Ed Asner – American Socialist

by on August 31, 2021 · 1 comment

in History, Media

By John Nichols / The Nation / August 31, 2021

“When we can discuss socialism rationally. It will be as if a heavy curtain has been lifted from man’s eyes.” Those were not the words of Karl Marx or Eugene Victor Debs, though either of those radical thinkers might well have uttered them.

Those were the words of Ed Asner, the actor who became a household name in the role of gruff but lovable Lou Grant, the boss at a TV station, in the 1970s TV comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He then carried the character over, with a new job as a Los Angeles newspaper editor, to one of the most socially conscious programs in the history of television, the eponymous Lou Grant of the late 1970s and early ’80s.

When he died Sunday, at age 91, after a storied career that included multiple runs on Broadway, dozens of TV and movie roles, and even a star turn as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the Academy Award–winning 2009 film Up, the Associated Press obituary described Asner as a “liberal.”

Asner chose more robust language.

A self-proclaimed “old-time lefty,” he proudly embraced the label “socialist” at a time when many of the most radical people in public life avoided it. In the 1970s, as author and activist Michael Harrington led the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Asner was among the early supporters of the group—along with US Representative Ron Dellums, feminist Gloria Steinem, and International Association of Machinists president William Winpisinger. When DSOC merged with the New America Movement to form Democratic Socialists of America, Asner became not just a member but an enthusiastic advocate for the organization, penning fundraising appeals.

There was a time, before Bernie Sanders ever thought about running for the presidency, and before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born, when Asner was arguably the best-known democratic socialist in the United States. As an instantly identifiable celebrity, with an image as a no-frills newsman with a big heart, he used his prominence to define the word for generations of Americans who rarely heard it mentioned in a positive light.

“Socialist means a thing that will curb the excesses of capitalism: the increasing wealth of the rich and decreasing wealth of the poor,” Asner explained. “I’d like to see a national guarantee of health, a national guarantee of education (through college), fair housing, and sufficient food.”

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sealintheSelkirks August 31, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Curb the excesses of capitalism…we certainly need to do that in this country don’t ya think?

The Republicans scream Biden is a Socialist! REALLY? Absolutely the opposite. But why aren’t Democrats screaming Republicans are Fascists which, OBVIOUSLY, they are? No no no let’s not step on anybody toes and lose the chance at consensus and making a deal with the Fascists. Excuse me? Fascists don’t make deals. It’s all about their way or…die. My grandfathers learned that in WWII.

Ed Asner knew better.

Here’s an article from yesterday:

Saving Democracy by Destroying It

I REALLY hope the bogus Cali recall (a coup is a coup) is a NO.



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