Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Talking Union: Nathan Newman- Remembering Martin Luther King's Roots in The Labor Socialist Movement

Source: Talking Union- Dr. Martin L. King, on the Vietnam War-
Source: The New Democrat Plus

Imagine if we had more American Socialists who had the character and courage  to be out front about their socialist politics and not feel the need to hide behind other political labels, like Senator Bernie Sanders, Dr. Jill Stein today, but back in the 1960s Dr. Martin L. King. America would be a lot less ignorant politically. Americans with liberal leanings who believe in liberal democratic values ( not necessarily Democratic Party values ) would be a lot more open about being a Liberal and probably be proud Liberals, because they would know that they’re not Socialists or Communists, but instead Liberals who believe in liberal democracy. . In Britain, Europe, and perhaps Canada, you don’t have closeted Socialists which is what we have in America. Socialists there stand up for their socialist politics and are proud to be called Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists and in like in France and Sweden, are proud to be known as Socialists. In America, not so much.

As I argued last week Dr. Martin King, wasn’t just a Socialist, but a proud Socialist and Democratic Socialist at that. Edgar Hoover’s FBI believed that Dr. King was a Communist and working with Communist Party USA to build his movement. There were Communists involved in the civil rights movement, but Dr. King was a Democratic Socialists politically and ideologically and believed in democratic socialism and not communism or other authoritarian ideologies. His labor movement that he was  big part of and advocating for garbage collectors in Memphis and workers in other big America cities was part of his democratic socialist movement and what he was advocating for politically. Arguing for workers rights and that all American workers regardless of race should be allowed to organize.

Dr. King believed that American capitalism, along with forced state segregation for the races in America, especially in the South, was failing to meet the needs of the people. With few people at the top with all the money in the world and a lot of people at the bottom who simply struggled to feed themselves and their families and have adequate housing. And workers who would work very hard and work real long hours and be paid practically nothing and struggle just to pay their bills. Which is why he and his organization marched and worked with Memphis sanitation workers in Memphis so they could form their own labor union. Dr. King believed we needed a new economic system that would meet the needs of the people so we would no longer have hardworking people who struggled just to feed themselves and their families.

Dr. King wanted a democratic socialist model that would essentially collect the economic resources of the country through the Federal Government and then give those resources back through government programs based on what people needed to live well. Take from the wealthy though higher taxes to take care of the poor through government. Which is along with their large wealthy energy industry, is the economic model of Sweden. If you look at what Senator Bernie Sanders pushed for economically when he ran for President in 2016, its very similar to what Dr. King advocated for in the 1960s. High taxes on the wealthy to meet the needs of everyone else. This is not my economic model but this is what Martin King believed in and was proud of it and proud to be a Democratic Socialist, unlike a lot of closeted Socialists today who hide behind other political labels.

Dr. King was a proud man who didn’t hide from anyone and would promote his politics proudly regardless of what people on the Right and generally Far-Right in America people who even saw him as evil and wanted him killed and so what if those right-wingers saw him or labeled him as a Socialist or Communist. Because he wasn’t looking for their support anyway. Dr. King was a proud Socialist and would make the case for why he was a Socialist and then tell people who disagreed with them, “why aren’t you a Socialist as well now that you know what and why I stand for?” Which is very different from left-wingers today who are even proud to support Bernie Sanders and agree with him on everything and perhaps even to the left of Senator Sanders and perhaps even have more communist leanings instead of democratic socialist leanings and still feel the need to hide behind other political labels. And fail to claim the socialist label that fits their politics perfectly.
Source: Caleb Maupin: Martin Luther King Was a Socialist

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dandelion Salad: Happy New Year! 'The Radical MLK'

Source: Dandelion Salad- Statue of the great Dr. Martin L. King 
Source: The New Democrat Plus

After the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed and then the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, the 1968 Fair Housing Law, the Martin L. King movement started moving into a more radical direction. Even for the 1960s and even for today as well where Socialists and socialism doesn’t get looked down upon as much and Socialists aren’t necessarily seen as bad people with socialism being seen as some evil ideally anymore. Socialists and socialism are still seen as radicals and part of a radical movement today, but back in the 1960s they Socialists from all factions of socialism and socialism, was seen as Un-American by enlarge in America.

By the time 1967 comes alone Dr. King was a down the line anti-war and violence all together pacifist Democratic Socialist. Even to the left of Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders today who isn’t a pacifist and have supported American military action plenty of times during his career in Congress. Dr. King was as Far-Left and idealistic as Dr. Jill Stein ( the Green Party Leader ) today. He wanted a Federal Government big enough and to tax enough to meet the means of the American people. Which was mainstream socialist thinking back then and certainly today as well.

Which is why I see Bernie Sanders as the Martin King of his era. Someone who his not just a Socialist, not just a proud Socialist, but a proud self-described Socialist in the democratic sense. Unlike a lot of Socialists in America today who love the politics of socialism without living with the label of Socialist. And prefer to be called Progressive or even Liberal instead. When the fact is they’re Socialists and in many cases illiberal when it comes to free speech, property rights, and not seeming to put any limits on what government should try to do for the people.

After the civil rights laws are passed in the mid and late 1960s, Dr. King and his movement moves past civil rights and into welfare rights. And he gives a lot of speeches against the Vietnam War and instead calling for those resources to meet the needs of the American people, poor people especially. The radical Socialist Dr. King comes out for America to see in an era where young Americans especially were speaking out against the establishment and even the American form of government and were looking for a more radical way to govern America and a more radical political system for the country.
Source: Daniel Troutman: The Radical MLK You Probably Haven't Heard

Monday, January 15, 2018

Talking Union: Celebrating The Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: UNAC/UCHP- Dr. Martin L. King, giving one of his great speeches 
Source:The New Democrat Plus

Every time I hear our President Donald Trump speak and give one of his shithole comments or says something else that is disgusting about an entire group of Americans and people, I think about the worst and most ignorant of Americans. Bigots and racists from all races and ethnicities in America.

America, which could be called the world instead because America represents the entire world as far as everyone now lives hear and represents the best of America which is our diversity and individualism. The ability for all Americans to be exactly who they are and make the best life for them that they possibly can. Our diversity and individualism represents the best of America, while Donald Trump and his backers including Neo-Nazis and other European-American hate groups, representing the worst of America.

Dr. Martin Luther King represents the best of America. A Silent Generation baby born in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression. Which for an African-American born in them and born in the deep South in Georgia, would be worst than a depression, compared with European-American babies and even English-Protestant-American babies born during the same time and period. Born not to poverty but certainly modest means and having to fight racism his whole life but certainly growing up and coming through all of that working his way through college and becoming one of the best Reverends and religious leaders, as well as civil rights leaders that America has ever seen.

Dr. King represents the best of America because he proves that every American regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or who they were born to and the economic status of their parents, can make it in America if they want to make it in America and do the work to make it in America. Live a responsible life, get themselves a good education, and then apply those skills in the workforce. That it’s not about how people were born or who they were born to, that determines what kind of life you’ll have in America, but what you do with your life after you’re born that determines if you make it in America.

Dr. King’s life and vision for America with his I Have a Dream speech, represents America at it’s best. I mean think about this for a minute . “I have a dream where my children will one day be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” That is what America is about and should be about. That every American regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, can make it in America is they simply apply themselves and get the skills that they need to make it in America. So when you hear Donald Trump or some other shithole, make a shithole comment, treat that comment or comments for what they are, but also remember there is another vision for America that is more accurate about what America really is and represents America at it’s best.
Source: Above Inspiration: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- Be The Best of Whatever You Are

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The New York Times: Opinion- Thomas J. Knock: George McGovern, Vietnam & The Democratic Crackup

Source: The New York Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

There was a Democratic Party crackup in the 1960s and the debate is really when it happened. Pre-JFK assassination (which should be a clue for you) the Democratic Party was made up of Progressive cold warrior anti-Communists and Dixiecrats who today would be not just right-wing Republicans, but Far-Right-wing Republicans. But what the Democratic Party had in common was that they were anti-Communists. President John Kennedy is assassinated in 1963 and there was a leadership void and leadership that kept the Democratic Party together ideologically and politically.

Plus, you have the Baby Boom Generation starting to come of age in the early and mid 1960s who weren't anti-Communists at least when they were young and didn't see communism as some threat to their way of life. Who were anti-war pacifists at least when it came to the American military, who hated America's involvement in the Vietnam War and wanted to create a new America by any means necessary. That was less individualist, less capitalist, and less military.

The New-Left emerges as this movement that was a socialist movement made of both Democratic Socialists and even Communists. Groups like Students For a Democratic Society, The Weather Underground, and other New-Left socialist groups in America. This is the movement that broke the Democratic Party in half in 1968 and a reason why Hubert Humphrey loss the presidential election to Richard Nixon in 1968 and backed George McGovern for President in 1972.

If you look at George McGovern 1972 presidential campaign, he was the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his era. Someone who believed America was too decentralized when it came to its form of government. Who wanted to create a Scandinavian welfare state for America with the Federal Government being responsible for lot of the basic human services that we consume in life. Who was anti-wealth and believed that Americans were generally undertaxed. But McGovern pre-1968 or so was lot more mainstream with his politics. A World War II veteran who served honorably as a fighter pilot. Born and raised in North Dakota, who was very religious. George McGovern was never a New York City or San Francisco radical Socialist, who was anti-American and saw America as the real evil empire in the world. Even in 1972 he didn't believe that.

But on economic policy George McGovern was the Bernie Sanders of his era and Bernie Sanders was the George McGovern of his era. Not people who believed American capitalism was evil and should be destroyed and replaced with some type of Marxist economic system. But was someone who believed that American capitalism should be used to finance a very generous welfare state and go together as part of a new American economic system. A large private sector and private enterprise system, to go along with a generous welfare state financed through high taxes on everyone. On economic policy at least George and Bernie, were always way to the left of most Americans on economic policy, even if they would be considered mainstream Center-Left Social Democrats in Europe.
Source: AP Archive: Senator George McGovern- Vietnam War Speech: 10/28/1972