I was already It, whatever It was, and by aid of the books I discovered that It was a Socialist.
. . .
For someone like me, the only point of the Democratic Party was to beat back the Republicans, and it had failed at even doing that. So I looked for another way.
The first quote is from a 1905 essay by author Jack London titled "How I Became A Socialist" and the second is from a just published essay in Vice magazine by journalist Rick Paulas called "Why I Became A Socialist."
They went by different routes but both became Socialists after deciding you can't reform Capitalism and have to try something else, the same decision that's being reached by thousands of Americans these days, and glory be I, born during the McCarthy era and having spent my life in a country where Socialism was a dirty word, lived to see it.
I can't tell you how many Socialists there are in the US now but one just almost became president, membership in Democratic Socialists of America has tripled in the last 10 months (put at 15,000 dues paying members by Rolling Stone magazine in their long piece) and I can say that every day on social media I come across more and more people who call themselves Socialists and long time Socialists who shied away from the Socialist label in the past are now unabashed Socialists, Marxists, Bolsheviks and beyond.
Many of my new comrades are, like Paulas, Bernie Sanders supporters for whom he legitimized Democratic Socialism and many are Black and Brown radicals who've never had any fond feelings for American Capitalism for obvious reasons. They are of all ethnicities and ages and besides having in common the desire for a system that's better than Capitalism they almost all are disgusted with the current political system particularly the Democratic Party which they've concluded cheated in favor of Hillary Clinton during the primary process and doesn't represent their interests at all.
On a personal note my trucking days are over. I'm retiring. This came about pretty quickly after I lost the contract I've had the past five years to relay freight between Albuquerque and Holbrook, AZ. I'd been considering retiring anyway and bought this house in the South Valley with the big south facing back yard last summer so I'd be in a better position to do it. The decision really wasn't all that difficult.
One nice thing about it is that I had time to go up to Michigan and see my family which includes my 90 year old mother and her older sister and two brothers and two sisters and their kids. I went up there right away because if I'd decided to stay in trucking in some capacity I'd have never made it up there since I never really take time off. I didn't come to a final decision until I got back to New Mexico. I considered pursuing some other things in the trucking business and then got a couple calls from people who knew I wasn't under contract any more and thought all that through before deciding, nah. One thing I considered is that my truck driver dad retired at 62 and was dead by 66 and I'm 64.
So I'm quite enjoying being out from under the pressure of having to have a truck ready to go every night and from having a sensitivity to the price of oil comparable to what a death row inmate has to the sound of a key in the door although so far I've actually been kind of busy as there are some things you have to do to get yourself out of the trucking business and I have to get them done before the end of the month, but then I plan to busy myself with some full time wasting time and then start doing the million and a half things I dreamed about doing while I was driving down the road the last 20 years.