Helen Keller joined the Socialist Party of America and campaigned for Eugene Debs and his running-mate, Emil Seidel, in the 1912 Presidential Election.
During the campaign Debs explained why people should vote for him: “You must either vote for or against your own material interests as a wealth producer; there is no political purgatory in this nation of ours, despite the desperate efforts of so-called Progressive capitalists politicians to establish one.
Debs and Seidel won 901,551 votes (6.0%). This was the most impressive showing of any socialist candidate in the history of the United States.
A book on Keller’s socialist views, “Out of the Dark”, was published in 1913.
She later wrote “I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate – that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased.
I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life’s struggle.
But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment.
Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone.”
Hattie Schlossberg wrote in the New York Call: “Helen Keller is our comrade, and her socialism is a living vital thing for her. All her speeches are permeated with the spirit of socialism.
Photo: Helen Keller with a fellow traveler Charlie Chaplin.
via Helen Keller.