Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Socialist in the Senate

Vermont has just elected the first socialist to the United States Senate. The former Burlington mayor and Vermont’s only member of the House of Representatives since 1990, Bernie Sanders easily won Tuesday’s election to the Senate with 65% of the vote. Sanders wins “because he has established a solid record on behalf of ordinary, non-socialist Vermonters.”

He ran as an independent but will caucus with the Democrats.

According to the Washington Post:

Vermont, the state that zigs when the nation zags, has something up its collective sleeve. It's about to send the first avowed socialist to the Senate since . . . well . . . never.

"There have been populist senators who were pretty radical guys but never a guy who says, 'I'm a socialist,' " says Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University.

The 65-year-old known to voters simply as "Bernie" is Vermont's lone congressman, a six-term independent with a photo of Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party presidential candidate in 1912, on his congressional wall. He's perhaps the most popular pol in the state and there's nothing northern New England about him. Sanders was born in Brooklyn, raised by Jewish parents from Poland. His father's family perished in the Holocaust. He chews on each syllable in an accent as Flatbush-inflected as the day he wandered north four decades ago.

"Look," Sanders says, "you can't be afraid of the people [pronounced: pee-PULL]. A lot of progressives sit around their homes and worry about being labeled or how to talk to people. I go out, I knock on doors, and I talk about economic justice and the oligarchy and what's fair, and more people than you might guess listen to me.

"I find that absolutely encouraging."

Vermont's Democrats offered Sanders a ballot slot. No way. He runs as an independent. (The Democrats didn't put up a candidate against him.) ….

The Senate can be a bit stuffy as an institution. Sanders will be a breath of fresh air.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This might come as a shock to all the Right-wing pundits.

Bernie Sanders is not a member of the Socialist Party nor has he ever been a member. He works as a true Independent who tends to choose a more Leftist approach.

For the most part the Far-Left has been kept out of equal representation. Now consider the divide of capitalism the main point; the Left looks at the Democratic Party as more Centralist and part of the GOP by its core nature in fact.

Atlee Yarrow
State Secretary
Socialist Party of Florida