I have always supported running socialists for public office at all levels, especially school boards and state offices. These are the positions that have the most material effects on people, as such they are the places where leftists should be trying to win.
While supporting electoralism, I have always maintained a sense of understanding towards the leftists who are adamantly anti-electoral. I have been sympathetic to people who feel disillusioned by the two-party system as I am critical of the inherent corporatism and neoliberalism in both major parties.
However, I will no longer give credence to socialists who refuse to participate in electoral politics, nor am I forgiving or understanding of those who put their political economy into third parties.
Socialists have an obligation now more than ever to abandon anti electoral hot takes.
Recently the news has surfaced that Qanon followers will be pushing their members to run for public office at all levels of government, and they are emphasizing a run for school boards.
There is plenty to be desired from the current system. Yes, it has continuously failed, Yes, putting all our hopes in reformism is nearsighted and dangerous.
However to allow the ranks of Qanon to further infect our public discourse and to allow them to win positions where they can dictate our children's education is the ultimate act of surrender. Leftists who would rather us not get involved electorally are now sending public invitations to the worst of the right-wing.
It is true that too many conservatives and neoliberals hold power. This is all the more reason to run socialists for public office, there can not be any counter to that power unless there is direct agitation.
But aside from that, to be socialist means to be a materialist, and in this scenario, the material reality is that our children's education is at risk and faces a take over by a fascist base of people who think it's racist to teach that racism is bad, who spread lies about child trafficking, therefore, making it harder to do actual work to counter-trafficking, and who have congressional representation willing to overthrow democracy to install a reality tv star as the dictator for life of the United States.
At this point, not getting involved with electoral politics because of some obsession with being more radical or reform not being "revolutionary enough" is just plain selfish and idiotic.
We can argue about what is and is not revolutionary until the fucking cows come crawling home, none of it will do anything to protect children from having their education from being dictated by a base of people who believe in Jewish space lasers.
And the dangers of Qanon winning public office do not stop at our children's education. If more of the anti-democratic qanon base wins public office and should Trump run again in 2024 as people expect him to, then the next January 6th insurrection will be a permanent one.
This does not mean we should forgive the democratic party for all of its faults, nor is it even a call for socialist entryism to the democratic party. One does not need to associate with any party to run for nonpartisan public offices like school board, so to not run for public office because of democratic party disillusionment is just idiotic.
Not only that but there are ways to navigate partisan offices as a leftist. Bernie Sanders is a perfect example of how one can be successful as an independent politician. He caucuses with the Democrats when appropriate but his position as an independent allows him to distance himself and hold the party accountable at the same time. Further, a person being a democrat does not matter as much as whether or not they centralize class in their politics. Unlike the progressive wing of the democratic party before the election of AOC and Cori Bush, class was not a central piece of policy direction. With socialists getting elected to congress the direction of the democratic party might not have shifted, but they have shown that the party is less important than policy. It is not a matter of the democratic party being a vehicle of change, it is a matter of what is more instrumental in helping socialists win.
Because one can run for public office without having to involve themselves with the democratic party machine, because our children's education is at risk, because to do nothing when facing a wave of anti-democratic public officers, socialists need to grow up and accept the fact that electoralism will have to be a part of our tactical program. This does not mean we put all our hopes in reformism, it means that we as materialists must stand against the march of fascism. Qanon and Trump have not given up, and if socialists do then we might as well invite fascism with open arms.
It's time to act like an adult and get involved with local politics. Leftists who refuse to do that because of outdated ideology or a need to validate themselves as anti-authoritarian should be purged from our ranks.
Get out, run for school board, and stop acting like it's revolutionary to do nothing when there are means at our disposal to stop fascism.