Communist Party In America – 1936 – Address By Julian Sawyer – Past Daily Reference Room
October 26, 1936. No major wars had broken out, yet. But there was a surplus of turmoil and discontent in the world. Europe was slowly easing into a war footing – with Adolf Hitler at the helm of Nazi Germany. Spain was in the grips of a Civil War; one which would tear a country apart and cause deep divisions, even within families. Japan was eyeing China with a certain amount of bad intent and America was in the midst of digging itself out of one of the most devastating economic collapses in history.
In America there was plenty of discontent to go around – and the forces at work in Europe were the same forces at work in America – the American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party.
Both parties boasted swelling memberships – both parties were in the midst of recruiting the discontent and both parties took advantage of the frustration and anger fueled by the circumstances at the time, and frustrated by what was perceived as a lack of plausible solutions. The present state of government was bearing the brunt of the outrage. And so this was fertile ground for extremist groups to try and take hold of America – the Nazis by declaring to be more American than most Americans and the Communists declaring war on the ruling class and the oppressors and the crux of the problem in American politics.
Eventually, both parties would be outlawed, and those who became Communist party members in the 1930’s lived to regret it in the 1940s and 50s during the Red Scare. The Nazi Party was outlawed at the outbreak of our entry into World War 2 and its members were under investigation for potential espionage.
But all of this serves to illustrate that there have been times America had become overwhelmed by circumstances and the lack of response forced many of its citizens to look elsewhere for safety and security.
In this address, given by Julian S. Sawyer, who was running for Lieutenant Governor of New York during this off-season election, he makes an appeal to voters, frustrated by the status quo, to consider the American Communist Party as the only political party capable of fomenting change.
And as was the custom, prior to being outlawed, with its members jailed or exiled, the American Communist Party took advantage of Equal Time to present their case and to ask New York voters to consider Communist Party candidate Julian Sawyer for post of Lieutenant Governor On October 26, 1936.