Saturday, May 15, 2010

Republicans forgot that Susan B. Anthony was a socialist

by Joel Wendland

I was amused to learn this weekend that Republicans have organized a new group called The Susan B. Anthony List. No doubt a knock-off of the influential Emily's List, a political action committee dedicated to supporting the political campaigns of women to public office who support women's equality and a host of related issues.

The Susan B. Anthony List, as its website indicates, does the opposite. It will support women who specifically oppose women's reproductive rights.

So what's the connection to Susan B. Anthony? Anthony was among the preeminent feminist social activists of the 19th century, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and many others. She was a staunch abolitionist as well as an advocate for voting rights for women.

Which, of course, makes the Republican campaign to link their opposition to reproductive rights to such a well-known advocate of equality so ironic and offensive.

Above all, however, is the apparently forgotten fact that Susan B. Anthony was also a socialist!

In an article celebrating Anthony's life and career, famed labor activist and serial Socialist Party president candidate Eugene V. Debs said, "she was a heroine in the highest sense and her name deserves a place among the highest on the scroll of the immortals."

Amusing: Republicans are celebrating the life of one of America's home-grown socialists.