Socialist talks politics to Whittier students

Hugo Guzman's picture

Campus Life, Drue Grahman, dynamic, Hugo Guzman, Presidential Election 2012, Stewart Alexander, Campus Life - By Hugo Guzman on Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 03:07

Last Thursday, Whittier College students were treated to a visit by Presidential candidate Stewart Alexander. Alexander, who is running for President of the United States under the Socialist Party USA, was invited on campus by senior Rex Bartuzik, a member of the Whittier Activism Coalition. Bartuzik spoke to Alexander’s agent, who got him in touch with the man himself.  Alexander spoke to students about his campaign and the current politics in America.

Virginia-born Stewart Alexander is a model of a political activist. The former cleaning company owner is also Chairperson of the Socialist Party of California and Executive Director of the African American Civil Liberties Union. His campaign is extremely supportive of unions, Alexander extended his deep support for the current union battle in Pomona College, and he wishes to create jobs via civil infrastructure projects. Most of the time was spent discussing these ideas and criticizing the current administration, which many students in attendance decried as “serving the 1%.”

Alexander ended the discussion with a question and answer portion, which was greeted with enthusiasm from the collected students and faculty members.

One particular question that got the audience going was whether or not “socialism” and “Communism.” “See, my question is why ‘capitalism’ isn’t considered a bad word!” Alexander playfully responded, eliciting chuckles from his audience.

“He’s actually pretty reasonable,” first-year Kenneth Jimenez said. “I’m usually pretty conservative, but this was really informative.” This was the sentiment shared by the handfuls of students that trailed by the campus center on their way to the C.I., and decided to check out the speaker in question.

Although being well-received by Whittier College students on all sides of the political spectrum, Alexander has a long road ahead of him. Third-party candidates do not have a history of faring well in US politics, but despite this, Alexander and his supporters remain optimistic. “If we win in California, we might be able to disrupt the entire two-party system.” Bartuzik said.  “The real objective here is to cause social change instead of leader-oriented politics.”