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Monthly Review

Studs Terkel and third-party politics

 

 

This article is based on excerpts from the new book, Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, but Mostly Conversation.

 

By Alan Wieder

 

October 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — When Noam Chomsky recently told Amy Goodman that he would hold his nose and vote for Hillary Clinton if he lived in a swing state, it reminded me of Studs’ statements during the 2000 Gore-Bush election for the presidency. In 2000, Studs endorsed Ralph Nader, but like Chomsky at the present time, he suggested that it might be prudent in certain cases to vote for Gore. In 1970, when Chomsky appeared on Studs’ show to discuss his book, The New Mandarins, much of the conversation focused on conquest and corporate power. And the men agreed that grassroots movements, not heroes, changed history. Chomsky argues, in correspondence to the mass support of Bernie, that “The New Deal legislation of Roosevelt, for example, wouldn’t have been passed—it wouldn’t have even been initiated—without militant labor action and other political action.” Studs referenced 1948 Progressive Party candidate, Henry Wallace, during the 2000 election, arguing that Nader might elevate Gore just as Wallace did Truman. Both men also acknowledge realpolitik in terms of Supreme Court nominations to say nothing of Trump’s fascist tendencies.

 

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