Class, who would fight in these wars, don’t get to be involved in that process. Which we don’t. When was the last time an average Iron Worker was ever invited to any of the Treaties of Paris? And if we REALLY think about it, when was the last time you hear the word treaty in our lexicon? The answer is 1898. We’ve pretty just replaced it with ‘SUBMIT’!
After his speech that pointed out how the Middle Class has been cannon fodder for the arms industry and a battle for imperialistic control of power and resources, Debs was sentenced to three 10 year prison terms and had his right to vote revoked! This is the origin story of the Prison Industrial Complex! We don’t treat prisoners like they’re people, we treat them like turncoats in a revolution against nothing.
Eugene Debs was also a Union Leader and a fan of Thomas Paine. He believed that the Revolution was the start of the Democracy, but we needed to fight tyranny of slavery. His party stood against wage slavery of Capitalism and was ready to fight for the the working class. These are terms we still hear in our discussions today! For the last decade minimum wage has stayed the same. The cost of everything is going up. If all we are doing is working for different CEO’s then we are not free people. We are corporate slaves. And CEO’s are not Chief Executive Officers, they are Chief Executive Slave Masters!
In April of 1920 there was petition to pardon Debs, and to this day not one President has! Even symbolically they haven’t. They’ve pardoned war criminals, corporate criminals and even turkeys, but not a man who stood up the ravages of the war machine and fought along side the people. But this is way we have been demonizing Socialism! We’ve equated it with treason. We have equated running a country under compassion, understanding and equality for each and every one of us as a punishable offense.
I’m not saying Socialism is better than Capitalism, but I am saying that both systems need each other to ACTUALLY work. There are only 2 candidates running with the spirit of Eugene Debs in mind; Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. I think both of these candidates working together as a team would shift the course of this country from one run by individualistic greed and a profit motive to one where we all have what we need and are taking care of each other. The more we demonize these ideas the more treasonous of a road we’re on!