Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate
Sunday, March 30, 2008
While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.
As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Wikinews' own Patrick Mannion corresponded with the Socialist Party USA nominee and candidate, via e-mail.
- Why do you want to be President?
- Moore: Because the two party political system, and our capitalistic economic system, are not addressing nor are they resolving the problems domestically nor internationally. I believe we need candidates of courage and vision to address issues in a forthright and alternative way, and no one so far, does that through the systems and solutions that they offer.
- I also want to represent the working man and woman, the common man, and the poor, and bring equality and fairness and respect to them, which does not exist now under our systems and society.
- Have you ever run for political office before?
- Moore: Yes, I ran for city council and mayor in Florida in 2002, 2004 and 2006 respectively. in the 1980's and 1990's; and I ran for the and the in
- Have you ever been a member of a political party, other than the one you're currently in?
- Moore: Yes, I was a member of the , the , the and the . I also was an for a long period of time.
- Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?
- Moore: Yes, from 1967 through 1984 and in the 1990's and early 2000's I campaigned for congressmen, senators, governors and presidents in California, Utah, New Mexico, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington. I have collected signatures on petitions, raised money, held fundraisers, parties, meetings, signs, attended meetings, etc for two dozen candidates over a 30-year period. I only decided to run as a candidate myself at the age of 41, after campaigning for the first 17 years for other candidates. After becoming a candidate in 1984, I still campaigned for others in my off years up to 2004.
- What is your current job?
- Moore: I am semi-retired at 64 (will be 65 in June, 2008), but am presently looking for work again, despite my presidential candidacy, because my younger wife recently lost her banking job with regard to home loans and mortgages. Since I have a graduate degree, it may be easier for me to regain employment than she, who worked her way up through the banking industry for 25 years without attending college.
- What skills or ideas do or previous positions, you bring from this position that will benefit the Oval Office?
- Moore: Not sure your question is clear. I have worked in the private and public sector, for-profit and non-profit sectors, domestically and internationally, as an administrator, project director, fundraiser and in sales. I have worked with the poor and solicited funds from corporations and governments as well. I speak and some , and have traveled and lived in South America for almost eight years. I have been involved civically and politically and professionally for forty years, I play sports and attend cultural events, and feel I am well-rounded. I speak out forthrightly on the issues, take strong and clear stands, take the initiative a lot and leader and/or start causes and projects in a leadership capacity.
- Obviously, the next American President and his or her administration will face many diverse issues. But if you were to narrow identify the three most important issues, what would they be? How will you address these issues?
- Freedom and Privacy Rights: Abolish the , the , all executive orders that water down people's rights, and abolish all intelligence agencies overseas and the Homeland Security Agency at home.
- Radically Change Economic System: Transition America's economic system from capitalism to socialism in an efficient, expeditious, non-violent, civil, respectful way in order to eliminate all for-profit corporations and turn full authority and social ownership to the community and control over to workers. We do not advocate "government ownership" but all decisions will be made from the bottom up, and a redistribution of wealth will begin to take effect. Workers therefore have, if anything, a GREATER incentive to work hard under socialism than under capitalism because they are able to retain a much greater portion of the value of their own labor.
- End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Bring the American Troops and Corporations Home Immediately: Immediately end the two wars, and remove our troops and American corporations within a month or two. Assure protection and departure for citizens in danger of retaliation. Turn control of Iraq over to a new coalition or Iraqi tribes to decide on the political outcome of the new country. Provide generous reparations to Iraq and Afghanistan for the destruction of the infrastructure and culture the United States has caused. Proceed to make efforts to register any and all war crimes by our political and military leaders, and our allies, and request the Hague and International Law to hold accountable any and all political and military leaders from America, and its allies, responsible for crimes against humanity.
- My grandfather emigrated from Ireland in 1949, some of my relatives lived here illegally, you yourself have Irish immigrant grandparents, what is your opinion on the immigration battle that is occurring today in America?
- Moore: The immigration problem stems from greed and exploitive policies of the American government against many third and fourth world nations, that have undermined their economy and caused great poverty and suffering worldwide. I am in favor of full amnesty for all legal and illegal immigrants, the provision of full social services to all residents in our country, and the implementation of socialism which will guarantee free and full health benefits, education and housing to all its residents. Plus we will institute worker ownership and a guaranteed annual income for all adults, even for those incapacitated by handicaps, homelessness, etc. We will eliminate all for-profit corporations, closed down all foreign military bases, reduce our defense budget in half, and then more in the years to come. We will also end arms sales, and stop the use and sale of all nuclear power both militarily and commercially.
- Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?
- Moore: Not very well. Presently, the only candidates who succeed in our system are millionaires, or sellouts to corporate America and special interests. Public funding of future campaigns, universal laws for all fifty states to allow equal and fair ballot access to multiple and minor party candidates will be necessary to open up the system. Plus, we will take back the airways, and require if not award equal television and radio time for all candidates.
- Do you believe that it is really possible for you to win the 2008 election, being a third party candidate and all?
- Moore: Hell no! We will be fortunate to get on the ballot in 20 states. There is a possible, but not highly probable, reason that it could happen due to catastrophic events in our country such as war, economic collapse, assassinations, etc. or due to the throwing of support from several other minor parties to a candidate (i.e. a socialist party candidate being endorsed by the Green Party and a strong Independent candidate like Ralph Nader, or visa versa, thereby enabling one single candidate to be on the ballot on 45 to 50 states).
- Can any third party or independent candidate ever win?
- Moore: Yes, per the rationale mentioned in answer #11; or from an attractive third party candidate and an even split from the other two major party candidates. Remember, won the 1992 presidency with 39% of the vote, with 37%, with 20% (he was up to 40% in the early part of the campaign and won up to 28% in some states). Plus, the country is getting tired of holding its nose and voting for the lesser of two evils, plus the number of Independent and minor party candidates is growing and about to surpass one or both of the two major parties in percentage registered.
- Why do you believe socialism or even democratic socialism has never really "taken off" in America?
- Moore: Socialism had taken off in America. It is just that the and the and the between 1917 and 1924 by the U.S. government, and from 1945 to 1955; and the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century all undermined a wonderful and rich heritage of our country that thrived from 1900 thru 1925 and beyond. There were 1200 officeholders in America who were registered and public candidates as Socialists in America around 1920. Close to one million Americans voted for in 1912 and 1920, gaining 9% and 11% of the popular vote. Remember, ran in 1912 as a third party candidate and garnered the second highest vote totals (20%) and still Gene Debs also gained around 11%. Can you imagine if Teddy Roosevelt had not been a candidate in that election! Secondly, the Socialists were against , plus there was a split in the party with over half going to Communism, thus both suffering the consequences of Woodrow Wilson's Sedition Act and Red Scare tactics accusing them of being traitors.
- Membership in the grew from 13,000 to 118,000 by 1912, and circulation of its journal, , reached a circulation of over 760,000.
- Keep in mind supporters of Socialism then and into the 1930's and 1940's, in addition to Eugene V. Debs were , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .
- The growth of the left worried President and his administration so much that America entered what became known as the "Red Scare" period. In 1919, U.S. Attorney General , at the order of President Wilson, arrested over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists. These people were charged with "advocating force, violence and unlawful means to overthrow the Government." was part of the effort at that time. Large number of these "suspects" were held without trial for a long time, and some were expelled to Russia. The Socialist party took a terrible hit and its membership suffered a severe drop due to the governmental intimidation and false claims against it.
- One of my jobs is to re-educate America about this rich and radical heritage, and how its vision is positive and beneficial to the country. My other function will be to point out how capitalism is failing America and that it is acceptable to think in terms of radical change and alternative economic systems that will preserve and insure our country's survival and bring more fairness and justice to more Americans and to the world.
- If you can't make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?
- Moore: No one else, other than . All, including Ralph Nader, are part of the capitalistic system, and accept its premises that competition, profit, ambition, taking the initiative, winning, exploitation, and survival of the fittest philosophy win over the socialist's features of cooperation, democracy, communal responsibility, fairness, equity, egalitarianism, mutual respect, helping one another, etc. Even Ralph Nader would have a terrible time under capitalism, but I think down deep he really is a socialist at heart, but does not have the gumption or is too practical to believe that it can emerge or survive.
- What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?
- Moore: That they should vote their conscience and their principles. They should register their vote with the candidate they most believe in to show all the powers that be where your mandate lies. Third Party issues have created change in America. They have advocated causes that the two major parties have embraced 10, 20 or 30 years later, The major parties just did not have the moral courage to stand up at the time for what they really believed in. Eugene V. Debs, founder of the Socialist Party was quoted: "I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want and get it. "