Bernie’s Brilliance

July 29, 2016


As I said on a recent post, the struggle for power for a progressive agenda is brutal and bruising. So often, we fight and lose. When we do win a concession, the counter revolution is either slow and unyielding or swift and cruel.

In this campaign, we won. Obviously, we did not win the presidency which would have happened had Bernie been nominated. That victory would have changed this country for the remainder of the century. But we did place the progressive agenda on the national stage for the first time in 50 years. We now have a voice, a voice with tremendous power and reach.

But as with every victory, the strategy to consolidate our movement is not only crucial, it is complex. There are two necessary analyses: 1) what was accomplished against what barriers; 2) what inventory/reserves/strengths we have created and how to consolidate them.

roadblocks and barriers stripped away.

Bernie has stated many times: when he started, he faced the entire Democratic Party structure opposed to his candidacy; he had no campaign organization and no money; he faced an openly hostile corporate media.

One cannot overestimate the significance of the fact that the entire Democratic Party opposed Bernie’s candidacy and he won nevertheless: not one Senator, Representative, Governor came to his assistance. That means that an alternative progressive base had to be created to oppose the established order. Revolution can only occur when the entire working class fights while conscious of their class interests. Bernie’s campaign has now created fertile ground for producing a class conscious working class base. In fact, 13 million voters are in many ways the foundation for that working class base. His success is phenomenal.

By attacking the concentration of wealth with a progressive agenda for working people, Bernie overturned the established narrative. He accomplished this undertaking within a political structure designed to block every attempt to focus on the unequal and unfair distribution of wealth.

Before Bernie Sanders, I said that the progressive agenda has no voice. We now have a powerful voice; in fact, we have millions of voices. By releasing the energy of his supporters and providing the hope of victory and a movement fighting for victory, Bernie has millions of advocates for a progressive agenda.

Bernie has created even more: he has spokespeople committed to speak within and outside the Democratic power structure: Nina Turner, Rosario Dawson, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, Dr. Cornel West and Alice Anil and others. These articulate, brilliant, gorgeous, popular spokespeople have supported the progressive agenda for years. Now, they speak to and for a collective political force. They both unite us and inspire us. As one Bernie supporter said: “Bernie said outloud what I could only say in my dreams.”

I just listened to Alice Anil with whom I was unfamiliar. To me, she proves that there are now millions of voices fighting for a progressive agenda. In explaining Bernie’s forced endorsement of Hillary, she made a profound statement: “Bernie conceded the battle to set the basis to win the war. Bernie’s vision transcends this election; it even transcends Bernie himself.” From my perspective, his strategy provided this prodigious accomplishment, precisely because he analyzed the battle ground properly. By fighting within the Democratic party he was able to create a working class progressive base for a progressive agenda.

In other words, he politicized the electoral process when the ruling class spends billions to depoliticize the working class. Everything from advertising, to sports, to propagandizing corporate media, to cynical and pessimistic movies are used to suck dry every hope of political struggle and political consciousness. That is why I say we won. The ruling class has promoted the idea that political choices will not affect the lives of people. Using cynicism and pessimism along with the left narrative especially from the Green Party, the ruling class has convinced millions of workers that political struggle is impossible. Bernie destroyed that perspective.

Corruption exposed.

The exposure of the corruption extant in the Democratic Party structure provided not only an education of the barriers built by the ruling class but also proof that conscious working class operatives can destroy those barriers.

The Democratic National Conference (DNC) was originally structured to be neutral for candidates running for President. The ostensible reason is to allow the Democratic Party to discover the actual political status of the voting population. Instead, the DNC developed every dirty maneuver to defeat Bernie’s candidacy. Debbie Wasserman Schultz structured the debates to prevent Bernie’s message from getting a wide audience. The DNC colluded with the corporate media to attack Bernie. The DNC in collusion with election officials suppressed the vote and corporate media lied about the voting results.

Bernie’s campaign exposed the corporate media’s racist and class bias and thereby politicized his progressive working class base. The corporate media gave Trump a billion dollars of air time for his racist, misogynist rantings while ignoring the thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic, anti-racist workers attending Bernie’s rallies. Even though Michelle Alexander’s book, the New Jim Crow introduced mass incarceration to the political narrative, her paper in the Nation on February 29, 2016 was ignored by the corporate media. Instead, DNC trolls tried to accuse Bernie and the “white left” of ignoring the black community. By contrast, the Clintons political exploitation of the black community and black leadership was not only ignored, it was denied by the corporate media. Michelle Alexander’s article exposed the methodology used by the Clintons of sending mixed cultural messages – playing the saxophone in shades while promoting mass incarceration.

The power created by Bernie’s voice.

If not destroyed, that political sham is crippled to such an extent that its use in the future will be questioned if not rejected. There will be no more mixed cultural messages.

Bernie has now set the basis for Bernie Democrats to take the progressive agenda to every level of government. A Trump victory in November will be a major setback. Bernie’s political acumen perceived the necessity to block Trump and said so explicitly.

Unfortunately, the ruling class has a much more sophisticated analysis of the class war than the great majority of workers and certainly the left such as the Green Party. In 1971, the Louis Powell memo set out the strategy for the ruling class to take over and control the courts. As a result, they created the Federalist Society, funded law schools, and targeted the Supreme  Court. If Trump were to win the Presidency, he could appoint 3 and possibly 4 Supreme Court Judges. That alone will set back the progressive forces for 40 years. Ironically, these appointments could easily make the Green Party illegal unless the ruling class decides they are helpful in attacking the Bernie Democrats. If Trump appoints 3 Supreme Court Judges the results are easy to discern the Court would take such actions as:

1) Probably overturn Roe v. Wade;

2) Eliminate any protection by the NLRB to the Union election process and Collective Bargain Agreements;

3) Wipe out all protections against job discrimination;

4) Eliminate protection against voter suppression;

5) Increase the reach of Citizens United;

6) Eliminate the Voting Rights Act; and

7) Block all attempts to regulate the environment.

These are the clear and obvious moves by a conservative Supreme Court. There are many more but those analyses can be left to the scholars.

In addition, a Trump Presidency would appoint hundreds of Federal Judges. The Courts affect the lives of working people everyday. Workers in Detroit experienced the devastation of a Federal Court bankruptcy Judge. That is one example where there are thousands.

If Hillary wins, the movement built by Bernie can force a progressive agenda from the Board of Education to the Supreme Court. That is why Bernie was correct to concede the battle to win the war.

Bernie’s campaign even crippled the power of identity politics. He proved to everyone under 45 that breaking the glass ceiling is not nearly as important as $15.00 minimum wage, universal healthcare, opposition to TPP and mass incarceration. We now have a movement capable of blocking Hillary’s desire to move to the right. She will not be able to become the Margaret Thatcher of the United States of America.

Rosario Dawson outlined the movement strategy including not just demonstrations but also civil disobedience and again we will have Bernie’s voice and support for these activities. We will have candidates and representatives everywhere from the State level to the Federal level in supporting our actions. Our program is powerful and persuasive. At last, we have a voice, millions of voices to fight for it.

We will face a corporate media designed to divide and silence but it will also be compromised in its attempts to deny the power of Bernie’s narrative. Plus, the ruling class will continue its agenda of stealing from the working class. The unfairness of that money grab can be exposed and attacked. It can be used to mobilize the entire working class. It will allow and promote unity instead of division. These resources, perspectives and activities mean we have won a major bridgehead. On to the ramparts.

Yours in Struggle,



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