Unlike in almost every other country, American socialists have never succeeded in building a long-lasting, major political party rooted in the working class.
Because of this unique historical fact, our work in every domain is less effective today than it could be. DSA is not a political party, nor is it part of the Democratic Party. We run candidates in Democratic primaries not because we support the political agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, and the many institutions, lobbyists, and consultants who make up the Democrats’ real network of power — we don’t — but because U.S. election law makes it difficult or impossible to have an independent ballot line now.
In the long term, however, DSA is committed to building a movement that can accomplish what the Socialist and Communist parties in this country attempted to do in the 20th century: build a long-lasting, party of and for the working class. We need such a party, free of corporate influence and accountable to a socialist platform and working-class activists, that can push our fights forward and offer the working class a real choice and a chance to set its own agenda. We need a party independent of the capitalist class and the Democratic Party politicians who are in their pockets. A party that can unite activists from unions, the housing movement, immigrant groups, anti-racist struggles, women’s organizations, LGBTQ groups, and environmental fights. We need a party that can empower those activists to debate strategy and platforms collectively and build a real mass base for democratic socialist politics.