The leadership of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voted this past weekend by a two-thirds majority to endorse Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary race for New York State governor. The decision reflected similar majorities for Nixon among the total membership of the New York City branches. An accompanying motion also passed that linked DSA’s work on the Nixon campaign to the Julia Salazar campaign in the Democratic Primary for State Senate and tied it to our organization’s support for the New York State Health Act and the a city campaign create for expanded rent stabilization.
Since the majority of my fellow New York City socialists voted to endorse Nixon, I feel obligated as a member of the City Leadership Committee (CLC) to explain to our members why I cast my vote against, as did eleven other members of the 34-member body, while one person abstained.
Dan La Botz is a member both Solidarity and of the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), and a co-editor of New Politics. Trained as a historian of the United States and Mexico, he is also a teacher in the graduate Labor Studies program of the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York. New Politics interviews him here about his new book The New American Populism: Resistance and Alternatives to Trump (Nouveau populisme américain: Résistances et alternatives à Trump).
New Politics: You’ve written a book on Donald Trump and the Resistance that most of won’t be able to read because it has only been published in French. In this book you discuss both the rise of the new populism of Sanders and Trump and its social and historical roots, but you also look at the Resistance and discuss its strengths and weaknesses, as well as examining the strategies of the left and its future. That’s a lot. Tell us a little about your book. What distinguishes it from the many books on Trump that have hit the market since he became president?
The leftist candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, has been carried to victory in the Mexican presidential election by an enormous popular outpouring of voters hoping to improve their lives and those of their fellow citizens. Promising to drive out the political mafia that runs the country, to end the pervasive corruption in government, and to bring an end to the violence that in the last dozen years has taken more than 250,000 lives, AMLO, the left’s perennial candidate, won such a decisive victory this time that the Mexican establishment finally had to recognize his achievement.
A fast, when done in protest, is a call to arms. While eminently non-violent, it is a battle cry, issued in a whisper.