Kshama Sawant, the socialist Seattle city councilwoman elected last November, produced a response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address (text here). As her campaign, along with Ty Moore’s in Minneapolis have done, it is a reality check on how progressive Obama’s plans are.
If he says that no full-time employee should live in poverty, why is he only suggesting $10.10 as a minimum wage- an amount that is not a living wage anywhere near where I live.
If he wants to fix the immigration system, why has he deported close to double the number of people in his one term than Bush did in two?
If he promotes his achievements in ending foreign wars, why was the timetable in Iraq not his idea, but his predecessor? And why did he attempt to keep troops there past the January 1st, 2012 deadline?
If he wants reconciliation with the Islamic world, why does he support drone strikes against Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia?
Even if you’re not totally on board with a socialist program, it opens up the spectrum of debate. Democrats are not left-wing, they never have and they likely never will be. If libertarians and uncompromising conservatives have a large presence in the American political discourse, then socialists and other leftists should be heard as well.
And that is an uphill climb, but as the victory of Sawant in a major city can prove, there are ways to become impossible to ignore.