The Social Democrats USA has recently made national news or at least into the Glenn Beck show which is almost as good. On his April 22 program right tea party leader Glenn Beck attempted to further build his case that President Obama is a socialist by attempting to tie Obama to the now defunct radical reform organization ACORN and its executive director Bertha Lewis. Mrs. Lewis who evidently is a democratic socialist spoke at gathering of the Young Democratic Socialists the youth arm of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in March. At the gathering Bertha Lewis called for DSA members to build the organization and recruit new members. Since Barack Obama as have many other Democratic leaders has had a positive relationship to ACORN prior a series of scandals within the organization during the last few years, Mr. Beck easily scored several propaganda points. As propaganda the argument of guilt by association normally works for those who wish to believe the main story line. Next to top it off Beck showed a citation from the web site of the old Social Democrats USA, which calls for the Social Democrats USA to be a “party within a party” ie a caucus within the Democratic Party. The implications for Beck of this were obvious. The Democratic Party is infiltrated by and ultimately controlled by dangerous socialist elements of the Social Democrats USA. Use link http://video.foxnews.com/v/4162511/the-one-thing-422
for the full Beck ACORN presentation and use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7_oUUtzqc
for a very short version.
Would that this were true! However some unfortunate facts need to be stated. The first of which is that in December of 2009 a schism occurred within the Social Democrats USA and Gabe Ross the executive director of the SD USA was fired from his position by the organization’s full National Executive Committee. The division that occurred between the NEC and its executive director was due to an increasing tendency by Mr Ross to use methods of slander and the demonization of board members who disagreed with him over often minor political issues. That behavior when combined with Mr. Ross’s often deliberate refusals to implement NEC decisions and his unilateral expulsions of NEC members made his continuation in his post of Executive Director an impossibility. Unfortunately since Gabe Ross controlled the SD USA web site, the NEC leadership had to develop an alternative web site called “Social Democracy for the 21th Century.” Unfortunately this new web site due at least partially from legal harrasment from Mr. Ross is still not up and running. Hopefully that will change soon. This does not mean that most of the statements on social democratic political strategy, tactics and writings on the old Gabe Ross controlled site do not represent much of the thinking of the legitimate SD USA. On the contrary much on the old site was written and developed by such notable Social Democratic NEC members as David Hacker the party’s historian.
Now that this is clarified, a few more points regarding the SD,USA’s supposed control of the Democratic Party must be made. Unfortunately while the Social Democrats USA is the direct lineal descendent of the old historical Socialist Party of America of such leading members as Eugene Debs, Norman Thompson and Helen Keller, history has not been kind to the organization. Since the party changed its name in 1972 and its loss of members to two secession movements the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee – latter to become DSA, and another movement which became the Socialist Party USA; the SD USA has lost membership. Thus the Gabe Ross schism of the Social Democrats USA which so impresses Glen Beck probably has less than 20 paid members. Its activist core is evidently much lower. Glenn Beck would have been advised to have done his homework more thoroughly.
Thus it is ironic even funny that it is the old Social Democrats USA web site that Glen Beck used to show the supposed infiltration and control of the Democratic Party by dangerous social democratic elements. However on the optimistic side Glenn Beck has done a great job of getting the Social Democrats USA in the news even if for now the schismatic group has gotten the balk of attention. That scarcely matters in the long run the party as a whole will benefit.