Democratic Left

Post-Election Message From the DSA National Director

By Maria Svart

Tuesday night was not unpredictable. For centuries, the ruling class has used racism to divide working class and poor people and grind us down. It makes sense that people are scared, angry and desperate for change.

Even so, many of us are in mourning. Many of us are very afraid for our families, our neighbors, and our country.

We need to talk about how it came to this so we can develop a strong and strategic response. We are looking at how we seriously build our base for the coming struggle, and increase your ability to take meaningful action. We are looking at what we can do in solidarity and self defense with those who are the immediate targets for vigilante violence, and with those who will be further targeted by the State once Trump is in office.

Today, let¹s focus on immediate, productive action.

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DSA, YDS Membership Grew Fast, Still Growing

By David Duhalde

Today, the Democratic Socialists of America is approximately a third larger in both membership size and the number of community and college chapters than at the start of the Sanders presidential campaign. His candidacy and DSA members’ strong support work both remade the organization. However, new staff and continuing outreach are also playing a real and sustainable role in this growth.

Since 2015, when the Sanders campaign began, DSA’s community-based chapters have nearly doubled. Today, we have 42 locals and organizing committees, up from 26 over a year ago. Last week, YDS admitted its 20th chapter – the largest the youth section has been in nearly two decades.

This is on top of the nearly 2,500 new dues-paying members since Bernie’s race started. At our 2015 convention, DSA had a little over 6,000 members. Now we have over 8,000 members and are still growing. The organization experienced triple the normal monthly membership sign-ups during the Sanders campaign. And this month we sent out over 400 welcome packets to new members as a result of our recent national campaign.

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Give The People What They Want: DSA Members on 2016 and Beyond

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. DSA’s perspective on the 2016 elections can be found here.

October 29, 2016

For decades, the dominant approach to electoral politics on the left has followed a now-familiar formula. The formula goes something like this: the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate leave much to be desired. They fall far short of our aspirations for a free and just society. Despite these shortcomings, however, the Republican Party and its candidate are far worse and will inflict much harm on the institutions and constituencies we care about. We have no illusions about the Democrats, but leftists and progressives should vote for them because the political terrain will be much more favorable to us with them in office. Once the threat from the right is defeated at the polls, we will mobilize to hold the Democrats accountable whenever they move to implement neoliberal and militaristic policies.

However, we 75 signatories of this statement seek an alternative.

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Hours for What We Will

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Women workers demand shorter work week in the May Day Parade in New York City in 1936

By Johanna Brenner

Mainstream and social-democratic feminists seem to agree that something has to be done to ease “work-family conflict.” Women will never achieve equality without universal child care and certainly the United States is woefully behind the most advanced capitalist nations, particularly the Nordic countries, which provide well-paid parental leave (mandated in some instances for fathers to use) and publicly funded child care. Yet, I am concerned about the political arguments that are currently circulating to defend initiatives such as universal pre-kindergarten or paid parental leave. I’d like to see us develop a politics of care that not only supports the limited changes we might win today, but also connects to a vision that reaches far beyond the horizon of what capitalism will allow.

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Trump's Sexual Assaults Sparks Revival of Women's Movement

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Women rally against Donald Trump in N.J.

By Dan La Botz

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s bragging about his sexual assaults on women appears to be sparking a revival of the women’s movement.

Trump’s remark that he could “grab women by the pussy”—followed by more women coming forward to describe his sexual assault on them over many years—has led to social media protests and to demonstrations in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Trump’s outrageous remarks prompted women of all ages, races, and ethnicities who had been silent for years and even decades to speak out, sit-in, and protest. We seem to be at a “Women’s Lives Matter” moment and perhaps at the beginning of a new women’s movement.

While this is taking place in the context of a political campaign where Trump is challenging Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, women’s comments have generally ignored politics as they have spoken up for full equality, for respect for women, and for an end to men’s sexual accosting and assaulting of women.

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Tom Hayden Always Rocked The Boat: An Appreciation of the Legendary Political Activist

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Tom Hayden Speaking at 2013 DSA National Convention 

By Peter Dreier

In 2013, Tom Hayden—who died on Sunday at 76 from complications related to a stroke he suffered a year and a half ago while investigating fracking and oil drilling in California—donated his archives to his alma mater, the University of Michigan. The 120 boxes of material include more than 22,000 pages of his FBI files, the result of the agency’s 15-year surveillance of Hayden. Historians and journalists will mine this treasure trove of documents to learn about the key movements and personalities in American culture and politics since the early 1960s. Throughout his remarkable career, Hayden was both a prophetic voice and a political strategist, a rare combination. No single figure embodied the spirit of the generation that came of age in the 1960s more than Hayden.

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The Populist War on Women

By Slawomir Sierakowski

WARSAW – Jarosław Kaczyński and Donald Trump, two politicians who have shocked the world this past year, have mostly gotten away with their outrages. But not anymore.

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DUMP TRUMP, DEFEAT RACISM AND MISOGYNY, BUILD THE LEFT: A call from 47 grassroots organizers (see signatures below)

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 Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. DSA’s perspective on the 2016 elections can be found here.

October 17, 2016

RIGHT NOW IT FEELS LIKE WE’RE IN AN “EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES” MOMENT.  A lot of us see something really clearly, but few of us – radical and revolutionary organizers – are willing to say it out loud.

So we’re going to say it. Defeating Trump in the presidential election is a top priority for the left. And at a minimum, that means mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton in swing states even if you vote for another candidate in a safe state. We’ve got to beat Trump and Trumpism while building movements that will fight, resist, and disrupt a Clinton administration that will be militaristic and pro-corporate.

Most of us on the left feel about the Clintons the way we feel about leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge for too long: repulsed. NAFTA, mass incarceration, Palestine, the 2003 Iraq invasion, legitimizing the coup in Honduras, cozying up to Wall Street – take your pick of crimes that can be laid at the Clintons’ feet. And judging from the DNC, the Clintons will talk a good game on economic inequality while resorting to jingoism and nationalism throughout the election. But if the Clintons’ neoliberal politics induces nausea, then Trump's brew of racism and misogyny makes us projectile vomit.

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