Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stitched Portraits: Eugene V. Debs

Happy Election Day, America!

Yesterday, was the birthday of Eugene V. Debs (b. Nov. 5, 1855). On the eve of an historic election, I could not have had a better choice. Who is Debs, you ask? Well, early in his political career, he formed the American Railway Union and went to jail after leading a strike to quell the pay cuts facing the workers. While imprisoned he read Karl Marx and once released, created the Socialist Democratic Party, running for President a number of times - the last from a prison cell (Convict No. 9653 For President ran in 1920 and actually took 3.2% of the popular vote - nearly a million votes). Passionate about his cause, he lived to serve it, even spending out the last of his days in a sanitarium.

He famously quipped, "Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Eugene V. Debs (looking up):

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