Socialist Party Presidential Candidate Jerry White visits campus

Emily Fornof, Associate News Editor

On Oct. 10, Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for President visited Tulane, marking the only campaign event of a 2016 Presidential candidate on campus.

International Youth and Students for Social Equality chapter president Thomas Agnew worked to bring the candidate to campus and arranged a meeting in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, where White discussed socialism and the election.

“The meeting was not only a venue to make Tulane students aware of [White’s candidacy], but it was a call to action for them to get involved in building the new socialist anti-war movement, which we are seeking to develop and lead,” Agnew said.

White gave a PowerPoint presentation and followed with a Q&A from the audience. Some students, however, did not find his presentation lived up to its potential.

“I thought that [White] had a lot of fundamental points that could have come across better if he had given better examples and had not gone so off on certain tangents,” freshman Lucy Murray said.

Most of the two-hour-long meeting involved discussion of war and the socialist anti-war movement.

“[The purpose of the campaign is], first of all, to alert the population of the very real dangers of war … with Russia and China, two nuclear armed powers,” White said. “None of this is being discussed seriously in the elections. This is being done behind the backs of the American people.”

This effort to stop militarism is one of the party’s three-prong platform in this campaign, along with putting an end to poverty and social inequality and defending democratic rights by stopping government spying and police violence.

White ran on the SEP’s platform twice before in the 2008 and 2012 elections. He believes, however, that this election cycle is different, given the success of Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

“I think clearly the early part of the election expressed the real intrigue of the sentiments of broad layers of the population, in particular, the support for Sanders,” White said. “It’s a real development of social opposition, and a great interest in socialism more so than really for decades in the United States …. Young people are looking for answers. They want to find out what genuine socialism is.”

While the party may be running a presidential campaign, its goal is not to win the presidency. The SEP is instead working to build up a political movement among the working class. White hopes by talking to students, he can help them be a part of this movement.

“We believe that there’s a real politicization and radicalization taking place amongst young people,” White said. “We are really appealing to the youth because the dangers of war will most directly confront the young generation.”

Leave a Comment