A presidential candidate visited MCCC on February 23, but few may have noticed.
Jerry White does not have hair like Mitt Romney and is not as well known as Newt Gingrich, but nonetheless is running for president.
White, 52, is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate. He does not support conventional political views and finds fault in the two major political parties.
“This government is hostile to the working class, Republican or Democrat,” he said.
The presidential candidate has attacked both President Obama and Republican leadership, saying they “want starvation wages.” He also does not view President Obama as any different than the previous administration.
“They all agree, defending the elite against the working class,” he said.
White slammed the president, saying he was elected to repeal legislation such as Homeland Security and the Patriot Act, but has not fulfilled his promises.
“It is an absolute continuation of Bush,” he said.
He argues that America is made up of two classes, the working class and the capitalist elite.
He also wants people to know there is an alternative to this system and attacks the current state of politics.
“I appeal to ignorance backwardness politics dominated by billionaires,” he said.
Socialism is the alternative he offers; the SEP website describes socialism as “genuine social equality, on a world scale.” As a reference for this model White highlights the Russian Revolution and calls it the “greatest historical event.”
He also attacked President Obama and the people he has appointed to work in his administration.
“Obama has filled the White House with corporate heads,” he said.
Running as a strong anti-war candidate, he supports an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as “disbanding” of the standing army. Recognizing foreign threats, he does understand the “working class” would have the right to defend themselves.
White, as president, would end support for Israel. He criticized Israel’s possession of certain weapons, saying they “illegally have scores of nuclear bombs.”
White is critical of the wars in the Middle East and believes they have hurt the image of America.
“Bush’s wars discredited the United States,” he said, adding that Obama has not changed this and has only used “troop redistribution.”
The only way to stop war is if the working class takes political control, according to White.
“Wars have to do with elites,” he said.
As for the current uprisings in the Middle East, he said he supports the working class of those countries, but would not intervene. He also warned of an imminent threat of a new war with Syria and Iran.
On other social issues such as gay marriage rights and abortion, he takes a left-of-center stance. He calls abortion a basic democratic right. Social Security, according to White, should be included with rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“We believe retirement income is an essential social right, viewed as an inalienable right,” he said.
The rights to a job, livable income, quality healthcare, and a healthy and safe environment are inalienable, according to the SEP website.
The occupy movement did not come as a surprise to White, who is a supporter of the movement. He has written numerous articles defending the movement that can be found at the World Socialist Website.
President Obama has touted the auto bailout as a success. White does not agree, pointing out the number of jobs lost since the companies went bankrupt. He attacked the United Auto Workers (UAW) for “promoting wage cutting.”
The UAW worked with the administration to impoverish workers and restore corporate profitability, according to an article Mr. White wrote for the World Socialist Website.
“Potential of the working class is so under-tapped,” he said.
He is a fierce opponent of capitalism and blamed it for events such as World War II and the 2008 financial crisis. He claimed they were the inevitable outcome of capitalism.
White and Vice Presidential Candidate Phyliss Scherrer will be on the ballot where they can get on and will hold write-in campaigns where they cannot. He admits that his campaign is not conventional and is asking for donations.
“We need money. We’re not a Super-Pac, hedge-fund-backed campaign,” he said.