Perhaps it is not so strange that Bernie Sanders won the Indiana Democratic primary in 2016. After all, Indiana was home to another presidential candidate steeped in the socialist tradition: Eugene V. Debs.
Debs might be too far in the past for Hoosiers to remember. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Debs was originally a Democratic elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 1884. He became involved in several unions and strikes. In one strike, he ended up in prison, where he read socialist literature and then emerged as a socialist. He ran for president— five times—as a socialist.
We have Debs to thank for many rights that we take for granted today, such as an eight-hour workday, workers’ compensation, and sick leave.