The Stewart Alexander Presidential Campaign is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. My platform is committed to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic socialist society. To create a better future for working people, my platform will offer a guide that will establish a new social and economic order in which democracy will allow the 99% to shape our own future – in our neighborhoods, in our local government, and, perhaps most importantly, in our economy.
We need to create a new democratic voice that helps us to make rational decisions about industry, financial institutions, and the use of our precious natural resources. Overall, I intend to put the vast wealth of this society to work to finally satisfy human needs instead of feeding the profit hungry 1% and the corporations that they own.
I call for doubling the minimum wage and indexing it to the cost of living — equal pay for equal work, and for work of comparable worth and guaranteeing the right of all workers to organize. My Platform calls for a 30-hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks annual paid vacation. I call for a Universal Basic Income Guaranteed to alleviate poverty and homelessness.
As part of my peace agenda, I call for an immediate 50 percent cut in the military budget, followed by additional cuts, with the aim of rapidly reducing the military budget to less than 10 percent of its current level with the peace dividends directed to essential social services and to the cost of cleaning up contaminated military sites. I call for the disbanding of NATO and all other aggressive military alliances, and the closing of all overseas bases. Socialists have always understood that war is a rich person’s game for which poor and working class people are made to pay the ultimate price.
My administration would defend and extend liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. We would repeal the U.S.A. Patriot Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act. I call for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.
Why Socialism? Can you explain for those who aren’t familiar with the platform you are running on?
Capitalism has never worked for the majority of people in society. Capitalism is a system that has continuously exploited working people in order to increase the profits of a few multi-national corporations and the world’s super rich. Socialists believe the economic model for the nation must change from capitalism to a democratic socialist economy; a change from a “free market” economy that is based on competition, profit and greed, to a system that is based upon assuring that the basic human needs of all are met. Just take a look at the real human effects of our latest Capitalist economic crisis and you will find the answer to the question, “Why Socialism?”
What specifically makes your campaign unique?
The Stewart Alexander 2012 Presidential Campaign will offer a full democratic socialist alternative to voters. We will be a left-wing option to the parties of the 1% - the Democrats and Republicans. The Stewart Alexander 2012 campaign will directly challenge the corrupt money-driven politics in Washington DC while not being bashful about talking about the failed policies and promises of Barack Obama. My campaign is really about transforming the political landscape.
What drew you to the Socialist Party?
I have been involved with the Socialist Party since 2007. However, I have known about the party for many years. I joined the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) in California in 1998 and was involved in much of the PFP’s local and state politics. In 2007, my political interests were more on a national level and the PFP was a California-based political party. I decided to attend the national convention for the Socialist Party in St. Louis as a presidential candidate. Although I did not receive the presidential nomination, several delegates entered my nomination as the vice presidential candidate for the 2008 presidential ticket and I received the nomination by an overwhelming majority. Both the Socialist Party and the PFP are founded on the principle of protecting the interests of working people. This idea really attracted me to them.
Why should people vote for you instead of President Barack Obama or whomever wins the GOP nomination?
Working people should vote for me as president because I represent the people. I hope that when they read my program, or hear me speak, or watch me on TV they will encounter ideas that connect with their everyday lives. I hope they will see socialism as a way out of the debt and despair of capitalism. They will also find that President Obama represents Wall Street and the GOP candidates represent Wall Street. I come from the 99%, I live with the 99% and I will represent political positions that will better the lives of the 99%. Wall Street will invest billions to insure the corporate candidates are re-installed; I am not asking working people to make huge contribution to my campaign, I am asking working people to invest their vote for a better future for working people everywhere.
Your Wikipedia bio states that you were in the Air Force Reserve. Has having a military background influenced your politics?
Near the end of my military service, I was able to look back on that experience, and I realized that war is not about protecting our freedoms; war is big business with a high cost of human life and suffering. The U.S. has been engaged in smaller military conflicts or full wars since WWII and cost is staggering. Unfortunately, working people bare the cost (human and monetary cost), and the multi-national corporations enjoy the profits. I began to learn this from many of the soldiers I worked with and came in contact with during the time I spent in the Air Force. I came to the somewhat cruel reality that Vietnam was not about protecting our freedoms. Today a new generation of soldiers is finding out the same thing about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and, perhaps, Iran. These wars are not about freedom, they are about protecting the interests of the super rich.
As the Vice Presidential candidate on the 2008 Socialist Party ticket, do you feel that campaign made any mistakes and how will your campaign differ this time?
My approach in 2012 has been to get my vice presidential running mate involved in the campaign from day one. We have 14 individuals working with my national campaign committee; however, it is important that we all work as one. Alex Mendoza has many roles in the campaign. He is the National Campaign Executive Administrator. In this position, Alex is working directly with Mimi Soltysik, the National Campaign Manager; along with Mimi, Alex oversees all aspects of the daily working of the campaign. Alex is a vital component of the campaign, a spokesperson and an ambassador for the Socialist Party USA and the socialist movement. The Alexander/Mendoza campaign is also about communication — in our committees, in the party and in reaching the nation.
In addition, the Occupy movement has changed the political landscape of our country, so there is no telling what exciting possibilities lie ahead for the campaign. This is a big difference from 2008 when we often struggled to get a basic message about socialism out. Now, with Occupy, thousands of people are already discussing issues that we want to talk about.
What do you think are the three most important problems facing American’s today?
First: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, the need to move to a full employment economy
Second: Reclaiming our constitutional rights
Third: U.S. military aggression and the costs of war
What do you plan to do to fix those issues?
First, the Stewart Alexander Presidential Campaign has a dynamic plan to create jobs. Forget Obama’s multi-billionaire dollar bank bailouts or his flashy tax incentives that produced few jobs. We will create jobs directly and immediately by creating an emergency national employment program and by providing public funding for an independent worker-owned and worker-managed cooperative sector.
Second, I will defend and extend liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Repeal the U.S.A. Patriot Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act. I call for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.
Third, I will call for an immediate 50 percent cut in the military budget, followed by additional cuts, with the aim of rapidly reducing the military budget to less than 10 percent of its current level with the peace dividends directed to essential social services and to the cost of cleaning up contaminated military sites. I call for the disbanding of NATO and all other aggressive military alliances and the closing of all oversees bases.
What would you most like potential voters to know about you?
Know that I am a working person and I am just like the majority of Americans. Know that I am asking you to support my candidacy for president because I think I can make a positive difference. The representatives from the two corporate parties will only represent the interests of Wall Street. I represent a new direction for working people, in which workers and community members will take responsibility for and control of their interpersonal relationships, their neighborhoods, and their destiny. Capitalism has failed working people; a democratic socialist society is the new direction we need as a nation to move toward a better future.
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