Results for: Questionnaire for Prospective 2020 Socialist Party USA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates
Questionnaire for Prospective 2020 Socialist Party USA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates
This questionnaire is for individuals interested in seeking the Socialist Party USA's 2020 election nomination for President or Vice President of the United States at the party's National Convention being held October 25-27, 2019.
Current Mailing Address (will not be published):
Telephone Number (will not be published):
Campaign Website URL (if applicable):
Campaign Facebook Page (if applicable):
Manley for America
I am Interested in Seeking the Socialist Party's 2020 Nomination for the Office of:
President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
Either President or Vice President of the United States
Will you personally be attending the October 25-27, 2019 SP National Convention in Newark, NJ?
Uncertain at this Time
Please write a brief statement introducing yourself. Your statement should not exceed two paragraphs.
I'm a 20 year old gay-black man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I currently attend Broward College, studying history and political science. I grew up in a single parent home, raised by my mom and siblings and attended public schools all my life. My family were not middle class or affluent, we were below the poverty line- on medicaid, food stamps, and section 8 housing. We more than often struggled, so much that at a young age I had to make certain choices to help feed my family. So, I joined a local gang. The gang went around stealing from stores and pawning stolen items. It helped provide for my family, until most of the gang members were arrested. I was forced to work, cutting lawns and doing landscape work at 13 years old to help provide for my family, often times skipping school or intentionally getting suspended so that I could work in the day time. Shortly after, I was sexually assaulted- violently. That changed my life forever. It gave me PTSD and social anxiety, some of which I still deal with this day.
In 2018, I ran for school board in my county because I believed that our education system was broken. Broward County, America's sixth largest school district, flushed with billions of dollars while so many students were homeless and left behind to struggle. In high school, I decided to do something about it. So, I ran. I lost. But something magical happen: 43k people believed in my message and my platform. So, I know that our ideas are popular and the time is ripe for socialism.
How do you personally define socialism?
In my view, socialism is about democracy. What isn't democratic, is a system that allows wages to be stolen from laborers and hoarded by a small group of elites & capitalists who serve their own interests while starving workers. What isn't democratic is the fact that workers are forced into extreme poverty, while not being able to afford their rent & medical bills. What isn't democratic is that we have a state which is vested in protecting the profits, interests, and concentration of wealth. In a democratic society, there would be no billionaires. There would be no "wealthy class." No such thing as "private property" would exist. The fruits of labor would be realized by all, and an egalitarian society without hierarchies will finally come to fruition.
How long have you been a socialist, and how did you come to adopt a socialist perspective?
I've been a socialist for 5 years. I started out as a social democrat who believed in a heavily-reformed and regulated welfare state. However, after seeing my mother struggle to feed us, seeing the inside of a jail cell, and witnessing a relative be shot to death by the police under a black president, it was clear that something was wrong with the status quo- I rejected the status quo. All my life, I rejected "authority." In elementary school, I rebelled against all forms of "authority" until I got my way, and I did get my way. After school, I would walk from my house to the library downtown. That was 4 miles every day. While walking from my neighborhood, I started to notice how the environment and living conditions changed. Once I crossed those tracks, stuff begun to look a lot different, and better. I started to ask why, and I got my answer. What type of system starves a community of a library, requiring them to have to drive or walk miles to get books? What type of system allows infrastructure in one neighborhood to crumble while roads are perfectly paved in another? A damn bad one! After asking these questions, I learned about THE Fred Hampton, who is my favorite figure to this day. I started to read about the black panther party, and other readings. That research allowed me to realize that socialism is the answer.
(a) Do you intend to run on the Socialist Party Platform and Statement of Principles (including systemic change based on social ownership, worker control, and production for use rather than profit)?
Yes, and I believe that my platform clearly exemplifies these [principles and the party's platform.
(b) Is there any position taken in the Socialist Party Platform and/or Statement of Principles with which you directly or potentially disagree? If so, please specify each such position and how it differs from your own.
At this point in time, I think just about everything fits perfectly within my world view and political orientation.
(c) If you take any positions that differ from those of the Socialist Party, are you willing to make clear at all times that the Party’s position differs from your own?
Yes, I certainly will in the event that occurs.
What, in your view, should be the primary goals or objectives of a Socialist Presidential/Vice Presidential campaign?
Our goal should be to agitate, educate, and organize. Not for any electoral purposes, but to awake a sleeping masses. Tangible goals should be to grow the party to compete with the democrats, and to further our message to those who need to hear it.
To what extent do you feel that you can be an effective voice for bridging the connection between the struggle against capitalism and the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, national chauvinism, and other such systemic oppression?
As a black gay man, who understands firsthand how toxic masculinity leads to violence, I know that I can effectively be an inter-sectional voice in this capacity. While everyone is exploited by capitalists, some communities are effected in much worse ways. African-Americans literally have not seen our wealth grow at all since the 60s, and a study shows that by 2050 the average net worth of a black family will be "$0." For black non-hetero/non-cis people, we face very high levels of violence, poverty, and exploitation. I am also committed to being a voice against the patriarchy in any capacity that I can.
The Socialist Party’s Statement of Principles states that “[t]he working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below.” In what ways will your campaign take on a working class orientation?
I believe that this fits perfectly within my foreign policy. I believe that solidarity with the international working class and exploited laborers is crucial to our platform. A foreign policy that does not do this, is an imperialist foreign policy.
Have you ever before run as candidate for public office? If so, please list the election year, office sought, and party affiliation/label (if any) of each prior political candidacy that you have pursued. Include any instance in which you have entered a party primary election or otherwise sought to obtain a political party’s candidacy nomination.
Yes, I ran for the Broward County School Board in 2018. I received 43k votes. The race was non-partisan. In 2016, i ran for the Socialist Party and the Green Party's nomination.
Do you intend to seek the nomination of any other political party for your 2020 Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidacy? If so, please specify.
No, I do not. If I am not selected by the Socialist Party for the presidential nomination at the national convention, I will suspend my campaign and will not seek any office in 2020.
Do you satisfy the U.S. constitutional requirements for being elected president of the United States (i.e. are you a natural-born U.S. citizen, with at least 14 years of U.S. residency, who will be at least 35 years old on January 20, 2021)?
No, I do not. I also do not intend to satisfy the age requirements of a document written by disgusting slaveholders. My campaign intends to defy the constitution in this matter, and I will not allow that to shut my voice down.
To what extent are you willing and able to travel during the campaign? Do you have any personal commitments that would significantly limit the amount of time you can dedicate to campaigning (i.e., family, school, work, etc.)?
I will be able to travel reasonably during the campaign. I am a college student, but I do have a very lucrative schedule.
What strategies and/or methods do you think would be most effective in promoting your campaign?
I believe that in these times, social media has proven to work the best. However, news outlets are another strategy. So far, I have had several opportunities this year to be on Fox News and other news outlets to discuss my campaign, and socialism. I am confident that by nominating a 20 year old for president, the party will receive more press, attention, and opportunities to educate the public.
Are you comfortable writing campaign statements, speaking to large audiences (including the media), and participating in debates when opportunities arise? Please elaborate on any experience.
This is my forte, and I am comfortable in this capacity. I am an excellent public speaker, and I can get liberals to listen to me because of my identity.
Have you developed any plan or strategies at this point for campaign fundraising?
Yes, I have. I'll release that plan at the convention.
What do you see as being the role of the party in the functioning of your campaign?
I want the party to be actively engaged in the campaign, and the promotion of the campaign's message. I don't have a large campaign staff, so the party will fit in perfectly where we can't.
What resources (financial, skills, contacts, etc.) do you bring to the Socialist Party's Presidential campaign? And what resources would you request or need from the Party?
I have a lot of press contacts, many whom are waiting for our ticket to be nominated so that they can make me the "black" socialist boogeyman of 2020. I am also an excellent orator. I can excite young people the most. I also have experience campaigning nationally, and locally- and my personal life experiences are crucial to reaching marginalized communities and agitating.