The election isn’t for 10 days, but we can already declare the big winner in Seattle.
It’s the socialist.
Kshama Sawant, the first socialist to make the finals of a Seattle election in 22 years, probably won’t win election herself. But what’s most notable about Seattle politics this year is that nearly her entire agenda has, over the course of the campaign, been embraced by both candidates for mayor to lead the Northwest’s largest city.
The movement in Sawant’s lefty direction has been so pronounced it has reduced her to making jokes about how she got there first.
“I was for the $15 minimum wage before it was cool,” she has started saying.
Of course, Westneat doesn't actually believe Sawant will win the election, and he seems to dismiss the efforts and attributes of the candidate herself: "Economic insecurity is causing a tectonic shift in politics," Westneat explains about our apparent electoral swing to left, ignoring the Sawant campaign's personal contribution to this shift. He also seems dubious about Sawant's agenda. "But at least we’re finally debating the right topics," writes Westneat.
Absolutely. Which is why we need to elect Sawant to City Hall, not just candidates who are lately aping her agenda. If we want to continue debating the right topics beyond the election season, a symbolic victory is not enough. We need to actually elect somebody on the left to City Hall to relentlessly push these topics. And for Seattle, that somebody is clearly Kshama Sawant.