Can a Socialist Truck Driver Become the Youngest Member of Congress?

And when did you start identifying as a socialist? In the last couple years. When Bernie Sanders ran and I realized I completely agree with him, I started calling myself a democratic socialist.

And the more I learned about, you know, worker ownership and the dynamic of our society and what is necessary for us to really combat climate change, the more I started believing that we need to change the ownership paradigm in America. Right now, everything is owned and controlled by a small number of wealthy people. And I don’t think we’re going to deal with the climate crisis in a way that is humane and fair to working class while the wealthy still own and control everything.

Trump and other Republicans pretty regularly refer to any response to climate change as “job-killing regulations,” and a move to renewable energy would result in a loss of jobs in industries like coal and fossil fuel. How do you convince people to fight climate change when they think their liveliood is on the line? The solution to that is the same as the solution for automation.

We’re seeing hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of jobs being automated in the next few years. And we’re also going to see a lot of jobs go away because there are industries we don’t necessarily need, and we probably shouldn’t have any more. What I’ve found has been popular is a federal jobs guarantee, long-term unemployment benefits, and guaranteeing a safe and secure retirement for workers who are displaced because of automation or because of a shift in the way our economy works.

How exactly would a federal jobs guarantee work? So, we all know that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our infrastructure. You know, we have giant problems with our water systems, our energy system, our roads and bridges, we need to be expanding our railroad system–and those all require workers to do the work.

We can guarantee any worker who wants a job can get one, and it will be decent paying government job that will allow them to provide for their family. As a truck driver, you’re in a profession that’s on the front line of being automated out of existence. Yeah, we’re already looking at our jobs disappearing.

Any day now they’re going to start putting thousands of self-driving cars on the road, and that will ruin thousands of lives if we don’t get sane policies in place. So I think it’s important that we do these policies and we trust it from the workers perspective and make sure that no matter why someone’s job disappeared, or why they lose their job, they are taken care of, their family is taken care of, and that they are not going to just be an afterthought in this massive economy. How did you get started as a truck driver by the way?

I was going to go into the military to pay for school, and I got in a car accident that rendered me incapable of passing the physical requirements to join the Air Force. So I was working to pay my own way through school and I was taking college classes, when my grandmother was about to die. I worked at a factory and when I went to visit my dying grandmother, they had approved the time off but they still laid me off while I was gone.

I’d spent everything I had on driving across the country to see her.

So I had no choice but to drop my courses and become a truck driver–they bussed out to Los Angeles and taught me how to drive a truck.

I had my license in three weeks and spent five years on the road.

You may also like...