Socialism

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Norman Thomas

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Following Eugene Debs' death in 1926, Thomas became the Socialist standard-bearer and was the party's Presidential nominee in every election from 1928 to 1948. As an articulate and engaging spokesman for democratic socialism, Thomas' influence was considerably greater than that of the typical perennial candidate. Although socialism was viewed as an unsavory form of political thought by most middle-class Americans, the well-educated Thomas -- who often wore three-piece suits -- looked like and talked like a president and gained a grudging admiration.
 
Following Eugene Debs' death in 1926, Thomas became the Socialist standard-bearer and was the party's Presidential nominee in every election from 1928 to 1948. As an articulate and engaging spokesman for democratic socialism, Thomas' influence was considerably greater than that of the typical perennial candidate. Although socialism was viewed as an unsavory form of political thought by most middle-class Americans, the well-educated Thomas -- who often wore three-piece suits -- looked like and talked like a president and gained a grudging admiration.
   
[[Image:NormanThomasspeech.jpg|thumb|Norman Thomas giving a speech|left ]]
 
Thomas frequently spoke on the difference between [[Socialism]] and [[Communism]], and explaining the differences between the movement he represented and that of revolutionary [[Marxism]]. He had an early admiration for the Russian Revolution that subsequently turned into devout anti-Communism. (The revolutionaries thought him no better; [[Leon Trotsky]], on more than one occasion, leveled high-profile criticism at Thomas.) He wrote several books, among them his passionate defense of World War I conscientious objectors, Is Conscience a Crime?, and his statement of the 1960s social democratic consensus, Socialism Re-examined.
 
   
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Thomas frequently spoke on the difference between [[Socialism]] and [[Communism]], and explaining the differences between the movement he represented and that of revolutionary [[Marxism]]. He had an early admiration for the Russian Revolution that subsequently turned into devout anti-Communism. (The revolutionaries thought him no better; [[Leon Trotsky]], on more than one occasion, leveled high-profile criticism at Thomas.) He wrote several books, among them his passionate defense of World War I conscientious objectors, Is Conscience a Crime?, and his statement of the 1960s social democratic consensus, Socialism Re-examined.
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[[Image:NormanThomasspeech.jpg|thumb|Norman Thomas giving a speech ]]
 
Thomas was as outspoken in opposing the Second World War as he was the first, and served on the board of the America First Committee. However, once America was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor, his stance changed to support for US involvement He and his fellow [[Democratic Socialism|democratic socialists]] were also some of the only public figures to virulently oppose the internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor at a time when virtually every public figure and government official approved of it. Thomas was also a pioneer in his campaigning against racial segregation, war, environmental depletion, anti labor laws and practices, and for his efforts to try to open up the United States to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in the 1930s.
 
Thomas was as outspoken in opposing the Second World War as he was the first, and served on the board of the America First Committee. However, once America was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor, his stance changed to support for US involvement He and his fellow [[Democratic Socialism|democratic socialists]] were also some of the only public figures to virulently oppose the internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor at a time when virtually every public figure and government official approved of it. Thomas was also a pioneer in his campaigning against racial segregation, war, environmental depletion, anti labor laws and practices, and for his efforts to try to open up the United States to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in the 1930s.
   
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