Following the death of former Vice President Walter Mondale, the World Socialist Website is republishing a 1972 article by longtime Trotskyist and Workers League founding member Bill Brust, entitled “Stalinism and the Farmer-Labor Party of the 1930s.”
Mondale, who died yesterday, was a member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) who began his career supporting fellow DFL leader Hubert Humphrey’s campaign to purge members of the Communist Party from the Farmer-Labor Party. The Communist Party paved the way for this purge through its full-throated support for Humphrey and its Popular Front policy of an alliance with the imperialist Democratic Party.
In its obituary of Mondale, the New York Times notes:
Steeped in the progressive political views of his father, Mr. Mondale joined the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and became involved in its internal battle to oust Communists and their sympathizers. Mr. Humphrey, at the time the outspoken mayor of Minneapolis, led that fight, and in 1948 Mr. Mondale signed up for Mr. Humphrey’s first Senate campaign. Mr. Humphrey became a friend who would influence Mr. Mondale’s rise.
Humphrey went on to become Vice President and a prominent supporter of the War in Vietnam. Mondale was appointed to fill Humphrey’s Senate seat when the latter was chosen as Lyndon Johnson’s vice president in 1965. This article contains critical insight into the role of the Communist Party and Democratic Party and provides a backdrop to Mondale’s political career.