John Nichols, author and correspondent with The Nation spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on June 18 about his new book, “The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics” and fighting to make a difference in a political party.
Nichols first discussed Henry Wallace, Vice President of the United States under President Franklin Roosevelt. He explained how Wallace and Roosevelt were the ones who pushed hard to pass the New Deal in 1933. Nichols explained their persistence on ideas that seemed too big to accomplish, or deemed too radical. Eventually these ideas took form in legislation passed to help the country with relief, reform and recovery. He added, in today’s political climate, similar thinking and action is needed to make changes to push America forward. Nichols said within the Democratic Party, many visionaries are pushing for extreme reform but are being silenced by fellow party members. He suggested the Democratic party give a platform to their visionary thinkers. He said by rejecting their ideas, they are hurting the growth of not only the party, but of future leaders.
Nichols continued by speaking about the 2020 election and how important it is for eligible voters to participate. He also said COVID-19 may scare some people away from polling locations, so absentee ballots and mail in ballots need improvement. Nichols said that not only does there need to be improvements on obtaining absentee ballots, but the United States Postal Service needs to be fully functioning and fully funded in order to make sure the ballots get in on time. By not allowing voters to easily vote by mail is a form of voter suppression.
Davida Russell, Secretary-Treasurer of the North Coast Area Labor Federation and Vice President of the Ohio AFL-CIO spoke about igniting America and fighting for a change. With Black Lives Matter, attacks on labor unions, voter suppression, defunding the police and many more movements sweeping the nation, Russell stated she has never seen such activism from America’s young people. She said these people are demanding change on major issues and are voicing their opinions and participating in elections, demonstrations and events now more than ever. Russell also spoke about the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Caravan, a day of events where workers will voice their opinions and demand our elected leaders address the health, economic and racial injustices striking the nation today. Lastly she suggested making Election Day a paid holiday so people can get to the polls at their earliest convenience to practice their right to vote without being suppressed by long lines and tight voting times.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about McDonald’s workers in California being forced to work despite testing positive for COVID-19, and how management failed to alert workers of some testing positive for COVID-19.