Friday, October 2, 2015

Socialist for School Board

2 October 2015

By Jen McClellan
The Socialist

The following is an interview with Pat Noble. Pat Noble is a member of the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education, is the National Treasurer of the Socialist Party USA, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Socialist Party of New Jersey and the Chair of the Central New Jersey Socialist Party. Folks can follow him on Twitter @socialistpat.

Jen: Tell me a little about the position you’re running unopposed for.

Pat: I am currently running for re-election for a second, three-year term on the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education. The Board is comprised of nine seats from three constituent districts, with my seat being one of the Red Bank seats. The purpose of a Board of Education is to serve as a policy-making body for the district.

Jen: What challenges do you face being a socialist in office in a two-party system?

Pat: I should start by clarifying that my position is non-partisan, though I am very open about my politics as a democratic socialist and have been endorsed by the Central New Jersey Socialist Party local in my 2012 campaign and subsequent 2015 re-election bid. I think the greatest challenge a socialist can face in electoral politics is that of public misconception. Our beliefs and principles, while radical in their own right as an alternative to capitalism, are also radically different than the beliefs and principles that are falsely associated with us by corporate media and the right-wing Democratic and Republican parties. We are painted as authoritarians that only seek massive government control and centralization, which of course is very far from reality. Since we do not have regular access to media in the same way that the capitalist parties do, our largest challenge is continuing to change the public perception of what socialism actually is. When presented as individual ideas or proposals, socialist positions carry the support of a significant amount of the working class. Our task is to not only put forward socialist ideas to our communities and through our activist work, but to also connect those ideas to a larger need for systematic change.

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