Monday, May 04, 2015

A message to all Houston mayoral candidates

At the end of this piece from the inimitable Charles Pierce about Bernie Sanders, there's an excellent message for everyone running -- and considering a run -- for mayor of Houston.

To establish: the last Socialist to be elected mayor of a major American city was a fellow named Frank P. Zeidler, who served as mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1948 and was re-elected twice, holding that office until 1960.  He was actually the third of three Socialists elected Milwaukee mayor in the first half of the last century.  Zeidler won his first election in 1938, as Milwaukee County Surveyor, on the Progressive Party line, as a Bull Moose liberal.  Now here's the relevant part.

Once I heard (Zeidler) say that, when he was coming up, what made you a socialist was the fact that you believed your city should fix potholes and that it should have a fire department.

Is anybody calling Bill King a socialist because he wants to fix the potholes?  A few people are labeling Steve Costello that, derogatorily of course, because he supported a fee that would go to repairing the drainage infrastructure of the city.  A few more are calling Sylvester Turner a socialist because of his efforts to make sure our firefighters aren't impoverished in their retirement.  But those are all the same people who have been calling Barack Obama a "soshulist" for the last six years, who marked John Cornyn a RINO (and re-elected him anyway), and who believe that the US Army is preparing for an armed occupation of rural Texas.  So perhaps their judgment, not to mention their definition of 'socialist', is questionable.

But if or when a member of the Harris County Green Party or the Houston Socialist Workers Party or even the Houston Communist Party declares for mayor in 2015, try to keep in mind what actual leftists want to do, because it's the very same thing the Republicans and conservatives want: to fix the potholes and have a fire department.

Now the police, the roles they are supposed to serve in our community versus their original intent... maybe liberals and conservatives still have a difference of opinion on that.

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