Brian Moore / Stewart Alexander as Socialist Party Presidential Ticket

As I wait to write my first exclusive post for thirdpartywatch over the holiday weekend, I figured it would be a good idea to give everyone a taste by republishing an article from the Michigan Socialist that I wrote.

Socialist Party USA Picks its Presidential Ticket for 2008
by Stephen Tash
The Michigan Socialist
Socialist Party members from across the nation converged upon St. Louis, MO from October 20th through 22nd to attend the biannual national convention. Various issues made their way onto the convention floor from changes in the national platform to the status of the Socialist Party of Wisconsin’s charter. However, the most exciting and important development coming out of the 2007 National Convention is that the Socialist Party USA has decided once again to run a presidential campaign and from a fine list of candidates nominated Brian Moore for President and Stewart Alexander for Vice President.

Presidential campaigns for the Socialist Party historically have not been an issue of getting elected. Even at its strongest point, the Socialist Party only received 3.4% of the vote with Eugene Debs in 1920, coming in third place. Certainly, the Socialist Party is not expecting Brian Moore to be taking the presidential Oath come January 20, 2009. Traditional presidential campaigns of the Socialist Party exist for the purpose of spreading the socialist message, for recruiting, which may ultimately lead to an honest attempt to win the presidency. In light of the goals of a presidential campaign, the Socialist Party could not have chosen two better candidates for the job.

Brian Moore, 64, of Spring Hill, FL is a stay-at-home dad with a Masters degree in public administration from Arizona State University and plenty of campaigning experience. He served in the US Peace Corps in Latin America from 1969 - 1972 for a slightly over 3 year tour before involving himself in healthcare industry between 1973 and 1992. From then until 1997 he continued his healthcare track record fund-raising for INMED, a nonprofit international health organization as well as an international consultant for public health projects in Latin America and Africa. Since 1998 he has been with an executive recruitment firm for the healthcare industry. That certainly sounds like an ideal resume in a campaign where both immigration and healthcare are key issues.

Moore is not a campaign virgin by any means: he ran for city council and mayor of Washington, DC between 1984 and 1998; in 2002 and 2004 he ran for Florida’s 5th district US house congressional seat and then for the Senate in 2006. None of these campaigns led to his election, but that should not suggest that he is unfamiliar with Washington. He testified before the US Congressional Committee on the District of Columbia during the 1990’s and in 1992 he testified before the US Civil Rights Commission in 1992. Neither should this suggest that he has no executive experience; he has been president, vice-president, or chairman of several local organizations throughout his life.

Stewart Alexander, 56, of Los Angeles, CA is a long-time community activist and has the distinction of being the first member of an ethnic minority group to be on the Socialist Party Presidential Ticket. However, this was almost not the case; in the 1960’s there was talk within the party of running a ticket of Norman Thomas and Martin Luther King Jr. Yet, no ticket was run and at this date no one is sure whether or not King was involved directly in the discussions. Stewart is also a prominent member of the Peace and Freedom Party, a party very similar to the Socialist Party, founded in 1967 in part by the Black Panthers.

The trials of capitalism are nothing new to Alexander, he has felt the sting of racism since birth when he and his mother were sent down into the hospital’s basement right after labor. His family moved to New Boston, MI in 1953 where they were unable to find a trailer park that would allow black tenants; his father bought land to put their trailer on only to be evicted by Wayne County officials for zoning violations. He has seen employment discrimination firsthand as a boss informed him they would only hire a black man if he was twice as good as a white man. Stewart was one of two black employees in an organization of two-hundred. He has even been accused of criminal activity and experienced the racial bias of the California justice system, run up on numerous false charges only to be acquitted of all charges.

Alexander had been a political talk show host on KTYM Radio in Inglewood, CA for many years, discussing local issues to the Los Angeles and Southern California areas, promoting the reinvestment of the funds generated in downtown Los Angeles into the poorer areas of the city. This led to his run in 1989 for Mayor of Los Angeles, focusing on responsible development and fighting urban decay at its roots with social programs. In 2006 he ran for Lieutenant Governor of California under the Peace and Freedom Party, drawing in 43,319 votes.

Despite the fact that 2008 is unlikely to be our year (that is unless Americans decide to speak out against the inequities inherent in a corporate-driven “free” market economy right away), the 2008 ticket is still singularly exciting. In an election where efficient health care for all is driving on the minds of the voters, it is the Socialist Party that is willing to call out for socialized medicine on par with our European neighbors and put out a candidate with more healthcare experience, specifically in its administration, than either of the two capitalist parties. While the two capitalist parties ignore the plights of the inner city: the Republicans focusing on recruiting the rich and the socially conservative; the Democrats the middle class; the Socialist Party has a candidate who has experienced those plights firsthand. We continue our long tradition of being ahead of the pack: before our time with women’s suffrage, civil rights based on ethnicity and sexual preference, social security, and opposing the War in Iraq.

The 2008 presidential ticket stands to make great strides towards building the Socialist Party into a recognizable force in future elections, creating an awareness amongst the United States working class of their common interests. The Democrats and Republicans are short on time before the American public realizes that they are both pushing a failing proposition: a corrupted and outdated economic system.

10 Responses to “Brian Moore / Stewart Alexander as Socialist Party Presidential Ticket”

  1. Gene Berkman Says:

    The vote for Eugene V. Debs in 1920 was not the strongest vote for the Socialist Party. In 1912, Debs received over 6% of the vote, coming in 4th place.

    Of course the strongest candidate for President backed by the Socialist Party was Sen. Robert M LaFollette in 1924, who received nearly 17% of the vote, and carried Wisconsin. Perhaps the strategy of a coalition effort, with ideological parties backing a more moderate candidate, could work for todays alternative parties.

  2. Don ald R. Lake Says:

    As a member of the Socialist/ Feminist [California Only] Peace and Freedom Party, I have run for local office under their banner, but have never ever voted for a party presidential ticket. For example, these folks would nominate convicted felon[s] cycle after cycle. As early as 1992 I said “been done before, and better!”

    Unintended consequences of IWW [Wobblies Union], WWI draft resisters, and Mister Debbs: [Alphabet soup] Both the ACLU and the FBI were founded in these time[s].

  3. will Says:

    they should back the greens these campaigns make no headway year after year after year.

  4. Bob Richard Says:

    will: they should back the greens …

    This sounds like practical advice, but it actually contradicts the reason why any small party runs hopeless candidates in the first place. Although socialists and radicals (we call the latter Greens today) share many positions on specific issues of the day, they do so from very different points of view. Getting the socialist message heard is just as important as getting the radical message heard. For the same reason that Greens should not submerge their message in tactical support for Democrats, the Socialist and Peace and Freedom parties should not submerge their message in tactical support for Greens.

    Having said that, I think that running real candidates for local office is a lot more important than running token candidates for President or Senator. The Greens are at the point where they can do that (Libertarians to lesser extent) and are having some success. At present, the various socialist parties mostly are not at that point.

  5. BillTX Says:

    At least the Socialists are realistic.

  6. will Says:

    bob i see your point but if you look at other countries, its possible for different parties to come together for national elections.

  7. Stephen Tash Says:

    LaFollette was backed by the SP, but he was not a socialist. He was progressive, and he was able to gain a large backing, which is the only reason it was valid for the Socialist party to back someone who did not seek to bring about democratic socialism. Outside a candidate that has a chance of winning who is significantly more in tune with the socialist train of thought than the Democrats and Republicans, it makes no sense to back anyone else.

    The token candidates have to do with party building by the way.

  8. David Gaines Says:

    Kevin Zeese, who was Ralph Nader’s campaign spokesman in 2004, ran for the US Senate in Maryland in 2006 as an independent and got the Libertarian, Green, and Populist parties to endorse him as an anti-war fusion effort. He got about 2% of the vote and, most significantly, was allowed into one of the debates. However, I’m not sure how much impact his campaign had on efforts to build progressive third parties in Maryland, and I’m not sure what kind of model is campaign was for other such campaigns nationwide.

    I was very against the idea of Libertarians and Greens, who stand diametrically opposed on most issues (especially economic issues), endorsing a candidate together, but I am interested in hearing what others think about Zeese’s strategy.

    As far as the Moore/Alexander ticket goes, I think it would make perfect sense for the PFP in California to nominate them, and I have no idea why the PFP has (to my knowledge) never nominated the candidates of the Socialist Party for president and VP.

    Either way, I’m sure the Moore/Alexander ticket will (based on the enthusiasm for it that I’ve seen on the internet) do a lot to rebuild the Socialist Party at the grassroots level, which is of course one of the major reasons for running a third party presidential campaign in the first place. It’s an absolutely golden publicity opportunity that only comes once every four years. Since most voters pay little attention to any electoral activity EXCEPT at the presidential level, it’s important IMHO for third parties to participate in the electoral arena at all levels - presidential, state, and local - simultaneously, in order to reach out to as many people as possible.

    Let us not forget here that “winning” in this case is a very long term proposition, on the order of decades. The influence, for example, that the Libertarian Party has on American politics now is unbelievably substantial, far more than could have been predicted 35 years ago when it was founded, and this is without winning any races higher than the Alaska state house.

  9. Stewart A. Alexander Says:

    Socialists Blast Corporate Media on Presidential Debates

    Stewart A. Alexander
    Socialist Party USA Nominee for Vice President
    and candidate for nomination by Peace and Freedom Party

    In recent days, ABC in a debate of the candidates excluded Dennis Kucinich from participating in the national television debate of the Democrats while including Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. ABC-Disney is the same outfit that is seeking to destroy the lives and living conditions of the striking writers of the Writers Guild of America. These media monopolies are again showing their true colors.

    On the other hand, the Fox News Channel “Fair and Balance” is excluding Ron Paul from the final debate among Republicans before the New Hampshire primary although he received 10% of the vote in the Iowa primary which was much larger that Rudy Giuliani.

    These corporate manipulated debate rules are yet another example about why the U.S. elections are being systematically rigged to benefit the corporate rulers. The Peace and Freedom Party and Socialist Party USA, both socialist parties, believes that all qualified candidates should get equal time on the television and radio networks and that this should be provided without any cost. The air waves are public resources and should not be used by the corporate rulers to continue their rigging of the U.S. election.

    I also believe that the systemic problems in the U.S. electoral system will only be resolved when we have a mass working class socialist alternative that will equalize not only the election crisis but expose the fact that both the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for this criminal war in the Middle East, the financial rip-off of millions of working people and the destruction of our education, housing and social system in the United States.

    The people of the United States deserve a real choice not determined by union busters, profiteers and the corporate control media that is out of control.

  10. Earl Divoky Says:

    Actually, the LaFollette Campaign was a DISASTER for Third Party organization in the U.S. LaFollette was supposedly the candidate of several proto-Third Party organizations along with the Socialist Party, but LaFollette led them down a blind alley. He was really running as an Independent, with no intention of establishing a lasting party structure. The American Federation of Labor endorsed him, but did nothing to help him. In fact, LaFollette insisted on getting a separate ballot line even in states where the Socialist Party, etc. already HAD a ballot line! At the end of his campaign he had succeeded in destroying the hopes for a progressive major Third Party in the U.S. The Socialist Party alone survived the fiasco, albeit in a greatly weakened condition.

    The same thing happened with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party in 1912. A lot of Republicans left to join Roosevelt, then when the campaign was over he told them to go crawling BACK to the Republican Party!

    As Gene Debs said, “I would not lead you into the Promised Land if I could—for if I could lead you in, someone else could lead you back out again.”

Leave a Reply