It’s more than clear that Barack Obama is no socialist, and the Democratic Party is as close to socialism as George W. Bush is to a wordsmith or an ancient Greek philosopher; but I have to ask why isn’t there a major socialist (or labor party) candidate to vote for in this country? Why do the capitalists and the investor class get to have the two major party candidates to vote for, and why should there be no candidate available for the rest of us?

Well, to really answer this question I’d probably need to ask a professor who studies the history of the working class, or the IWW or something, but I’m asking this question actually less deeply; more on the level of simply why do we have the two major corporate parties (and only them)? The NDP, a social democratic party, has 37 seats in Canadian Parliament, and Socialist parties all over the world are major parties in their countries (such as France). Yet in the United States, the Socialist Party is virtually unknown to the majority of Americans.

Part of it is clearly the media which gives no attention to solidly progressive candidates such as Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader (are they socialist? I don’t know, but they certainly are relative to the Democrats and Barack Obama). Part of it is money, the minor parties cannnot raise the kind of funding that the bankrupt major parties are able to raise. Part of it is a genuine belief in capitalism (of the ‘free’ market variety) that I think many more Americans have, more so than our Canadian and Western European allies. But should this confluence of factors entirely eliminate the possibility of a socialist or social democratic candidate from being allowed to emerge? I’m not sure I can really answer that sufficiently (without writing a tome), but come every four years; it seems that, the same old electoral system rolls on, with the ‘choice’ of hardcore neoliberalism or neoliberalism, the ‘kind and gentle’ variety.

The American people seem quite content to take this situation (there’s no protesting or rioting in the streets), but I’m not going to be joining their ranks and be a part of it, in the forthcoming presidential election. I’m going to proudly cast my vote for Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party, and look forward to the day; when I might be able to cast my vote for a dyed in the wool socialist, who has more than a snowball’s chance in hell of actually winning the presidency!




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