Socialist presidential candidate speaks at SF State
October 10, 2008 9:22 AM
Socialist Workers United States Presidential candidate Róger Calero spoke at SF State Thursday, Oct. 9, to students and staff about his party’s campaign platform and principles which make his party an essential choice for voters given the economic and social issues the United States is currently facing.
Calero gave his speech in the College of Behavioral Social Sciences Student Resource Center to an audience of 15 students and SF State staff. His speech focused on the consequences the working class of the United States has historically faced when the nation was at war and experiencing economic problems.
“Everyone acts like the financial crisis is something just started in the last seven or eight years,” Calero said. “Our party has been watching the situation build since the first problems under Reagan in 1987.” The economic issues dominating news today are part of an institutional problem with capitalism and the policies of the United States, Calero said.
“The central problem is the wages system,” Calero said. “Capitalism is gambling on risk. They gambled and lost, and we workers will pay the cost.”
Politicians operate under the assumption they can regulate themselves out of the current crisis, Calero said. As long as the system remains the same, he said, there will be a similar crisis in the future because capitalism forces business to pursue profit without anticipating the consequences.
When a student asked about Calero’s thoughts about the debate between Senators McCain and Obama, which was broadcast the evening before, Calero’s answer was succinct:
“Nothing new,” he said. “Even the media was very disappointed that there was nothing new,” Calero said.
Calero went on to say both candidates have said some programs would need to be delayed. He said this was particularly disconcerting since at least 21 states have already passed legislation that cut benefits for people in need.
“Regardless of which candidate gets elected, those services will be cut anyway,” Calero said.
Until fundamental changes are made to the policies of the United States, Calero said, there would be a need for his party to motivate working class voters to work together to influence policies to protect themselves.
“I just came from Bayview, this morning, where workers forced their company into new safety standards,” Calero said. “The company deliberately separated Latinos and African Americans, and lied to them, but the workers talked to each other and worked together to get things changed.”
Calero acknowledged he is not likely to win the election in November, but said it was actions like the Bayview incident that made his campaign necessary. Calero said he believed what he was doing was more important than ever, and any good he could do was all the motivation he needed.
Calero and his running mate Alyson Kennedy have Qualified Write In status on the California state ballot. The Socialist Workers ticket is on voting ballots in 14 states and Calero said he expects the Qualified Write In status in many states before the election.
The election is important, but just one of many events Calero is scheduled to take on in the next year. “No matter what, we will be back here next spring to stand up for undocumented workers in the state,” Calero said. “Things will get worse in the coming months, and we will be here to help everyone work together to get what workers have earned and deserve.”
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