2 October 2015
By Jen McClellan
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
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.