Stewart Alexander Wants Your Vote

Next in our third-party-candidate series, meet the black man running for president who's not Obama.

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Courtesy of Afro Articles

Stewart Alexander bristles at the misconception that he's running for president of the United States to make a point.

"It's a very serious campaign. It's more than just raising awareness," Alexander, 60, told The Root. "Working people have been very disappointed under the leadership of Barack Obama. They've also been disappointed under the leadership of the two political parties in Washington, D.C. I'm running as a candidate that's presenting serious change."

Alexander has repeatedly presented that change in several political campaigns launched over the past two decades. In 1989 he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Los Angeles as a nonpartisan candidate. He dusted himself off in 2006 for the California lieutenant governor race, running under the socialist Peace and Freedom Party and placing last. As the Socialist Party USA's vice presidential nominee in the 2008 presidential election, he and running mate Brian Moore made the ballot in eight states and received 6,528 votes.

Yet in his current bid for the White House, again under the Socialist Party USA, Alexander believes that his chances technically measure up to those of most of the other candidates. "If you look at the Republicans right now, I would say none of them are going to win," said Alexander, who works as an auto salesman in Murrieta, Calif.

In his view, one of the biggest hindrances for him and running mate Alex Mendoza is not their platform but the reality of third-party candidates being so rarely covered in corporate media. That advantage, he said, goes only to corporately financed contenders.

"That has a huge influence over people's thinking. If I could be on the 5 o'clock news every day," Alexander said, pausing to laugh at the prospect, "then people would start realizing, 'Here's a campaign that is saying something different from the Democrats and the Republicans.' "

On the Party Platform

Founded in 1973, the Socialist Party USA advocates for democratic socialism. Under this model, the idea is for people to own and control their neighborhoods and local governments. "Consider how a school board works," Greg Pason, national secretary for the Socialist Party USA, told The Root as an approximate example of the local system his party envisions. While representatives would be voted in democratically, their decision-making power would be decentralized to the community level. 

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"People should also control the means of production and distribution, as the collective owners and managers of worksites in their communities," said Alexander. He argues that instead of a few executives and stockholders wielding control over industry and manufacturing, the people who work at the facilities should run them as cooperatives.