Earlier this month Karen Porter, the head of the Chester County Peace Movement, wrote a newsletter to her readers where she proudly admits, “I am a socialist and damn proud of it.”
Porter and her group (Chester County Peace Movement) have been coming to the courthouse corner in West Chester every Saturday for the past 7 years. They stand on the other side of the street from us.
After all these years and much publicity in the local paper, she finally decided to reveal that she is a socialist.
Her letter speaks for itself. Here it is in it’s entirety:
Date: Sat, 05 Sep 2009 17:58:49 -0400
Subject: Proud to be a card-carrying socialist. Ya got a problem with that?
Note to local right-wing-nuts: I’m told that you copy and paste my e-mails into your websites (I don’t have time to look). I hope you’ll copy and paste this e-mail and send it far and wide – because I want to stand up right now and say I’m a socialist, and I invite your readers to join me! I want your youth in particular to see there’s a voice of reason in this wilderness? – and the more you distribute my writing, the more folks will see it. And some of them, trust me, will wake up.–Karen Porter
Recently the words, “socialism” and socialist” have been vilified by the right-wing fanatics to the point that I can’t just sit back and listen to this any more without speaking up and standing up:
I’m a socialist and damned proud of it. A card-carrying socialist. So you can yell “socialist” all you want at me, and I’ll hold my head even higher. It’s time for all of us socialists to stand up, speak out, be counted…and to grow a pair.
My Social Security card was my first socialist membership card.
I haven’t yet earned my Medicare socialist card yet, but it’s coming soon – and I’ll be damned proud to carry it.
I have been a lifelong Christian, and my religion makes me a socialist because Jesus Christ was one of the greatest socialists of all time. (He would deplore capitalism, which stands for everything He was against.) So I was born a socialist when I was born a Christian. I couldn’t have been anything else.
I confirmed my socialism when I got my Social Security card, and my renewed commitment comes up with the Medicare card.
Aside from being born into socialism and appreciating it, I also renewed my socialist vows when I read Michael Harrington’s (another socialist) The Other America when I was 18. I didn’t realize that I was part of that “other” America (in Appalachia) till then – and I also didn’t realize what scum the other “other America” was – those blood-sucking capitalist pigs. I realized then that my answer to “What would Jesus do?” was that he would fight the people sucking the life out of the rest of us – the military industrial complex.
I simply do not believe in unbridled capitalism. Never have, never will. Since Reagan’s 1980s selfish-fest, this country has been on a downward slide into a very sick, cannibalistic form of capitalism that is eating us all alive – and I refuse to be part of it by saying nothing about it.
I believe that small businesses are a good thing – so I guess that means I favor a “mixed” economic system. The kind that creates unparalleled happiness in places such as Norway. But I also believe in strong controls that keep small and medium-sized businesses from getting out of control and sucking the life out of the rest of us – which is the situation we have in this country today. So I believe in much stronger government regulation of business than we have now. Corporations are raping us all and throwing our mangled bodies in a ditch.
I prefer that our country be controlled by people I elect rather than by corporate boards that I have no say about.
I also prefer that our counry be controlled by people we the people can fire rather than corporate chieftains that we have no say about.
I also prefer that our country follow the Constitution as it was written, not as some people wish it would be.
I appreciate our country’s socialist workers’ compensation system that protects us all.
I appreciate our socialist unions that protect workers’ rights.
I appreciate our socialist worker safety system.
I appreciate our socialist healthcare systems (Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ healthcare, Social Security disability, to name a few).
I appreciate our socialist system of making sure my food, water, air, transportation, and medicines are safe.
I appreciate our socialist public education systems.
I appreciate our socialist subsidies for farmers.
I appreciate our socialist system of guarding against discrimination on the job, in housing, in education, and in many other facets of life.
I appreciate all our other socialist systems that corporate moguls can’t take away from us.
I appreciate all these socialist systems because WE THE PEOPLE control them – not greedy pigs on corporate boards and in corporate offices over whom we have absolutely no say whatsoever.
Ya got a problem with that?
Note: I repeat -right-wing-nuts, please copy and paste this e-mail and send it far and wide – because I want to stand up right now and say I’m a socialist, and I invite your readers to join me! I want your youth in particularto see there’s a voice of reasonin this wilderness – and the more you distribute my writing, the more folks will see it. And some of them, trust me, will wake up.–Karen Porter
Karen Porter, Esq., Director
The Chester County Peace Movement, P.O. Box 1502, West Chester, PA 19380-1502;
Someday, when my great-grandchildren ask, “Why didn’t someone try to stop the madness?” I hope my son and my grandchildren can answer, “Your great-grandmother tried, with all her heart.”
“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.–Ted Kennedy
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep; but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Note to Karen – If you don’t like America, why don’t you move? There are plenty of socialist countries to choose from. North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, China, Cuba – take your pick. Nothing is stopping you. I’ll even take up a collection for you. I’m sure they would welcome a peacemaker like you with open arms.