Courtesy of VICE.com
Presidential Candidate: Edmidio Soltysik
November 6, 2016
Sick of exploitation based on your sex, gender, race, ethnicity, social class or sexual orientation? Frustrated by the restraints and injustices created by capitalism? Interested in forming a new social and economic order based on community involvement in production, distribution and governance? Want the voting age to be lowered to fifteen? You’re in luck – there’s a party that caters to your needs: the Socialist Party USA. Even better, they have a candidate running for president: Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik.
Soltysik, born in Reading, PA, was educated at Troy University in Alabama and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Before accepting the presidential nomination from the Socialist National Committee, he worked as an activist for and co-chair of the Socialist Party.
The Socialist Party USA has a Democratic Socialist Agenda under which it “strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups.”
Because Soltysik is a Democratic Socialist, he does not believe in vanguardism – the belief that the most politically savvy and class-conscious members of the proletariat should rise up to create organizations to help guide the masses toward revolutionary politics and serve as manifestations of proletarian power against enemies. He also doesn’t believe in democratic centralism – a Leninist philosophy in which the policy of the political party is centrally decided upon and thus binding for all members.
In essence, what Soltysik believes is that a radical democratic change is needed to create a more egalitarian and fair society. He has a few ideas of how that could be accomplished.
— Soltysik/Walker 2016 (@SocialistRev16) November 6, 2016
Firstly, Soltysik wants to withdraw from and prevent all international trade agreements, including NAFTA. He supports a 15 dollar minimum wage which will rise as the cost of living rises, a decentralized and democratically organized economic plan and a full employment policy which includes the creation of a guaranteed annual livable income.
In terms of international affairs, he wants the abolition of the NSA, CIA and other government organizations that participate in international covert operations, total disarmament of the United States, and complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. Soltysik also plans to withdraw from NATO and closing all overseas military bases, and cut the military budget by 50 percent. As for the United Nations, he would like the U.S. to pay off its debt to the UN and end its veto power in the UN and its permanent membership on the UN Security Council.
For women, disabled people, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color, he says that he recognizes the “intimate link” between their oppression and capitalism and will work to eliminate their hardships through various means.
Sitting rather far left on the political spectrum, the Socialist Party has never won more than six percent of the national vote, and that was with candidate Eugene V. Debs in 1912. Soltysik and his running-mate Angela Nicole Walker are only on the ballot in fewer than twenty states. Most likely, they will not win the election, but some of their basic ideas have certainly begun to gain traction, especially with the popularity of Bernie Sanders. For more information on the Socialist Party and Emidio Soltysik, visit his website: www.rev16.us.