Socialist Workers of the World Unite!

socialist-party-eugene-debsWe’re not much for political chatter here at the EZED, but sometimes we have to put on our Voting Hat and make our way to the polls.

The race for the governor’s office in New Jersey has been especially depressing this year, as the two major-party candidates have scarcely shown any interest in going the usual route—deploring ever-rising property taxes and promising to cut the state budget by rooting out “waste” and “greed,” while painting the other guy as a profligate spender. Instead, Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine has been running ads that feature thinly veiled references to his opponent’s obesity, while Republican Chris Christie has countered by stating emphatically that he is, in fact, fat, and that his fondness for doughnuts somehow links him more closely to the Average Joes of New Jersey.

Corzine is known principally in New Jersey for dumping his 2006 campaign pledge of No Tax Increases within days of his election, and then shutting down New Jersey government when legislators in his own party refused to rubber stamp his state sales tax increase. That, and a foolhardy plan to sell the state’s major toll roads to foreign corporations who would then be given free reign to raise tolls exponentially on New Jersey commuters.

On the other side, Chris Christie is helped considerably by having no political track record to run on, but disadvantaged by being beholden to a philosophically bankrupt Republican National Committee whose sole governing principle (Fail, Obama, Fail!) is of little help to those average Jersey Joes eating all those doughnuts.

So this year, as we prepare to draw closed the curtains of the voting machine behind us, we’re looking further down the ballot for inspiration. And we’re finding the Socialist Party of New Jersey!

Socialists, of course, have always had something of an image problem here in the USA. Vladimir Lenin, Eugene Debs and all that. Lately, to make matters worse, they’ve been losing control of their brand. Republicans have grown tired of labeling their Democratic opponents as “liberals,” a word that has been steadily losing its scare value, and have started calling them “socialists” instead. Hell, it worked for Joe McCarthy, right?

Greg Pason is National Secretary of the Socialist Party USA and his party’s candidate for governor of New Jersey. He is also, interestingly, a state committee member of the NJ National Writers Union. I don’t know what that means, and I’m all for it. His website claims that the Socialists’ “aim is the creation of a new social order, a society in which the commanding value is the infinite preciousness of every woman, man and child.” I like the sound of that. At least he’s not calling anybody fat.

If I were Pason, my first aim would be to wrest back the terms of the debate. First things first, he’s got to get out some press releases reminding people who the REAL socialists are. He needs to get on TV and do some pushback. Something along the lines of, “My great grandfather knew Leon Trotsky. And you, Jon Corzine, are no Leon Trotsky.”

At any rate, he’s got my vote and the EZED Seal of Approval. Socialist Workers of the World Unite!

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