The latest installment in our ongoing series on the left and electoral politics and we’re talking about Democratic Socialists of America’s new electoral strategy. DSA has almost overnight become a serious force on an American socialist left that has for decades lacked much in the way of serious forces. One of the major reasons the organization’s membership rolls blew up, of course, was because of Bernie Sanders’ historic 2016 run for president, which not only electrified huge swaths of the country but reminded the radical left that the point is to win power and to govern—and that, after years on the margins, we could do so. This was in part because many Americans were no longer afraid of the s-word: socialism. Yet there is still, for many good reasons, a lot of skepticism about electoral politics in general and the Democratic Party very much in particular, inside DSA and across the socialist left. That’s the needle that the new DSA electoral strategy document tries to thread.
Dan’s guests are Renée Paradis, a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer (@ReneeParadis). She has frequently worked for electoral campaigns, including most recently as the National Voter Protection Director for Bernie 2016. Michael Kinnucan is a writer, researcher and activist in New York City. You should also follow him on Facebook, where he has a lively and incisive presence. Both are members of DSA’s National Electoral Committee and the organizing committee for NYC-DSA’s Brooklyn Electoral Working Group.
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