It is not every day you hear of a 26 year old socialist, trucker, and TikTok star running for the United States House of Representatives. Indeed, Joshua Collins is not your ordinary political candidate. Nonetheless, the outspoken millennial and self-proclaimed “CEO of socialism” is running as a Democrat to represent Washington State’s 10th congressional district — and he might just have a shot at winning.
Through his run, Collins has amassed quite the social media following. At the time of writing, he has about 30 times more Twitter followers than his four Democratic primary opponents combined. Washington’s 10th district is quite blue; whoever gets the Democratic nomination is all but guaranteed to win the general election. But far more important than internet celebrity, Joshua Collins is running on a good platform — particularly in the area of foreign policy.
Collins is unquestionably the peace candidate in his race. While his opponents flip-flop, endlessly politicking and trying to play both sides of every issue, Joshua Collins takes firm, clear stances. For example, the second item on the 23-part foreign policy agenda posted on his campaign website simply reads “End All Wars”.
Working our way down the list, point number three calls for an end to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). This federal law gives the President unilateral authority to wage war anywhere on the globe, and has facilitated such disasters as the Iraq War and the broader so-called “War on Terror”. The AUMF therefore blatantly violates the Constitution’s War Powers Clause, which requires that Congress sign off on all military action. In calling for an end to the AUMF, Collins is really just honoring the most basic constitutional checks on executive power.
As you continue through his platform, it arguably only gets more ambitious. Point number four says the federal government must “rapidly work to eliminate nuclear weapons from the U.S. military’s arsenal.” This is really just more or less in keeping with duties to disarm under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which the United States has been a signatory for more than 50 years. Further, Collins’ position seems even more reasonable when you consider that nuclear weapons pose one of the two greatest threats to human survival.
Skipping ahead, I find point 19, titled “The Cold War is Over.”, especially interesting. Therein, Collins advocates for normalizing “diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, China, North Korea, Iran, and all other nations currently being sanctioned in what is essentially the arbitrary continuation of the Cold War.” What is seldom brought up when it comes to sanctions are the human costs associated with them.
For example, despite extensive attempts by the sitting administration to bury these findings, we now know that U.S. sanctions on Venezuela are killing at least 40,000 each year. Also, U.S. sanctions on Iran have led to the rapid spreading of COVID-19 in the country as they block Iran from receiving medical necessities from abroad. Indeed, sanctions create a hostage situation. Enacted under the pretext of penalizing misbehaving governments, they almost always disproportionately harm society’s most vulnerable.
In the second-to-last point of Collins’ foreign policy manifesto, he endorses federally banning private military contractors. In his own words, “War should not be an industry.” Reading this, I could not help but smile. Joshua Collins, brave as can be, is taking on the military-industrial complex and fighting to reclaim the moral soul of an entire nation.
One of the many reasons I find Joshua Collins so promising is that he understands that diplomacy, not violence, is how to solve problems on an international stage. I agree with him; it is about time we start making friends, rather than enemies. Getting decent folks like Joshua Collins into elected office is a good step toward that end.
So far, Collins has racked up endorsements from the likes of Our Revolution, Washington Youth Climate Strike, the Olympia Democratic Socialists of America, and many others. Feel free to add me to this list. I fully support Joshua Collins’ candidacy, and I encourage all those registered in Washington’s 10th congressional district to get out and vote for him on August 4th! And for those who are not, try to support his campaign in any way possible.
Regardless of how this election plays out, though, I just know Joshua Collins has a bright future ahead of him!
Run, Joshua, run!