After more than thirty years as a media critic, Utne Reader contributor Norman Solomon is running for Congress. Dennis Bernstein at The Progressive spoke to Solomon about this career change. “For more than forty years, I’ve been writing to change the system; now I’m running to change the system,” Solomon told Bernstein.
For decades, we’ve seen one disaster after another as progressives have routinely left the electoral field to corporate Democrats and their Republican colleagues. We desperately need to go beyond the false choice between staying true to ideals and winning public office. Progressives can—and must—do both.
The article quotes Sean Penn, one of Solomon’s campaign supporters, at a recent fundraising event, recalling a trip he and the candidate took to Iran just before the Iraq war began.
“As hundreds, then thousands, gathered around the circle of singing women, suddenly it was the appearance of the special police,” Penn said. “And then out came the batons. As things got chaotic, I briefly lost Norman in the crowd. I was about twenty-five yards from getting to that inner circle of women who were taking bludgeons to the heads. And then I saw Norman, not flinching, standing directly beside them, and he stayed through it all.”