Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
David McReynolds is an American socialist politician. He was born on October 25, 1929 in Los Angeles to Charles and Elizabeth McReynolds. In 1951 he joined the Socialist Party of America (SPA) and in 1953 he graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science. Between 1957 and 1960, he was on the editorial board of the left-wing magazine, Liberation . He was a staunch pacifist and draft resister , and in 1960 joined the staff of the War Resisters League (WRL), where he would remain until his retirement in 1999 (as of 2004, he remains active within the nonviolence movement and regularly participates in WRL activities).
After years of internal problems, the SPA suffered a three-way split in 1973. The SPA was renamed the Social Democrats USA by the right-wing leadership of Trotskyite-turned-neoconservative Max Shachtman. Michael Harrington and his followers would split off and found the Democratic Socialists of America with the purpose of "realignment " — the aim of working within the Democratic Party (a major party, as opposed to the Socialists) and pulling it to the left (arguably akin to the Trotskyist idea of "entrism"). The left-wing of the SPA, known as the Debs Caucus , including McReynolds, reconstituted the spirit of the SPA and Eugene V. Debs into the Socialist Party USA (SP-USA) that exists today.
In his political career, McReynolds ran for Congress from California twice and for President twice. In 1958 he ran as a write-in SPA candidate and than in 1968 as a Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Congress. In 1980, he ran for President as the SP-USA candidate, receiving some 6,898 votes and also becoming the first openly gay man to run for President in U.S. history. Upon the request of fellow Socialists, McReynolds ran again for President as the SPUSA candidate in 2000 and received approximately 5,602 votes.
On July 10th, 2004, David McReynolds announced his candidacy running on the Green Party of the United States ticket for one of the New York seats in the Senate, running an anti-war campaign against Democrat incumbent Chuck Schumer, where he pulled in 36,942 votes.
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