Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next President of the United States

Mi nombre es Róger Calero and yes, I will tax the rich by 100 percent!

So you'd see your party as being even farther to the Right?

We're neither Right nor Left. Libertarians respect your personal and economic liberty to spend your money and do what you want with your life, as long as you're not hurting someone else.

Y'know, P.J. O'Rourke once joked...

Walter Brown, Socialist Party presidential candidate
Walter Brown, Socialist Party presidential candidate
Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate
Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate


Walter Brown, Socialist Party presidential candidate

2000 Socialist Party Florida votes: 622

2000 national total: 5602

"We are dedicated to the abolition of male supremacy and class society, and to the elimination of all forms of oppression."

What's your reaction to the first presidential debate?

I only watched the last two minutes of it. I have a weak stomach.

Are you worried about your votes helping to re-elect Bush?

I don't think a vote for me is going to throw the election in Florida. If ten or fifteen thousand people vote for me, at least they will be able to sleep at night. They'll be able to look their grandchildren in the face and say, "I voted for the best candidate."

If you're elected president, what would you do about the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons?

That is not going to happen in Iran.

Do you know something the CIA doesn't?

Obviously, if anyone is going to come online with nuclear weapons, we need to be aggressive, but I would rule out a preemptive strike. You just do a blockade, like we did with Cuba during the Missile Crisis.

Would you lift the trade embargo on Cuba?

We should do everything we can to normalize relations. I'm not pro-communist, I'm anti-communist. Castro is an abomination. But in large measure we made him by our Cuba policy.

Some voters might get confused trying to decide between your Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party. Is there a difference between you guys?

[Very upset] A massive, massive difference! The Socialist Workers Party are followers of Leon Trotsky. There were two leaders of the Russian Revolution, not against the czar, but against the democratic socialist government headed by Kerensky in 1918 --

That was more than 80 years ago. What about today?

Hold on! Hold on! There's an international movement called the Fourth International -- [Kulchur begins groaning loudly]

Look, these people are not democrats like us! They are not a politically progressive party like we are. [Practically hyperventilating] We don't associate with them and we don't recommend anyone vote for them! Anyone who thinks Trotsky was a valid, viable leader is wrong!

All right, I'm sorry. You're nothing like the Socialist Workers Party.

They're a whole different breed of cat.


Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate

2000 Socialist Workers Party Florida votes: 562

2000 national total: 7378

"Hurricanes: Is the death toll caused by önatural disaster' or capitalism?"

If elected president, would you repeal the Bush tax cuts?

One hundred percent tax on the rich. No taxes on wages for workers. We're for a workers' and farmers' government, that is the main thing that distinguishes us.

But how can you call for a workers' and farmers' revolution and run for president at the same time?

What's necessary is a mass movement. We participate in the election as a way to organize --

So this is just a tactical move?

Our election campaign is not one of "Vote for me and everything will be fine," but one that points to struggle as the only way we're going to bring about change.

So you're not really serious about winning the election.

We're running a serious campaign to win as many votes as we can. Now, the conditions of class struggle --

So you're in it to win! You want to be sworn in as president on January 20, 2005!

If the majority of working people and farmers think so, yep.

There is a problem: You were born in Nicaragua. And you're still not a citizen. Under the U.S. Constitution, only native-born American citizens can become president.

If the majority of working people in this country think that a worker should become president, a constitutional change will come about very swiftly.

Well, there's another problem. Here in Florida, and in several other states that require an oath of citizenship to run for president, your name doesn't appear on the ballot. James Harris is listed for the Socialist Workers Party.

That is somebody we work with very closely.

Do you trust him? What if you win the election, but he refuses to step aside?

He is somebody that has proved himself, and not just in the Socialist Workers Party.

You've got a lot of faith in this guy. I'm sure you've heard the saying: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You could win, and then James could change his mind once he gets used to the Oval Office: Screw the revolution! I'm going on Air Force One!

[Slightly amused] I'm not surprised at your reaction, given the tone of the political discussion between the candidates, in which debate has been replaced by innuendo and character assassination. But that's the nature of bourgeois politicians --

And you're about building a movement of workers and farmers!

Exactly.

So let me see if I've got this straight. First, the James Harris/Socialist Workers Party ticket wins the election. Then James alters the constitutional rule of presidential succession and steps aside for you. Then another new constitutional amendment is passed to allow foreign-born folks with green cards -- like you -- to become president.

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