As the election season heats up, I had the chance to correspond with Socialist Party USA’s candidate for president, former party co-chair Mimi Soltysik, and ask him a few questions.
First, why are you running?
He answered, “Presidential elections bring greater media opportunities for third parties, and for a revolutionary organization like ours, it’s important to take advantage of those opportunities. Right now, it’s a good time to be out there talking about what democratic socialism means. I see little value in electoral politics at this level, and I often find the messaging that comes from traditional campaigns to be alienating. Revolutionary change happens at the community level, and we will be using the campaign as a vehicle to contribute in any way possible to that push from the local level.”
What do you hope to accomplish?
“There are a few key areas where we can contribute. When folks contact the campaign, who are either new to organizing work or curious about what’s happening in their area, we can put them in touch with folks doing movement work locally. We can also help to connect folks who are involved in organizing work, which can, ideally, facilitate a greater exchange of ideas, strategies, etc. Helping folks to see how much power they have is key. A candidate who says “I will do x, y and z if I win” is a no-go when you have a revolutionary focus. The people have the power.”
Why should people vote for you?
“I think that what happens up until election day is how we might judge this effort. Can the progress made sustain and grow beyond Nov. 8? I think so. When we consider what we’re facing, reforms aren’t going to cut it. We need a revolution.”