Bernie Democrats are the new Party

June 10, 2016

Articles

The Democratic Party is at a cross roads. What does it mean that no one will come to Hillary’s so-called rallies and thousands stand in line to attend Bernie’s rallies? What does it mean that Hillary speaks to rich people for money and support and Bernie involves millions in supporting his campaign?

The contradiction has been developing for many years. The rise of identity politics has clouded the class issues so long ignored and actually suppressed by the Democratic Elite. And identity politics is a complicated mix of issues. Initiated by the Civil Rights movement, the class questions were prominent in that movement. Certainly, as articulated by Martin Luther King, the struggle for racial justice could not be separated from the struggle for fairness and decency for the working class as a whole.

As I have said and emphasized many times before, the ruling class learns from each revolutionary engagement. The counter revolution never involves simple repression. The aim of the counter revolution is to use control of the media to cut out any sense of class consciousness. To address the evident unfairness of the system, they suddenly alter the frame of the issue: institutional racism instead of capitalist racism; diversity instead of integration. The subtly of the different framing of the issues is key. Institutional racism means that the political, educational, judicial institutions support racism. But that then eliminates capitalism as the culprit that undergirds racial oppression. Diversity means that promoting a few safe minorities and women individuals is sufficient. Integration means eliminating the class divisions that oppress national minorities and women.

By reframing the issues, the ruling class has been able slowly to absorb national minorities and women into established institutions always screening out the most progressive individuals who will fight against class oppression. That is why we see Black leadership on the wrong side of history supporting Hillary whose program is against the class interests of the vast majority of the Black community.

While the right to choose obviously is a major issue for working class women and feminists always fought to protect that right, the movement withered as leadership became increasingly alienated from the working class as a whole. As a result, the author of Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, has now recognized that breaking the glass ceiling does not address the issues that face the masses of working women.

The ruling class has successfully washed out working class issues using institutional racism and diversity to promote “safe” minorities and women into positions of power while continuing the exploitation and oppression of the working class as a whole. And the Democratic elite have joined that “bipartisan policy”, freezing out all of those individuals who demanded more than a seat at the table. All of these perspectives appeared well established and safe until Bernie’s campaign.

Bernie formally started his campaign on May 24, 2015. At the time, he had no money, no campaign organization and virtually no name recognition for the masses of working people. Arrayed against him was the entire establishment. The corporate media barely mentioned him other than to say that Hillary was the “presumptive” nominee. They would say that Bernie was either a fringe candidate or an irrelevant candidate who needs to withdraw.

All the Democratic Party office holders claimed to endorse Hillary. Of course, the right wing immediately attacked Bernie has a socialist or worse, as if that were enough to condemn his candidacy. I do not know if there was anyone including myself who anticipated the explosion of support for Bernie. I immediately sent him money but that was because I hoped he would move Hillary away from her narrow, unachievable, almost irrelevant program which she calls the center. Bernie’s success has been more than surprising. It has completely changed the political landscape.

Bernie was able to penetrate that wall of opposition by establishment institutions. The first line of attack was to ignore and marginalize his campaign. The corporate media, including NPR, declared Hillary was the nominee in March of 2015, and repeated that mantra every day for the next 15 months.

But for social media, the power of Bernie’s campaign would never have reached great numbers of working people. He succeeded in spite of the corporate media. In fact, the corporate media repeatedly asserted that Bernie’s campaign was marginal. The corporate media never acknowledged that millions of people had joined the revolution.

Attendance at a political rally is a potent test of the strength of a movement. Every individual must take time out of the day, stand in line, and travel to the destination. These requirements test the extent of dedication of the participants.

While the corporate media never analyzed the difference between a rally and the voting process, it has enormous importance. In this country the voting process has a long history of manipulation to suppress or deny the vote. Generally, it is right wing conservatives who are most aggressive in obstructing the right to vote. For the last 15 months, the Democratic Elite has assumed the mantel of the right wing to prevent a fair and representative vote. In spite of the power of the corporate media and the Democratic Elite, Bernie has been able to win 45% of the vote with over 10 million votes. He has won 22 states. This accomplishment cannot be overestimated. He has been able to do this in spite of the opposition of every major institution in this country.

For example, in New York, the Democratic elite excluded all those newly active, often independent voters. At the same time, the New York Times waited until after the New York election to publish an article that revealed in detail that Hillary is a war monger.

This narrative suggests a vast right wing conspiracy with Hillary at the center. For instance, not only did the corporate media exclude the power of Bernie’s rallies from the national consciousness, the corporate media never exposed the anemic rallies of Hillary’s campaign. In addition, the corporate media never explained to the viewing public the significance of the difference.

The corporate media barely addressed Hillary’s indebtedness to big money. At no time was Hillary’s refusal to release the transcripts for speeches to big money made a part of the corporate media’s analysis of Hillary’s campaign. But for the social media, her refusal to release the transcript would not even have been an issue.

The fact that a large portion of voting population views Hillary either with hatred or disgust was mentioned without analysis nor was there any discussion of the importance of her unfavorable rating. There certainly was no discussion of the reasons for her unfavorable position.

The coordinated assault on Bernie’s campaign was in full display on June 6, 2016 when every corporate outlet announced Hillary’s nomination 6 weeks before the convention. In addition, they have declared Bernie’s campaign is over, ended.

The entire power structure is pressing down on Bernie to give up as if the brilliance of his campaign can be put to rest. Now, all of us are supposed to bow down before the collective power of the establishment.

The exposed division within the Democratic Party is now pasted over. The corporate media is willing to discuss Bernie’s campaign for the first time in 15 months. Since they have now anointed Hillary as the nominee, they apparently assume that it is safe to discuss how Bernie will be welcomed in to the fold as a defeated candidate. But there are now 2 parties: Bernie Democrats and establishment or corporate Democrats. And Bernie Democrats control at least 45% of those people allowed to vote in the Democratic primaries. They control much more when including the independents and other workers alienated from the government. Bernie Democrats cannot and will not accept the establishment/corporate Democrats until they are defeated and hopefully destroyed. We need Bernie Democrat buttons, t-shirts, jackets to announce that the war has a new front. I myself will support Bernie Democrats who run for office and oppose all establishment/corporate Democrats who run for office. I am one person who has wavered between disgust and hatred of Hillary and all of those who have purchased her nomination.

Because I have a long history in the militant left movement, I have great respect for the dedication and intelligence of those comrades on the left who cling to an incorrect political position. That position that refuses to participate in the power struggle within the Democratic Party isolates them from the political movement of millions of working people.

Constantly demanding a third party, these comrades are simply politically wrong. There are several elements of this incorrect analysis. The most important is a misunderstanding of dialectical and historical materialism. Contradictions develop within institutions that must be pushed by participation in the development of those contradictions.

Jill Stein called on people to vote their conscious. Elections, however, are a fight for power. That is why we have fought for 150 to protect the right to vote. Bernie’s campaign has exposed the fact that we are involved in an intense, incessant class war. As Warren Buffett has observed, the working class is losing.

In war, one must respect the rights of those who choose to be conscious objectors. They stand outside the battle. That is what the Green Party and all progressive third party advocates who refuse to enter the fight within the Democratic Party do. Not only do they contend that their vote must be one of conscious, instead of a fight for power, but they also contend that a third party at this time will be built outside the Democratic Party. Bernie has proven that the fight is to take over the Democratic Party and destroy the power of establishment/corporate Democrats.

That is why Bernie’s leadership is so important. As an aside, Bernie has exposed the hypocrisy of identity politics. The corporate media places a wreath on Hillary’s head as the first women candidate for president. Their arrogance is unbounded. Every time, they say that Hillary is the first female nominee they erase 144 years of progressive feminist candidates. They should say what they mean. Hillary is the first female establishment/corporate candidate purchased by the wealthy of this country.

Those of us with no voice and that include the left yearning for a third party must rely on Bernie to articulate the line of march. He is able to speak to millions in favor of a working class agenda. Bernie has proven over the last 25 years that he will fight for workers. We therefore become Bernie Democrats to fight against establishment/ corporate Democrats whenever possible with whatever weapons available.

Yours in Struggle,

 

Ron

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One Response to “Bernie Democrats are the new Party”

  1. marianne Says:

    Hi- Love the articles, its nice to read others say what I think. I cant help but what something bigger. I am just simply not able to accept Clinton and Trump as the choices. I intend to vote for those like Bernie which is kind of difficult in Indiana, but I just feel there is something else. If Bernie Democrats are getting squeeze out so badly, is it time to ask Bernie with our donations to please, because his platforms are not being accepted, to run independant as a viable escape vote for so many. Is is too late? I am not certain anymore that being a spoiler is possible because I dont know that there would truly be a difference in presidency except the frequency of riots in the street. Is he not being a spoiler by NOT going rogue? I am just torn.

    Reply

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