Why Socialists Support Jovanka and Gayle

Mike Parker

June 12, 2018

California has a "top-two primary" where all candidates run on the same primary ballot and the top two face each other in the general election. So it makes for a lot of maneuvering. Even if a district is overwhelmingly Democrat, for example, if the Republicans only have two candidates but the Democrats have many, it is possible for the runoff to be between two Republicans. And in the fall, while candidates are identified by registration there are no party ballots or lines.

Gayle McLaughlin, who is not registered in any party, got about 3.5% of the statewide vote, disappointing many of her supporters. In some locations she received a much more significant vote. More importantly, her campaign was successfully used by a number of community groups and Our Revolution local affiliates as the focal point for organizing on going local organizing.

In part Gayle's campaign was built with the expectation that there would be some kind of "Bernie campaign" in the primary mobilizing Bernie supporters to challenge the corporate Democrats. There was no such Berne campaign. The Democratic Party adopted a policy of intervening in the California primaries to support moderate Democrats as part of their strategy to "flip the House." It appeared that Bernie supported this strategy, as his main intervention in California was to urge California Democrats to vote to counter Trump but did not back candidates in contested primaries.

In the 15th Assembly District (AD15) almost all the Democratic Party powers lined up behind Buffy Wicks (a Clinton field organizer who had only recently moved to the Bay Area). Despite the big-name endorsements, a campaign fund of more than a half million dollars, and at least that much in independent expenditures (the California Dental Association put out an expensive mailing) Wicks only got about 31% of the vote. Other campaigns spent at least $250,000 and sent out district-wide mailings. Jovanka Beckles campaign sent out no mass mailings and relied primarily on community...

Eric Blair
June 12, 2018

It is encouraging to read about the creativity and militancy of workers and unions in other countries. Even better is to read about workers and unions who are taking on and defeating the very same corporations that are undermining the labor movement in the U.S. Perhaps, those workers and their unions are demonstrating strategies and tactics that could be implemented here to help reinvigorate the labor movement. That’s the inspiring proposition of Carolina Bank Muñoz’s latest book, which tells...

Michael Löwy
June 1, 2018

The passing away of Joel Kovel is a great loss not only for us, his friends and collaborators, but for the broad international ecosocialist movement, of which he was a towering pioneer.

I first met Joel at an International Marxist Conference at the University of Nanterre (Paris), convened in 2001 by my friends of the Journal Actuel Marx. We immediately sympathized, and found a common interest: the urgent need to bring together the “Red” and the “Green”, under the aegis...

Steve Early
May 28, 2018

In a political culture shaped by big money, entrepreneurial candidacies, single-issue campaigning, and union dis-unity, you can run but not hide from crowded fields of Democrats. In many current primary races, they are all claiming to be “progressive,” even as they raise and spend millions of dollars competing against each other—money that might have been better spent on actual movement building?


A. Smith
May 26, 2018

Left-wing analyses of capitalist ideology insightfully expose how personal responsibility is deployed to blame marginalized populations for what are actually consequences of oppression. The implications of this critique for body odor medical conditions, however, are rarely spelled out.

Since the early twentieth century, corporate advertising has invoked norms of personal responsibility and body shaming to disseminate the myth that all people have the ability and obligation to become odorless through...

Yasemin Dildar
May 18, 2018

“If one day our nation says ‘enough,’ then we will step aside,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week in a speech to Turkey’s Parliament. Soon after the speech, #Tamam (“Enough”) became a trending Twitter topic worldwide with over 1.5 million tweets posted by the end of that night. Social media has become the primary platform for opposition against the government in Turkey since mainstream media is almost completely controlled by the government. However, Erdoğan’s...

Dan Clawson and John Fitzgerald
May 8, 2018

Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU) is the progressive caucus in the Massachusetts Teachers Association in which several Solidarity members are active. Four years ago, EDU ran a candidate for president largely as a vehicle to make connections with those we couldn’t easily reach. As a result of an effective campaign, an unsuspecting old guard, and a disgruntled membership, Barbara Madeloni won a two-year term. She ran for re-election in 2016 with a running mate; she won again, but her running...

A Statement from the Steering Committee of Solidarity

DONALD TRUMP’s WITHDRAWAL of the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement has set a path toward another Middle East war. It is not necessarily a war that will erupt right away or in the short term, and it may be averted if the United States is politically isolated and there’s a mass revival of an international antiwar movement. That’s what every sane person, and certainly every socialist and peace activist, should hope and work for.

Nonetheless, the course now is set toward...

Song Ho-joon
May 4, 2018

In November 2016 candlelight vigils began to flare up in South Korea. Millions of people joined the movement and within a couple of months they succeeded in ousting the ultra-right wing Park Geun-hye administration. The advent of the Moon Jae-in liberal government created a new political environment in which gaining some reforms within the system seemed to be possible. This new milieu generated a concern among labor activists about how they had to carry out their revolutionary goals. Applying a theory...

Shannon Carter
May 1, 2018

Increasingly, leftists in North Texas are finding one another and, in doing so, discovering ways to work together to fight ongoing injustice and oppression in all its forms.

Nowhere in this notoriously conservative area has this alliance-building seemed more evident than Solidarity Day School in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, March 10, 2018, the first in what we hope will become a quarterly series of Day Schools for local leftists, movement activists, and organizers, all with differing levels of familiarity...

Peter Solenberger
April 14, 2018

On April 9 Facebook began notifying 87 million users that Cambridge Analytica, a far-right political consulting firm, had accessed their information, including their private profiles, postings, likes and friends. Facebook claims that in April 2015 it blocked the path by which Cambridge Analytica accessed the data, but it didn't acknowledge the massive breach or suspend Cambridge Analytica until now.

Other paths remain. On April 4 Facebook acknowledged that data-mining outfits may have used its search...

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