“Socialism” That Democrats Can Support-Reformists Salivate Over Sawant’s Seattle Election
Workers Vanguard No. 1042
21 March 2014
Since self-described socialist Kshama Sawant won a seat on Seattle’s City Council last November, her electoral success has been widely promoted as a model for the left. Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative (SAlt) who narrowly defeated Democratic Party incumbent Richard Conlin, ran on a platform of liberal reform—for a $15 hour minimum wage, rent control, ending “corporate welfare” and for a tax on millionaires to fund public transportation, education and “living-wage” union jobs. While applauding other “alternative” candidacies, SAlt crows that Sawant’s win paves “a path for independent politics.” And the International Socialist Organization (ISO) chimed in approvingly: “Given the scale of the crisis that working people face, there is a serious need for some optimism that our side can fight back not just on the picket lines and in the streets, but even at the ballot box” (socialistworker.org, 16 December 2013).