Monday, May 23, 2016

Three Sanders Opportunities: Bernie or… - Living in Dialogue

Three Sanders Opportunities: Bernie or… - Living in Dialogue:

Three Sanders Opportunities: Bernie or… 

 The Bernie Sanders candidacy offers the American people several important opportunities that should not be missed. First and foremost, he offers us the chance to put forth a principled candidate as the Democratic nominee. If this is accomplished then we can begin the hard work of reclaiming the party from the careerist sellouts that have been in charge for decades. He has said he will replace Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC, and there are many more changes that can be made to ensure more democracy in the party. We can seriously take on campaign finance reform because the party will have a standard bearer who will have prevailed without billionaire support.

While this is by far the best opportunity, it is not the only one. There is another set of opportunities that await if Sanders fails to get the nomination.
To consider this, we have to engage in a bit of speculation, because the options depend somewhat on how history unfolds in the next few months.
For the second opportunity we have, let’s assume that Sanders fails to secure the nomination, but that the Democratic party leadership recognizes that Clinton doomed without the enthusiastic support of millions of Sanders voters. As a result, Clinton and other party leaders embrace key parts of the Sanders platform – a $15 minimum wage, real campaign finance reform, breaking up the banks, health care for all, an end to the super delegates, no more imperial wars, and end to mass deportations, criminal and racial justice reform, and so on. In this case it is possible that distrust of Clinton and party leadership could be overcome, and she could build a winning coalition to defeat Trump. If, and this is a very big if, she and party leaders stayed true to these principles, then the Democratic Party could once again become a party capable of representing working and poor people. I do not rate this possibility as very likely, unfortunately.
There is a third scenario that is less optimistic. Let’s assume for our third possible future history that Clinton secures the nomination through the use of super delegates and insider maneuvers. And she and party leaders believe (as they seem to believe now) that everyone will flock to vote for her because Trump is such a loathsome alternative, and therefore make little effort to win over Sanders voters. They do not embrace campaign finance reform, or any of the other key elements of the Sanders platform. Let’s assume, for the sake of this speculation, that Clinton actually manages to defeat Trump. While she is far more vulnerable to him than Sanders would be, she still could defeat the misogynistic blowhard. And we should support her, although it will be tough to muster much enthusiasm.
Under this scenario, we have a third term of Clintons in the White House. Based on the first two Clinton terms, and on her more recent work as Secretary of State, we can expect more corporate trade deals, more promotion of globalization and privatization, more military aggression, and little in the way of real change. In Three Sanders Opportunities: Bernie or… - Living in Dialogue:



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