The Power of Bernie Democrats

July 13, 2016


When I sent my first check to Bernie on 6/1/2015, my expectations were so low that it is embarrassing to confess. All I expected was that Bernie would be able to force some discussion of The Concentration of Wealth and to expose the failure of The Democratic Party programmatically to address workers’ needs.

Bernie’s success was not just surprising, it was inspiring for me. It was more than gratifying. I have argued since 1978 that the only way to build a revolutionary movement was for those with a progressive prospective to fight within the Democratic Party. I have several chapters in my book outlining the reasons for such a strategy.

To address a complex subject, it is obvious that the left has no voice. Strikes are important but do not address broad political questions; demonstrations serve specific purposes. Revolution occurs in the fight for reforms but only when a conscious working class can confront the brutality of capitalism. Whether it is advertising imposing an individualistic consumerism mentality, or corporate media framing every issue washing out a class perspective, the only time a broad progressive agenda can be proposed is in a political campaign. Since third parties are irrelevant to the struggle for power except as spoilers, the working class correctly ignores them.

For the last 160 years, the working class has fought for the right to vote and the corporate power structure has fought to suppress that vote. That history defines the parameters of class war. The corporate power structure, after losing the ideological battle on the right to vote, then moved to make the vote irrelevant. The corporate media has successfully marginalized and silenced any attempt to articulate a progressive agenda. Corporate Democrats have been prominent agents in enforcing the marginalization of any progressive agenda.

Led by The Clinton’s, The Corporate Democrats have continuously moved lockstep to the right while pretending to be liberals. The brilliance of Bernie’s Campaign in its strategic perspective and practical implementation cannot be overstated. Not only has Bernie exposed the political bankruptcy of The Clinton corporate corruption, he has built a formidable progressive movement providing hope to every progressive perspective.

Obviously, Bernie should be The Democratic nominee; that is the only rational conclusion for any political operative who believes that winning elections and that’s the fight for power is the primary goal. However, The Clinton Corporate Democrats primary goal is to marginalize all progressive perspectives. They have failed miserably. Bernie has won 22 states and obtained at least 13 million votes even though corporate Democrats in league with the corporate media have stolen millions of votes. The clear momentum is to consolidate the Bernie Democratic movement. In fact, we now have Bernie Democrats and Clinton Corporate Democrats. I am a Bernie Democrat and The Clinton Corporate Democrats will never speak for me. But as a Bernie Democrat, I support Bernie at every step.

There are disappointments in every campaign but for me the saddest is Paul Krugman and his slavish support of Hillary’s program in spite of the lack of logic and substance. Krugman’s analysis of The Republican program has always been astute and concrete. Krugman states:

“At one level, all Mr. Trump has done is to channel the racism that has always been a part of our political life – it’s literally as American as apple pie – and hitch it to the authoritarian impulse that has also always lurked behind democratic norms. But there’s a reason these tendencies are sufficiently concentrated in the G.O.P. that Trumpism could triumph in the primaries: a cynical political strategy that the party’s establishment has pursued for decades.

To put it bluntly, the modern Republican Party is in essence a machine designed to deliver high after-tax incomes to the 1 percent. Look at Mr. Ryan: Has he ever shown any willingness, for any reason, to make the rich pay so much as a dime more in taxes? Comforting the very comfortable is what it’s all about.” (NYT, 7/8/16 p. A25)

Krugman condemns the enablers for this sorry state of affairs:

“And there, in miniature, is the story of how America ended up with someone like Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee and possible next president. It’s all about the enablers, and the enablers of the enablers.” (NYT, 7/8/16 p. A25)

By means of blind ideology, Krugman ignores the third powerful enabler – The Clinton Corporate Democrats. Demonizing Black teenagers as super predators, Hillary fanned the flames of bigotry as Bill built prisons and filled them by means of mass incarceration and privatized prisons. In addition, Hillary seeks funds from privatized prison programs. The Clinton’s passed NAFTA and repealed Glass-Steagall. They promoted racism and bowed to the 1%.

The Clinton Corporate Democrats built a program designed to impoverish the working class and enrich the 1%. It was the power of the Bernie Democrats that blocked the further move to a right wing program.

With the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the corporate media immediately set out to make any political analysis irrelevant. The retaliatory killing of 5 police officers in Dallas, Texas then enabled the corporate media to strip every discussion of any class analysis. Meanwhile, Dylan Noble an unarmed white teenager was murdered by the Fresno police with no demonstration and no media coverage. In addition, four Latino teenagers were murdered in Los Angeles again with no coverage.

All demands by Black Lives Matter benefit the entire working class. That is the power of Bernie’s program. When Black Lives Matter demand the termination of murders by the police they necessarily demand that all police murders stop. It is only the corporate media that ignores that fact. As the most oppressed section of the working class, every demand by the Black Community is a demand of the entire working class. Whether it is a federal jobs program or improved housing or the need to address the unfair concentration of wealth or the termination of mass incarceration, the Black Community’s demands articulate the needs of the entire working class.  The corporate media frames the issue as solely a question of race to eliminate the oppression of the entire working class by the police and by the corporate power structure.

On 7/12/16, The NYT front page headline states: “Analysis Finds No Racial Bias in Lethal Force”.

“A new study confirms that black men and women are treated differently in the hands of law enforcement. They are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer, even after accounting for how, where and when they encounter the police. But when it comes to the most lethal form of force – police shootings – the study finds no racial bias. “It is the most surprising result of my career,” said Roland G. Fryer, Jr., the author of the study and a professor of economics at Harvard. The study examined more than 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments in Texas, Florida and California.”

I read the article and the analysis is sufficiently sophisticated that I can neither agree nor disagree. But for me, one can assume it is true. The conclusion establishes without question that the black community performs a tremendous service to the entire working class. By exposing the police murders, and demanding that they stop, everyone benefits. That fact applies across the spectrum. The demand for better housing benefits all workers. Better education supports everyone. As usual the corporate media frames the issue in exactly the wrong way.
The corporate media in league with the corporate Democrats ignore the objective fact that resolution of these problems start with a program that attacks the concentration of wealth. The NRA has hypocritically argued that open carry will prevent mass killings. Neither the corporate media nor the corporate Democrats have addressed the fact that it was a robot bomb, not open carry weapons that terminated the assailant in Dallas, Texas. In fact, those people openly carrying weapons ran faster than anyone else.

From the beginning, Bernie has attacked the concentration of wealth in this county. When an economic system is patently unfair, chaos and anarchy will be the result. Because of the history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, the ruling class always turns to racism to divide the class. Because corporate Democrats are beholden to the ruling class, they enable that political perspective trying desperately to conceal their political agenda. By emphasizing race and washing out class oppression, they defeat efforts to unite the class.

By contrast Bernie Democrats constantly define the enemy as the 1% and fight against racial and class oppression.

I believe our movement would be served with a militant floor fight for the nomination and the progressive platform. But, I am not the person who can rally thousands to fight against the injustices of this society. For that reason, I accept and support Bernie’s leadership. I do that because tactically it is the best way to build a powerful movement that opposes the ravages of capitalism.

I wrote this paper on 7/10/16 with the sincere hope that Bernie would not endorse Hilary. But today 7/12/16 Bernie conceded that Hillary has the votes for the nomination and endorsed her. The Corporate media and The Corporate Democrats led by Hillary will proclaim both openly and by implication that The Bernie revolution is over. Progressives are accustomed to defeats like this. But as Bernie has said we can never lose our sense of outrage.

But the sense of outrage is not enough. I have written a paper that is on my website entitled Strategy vs. Righteous Intransigence. I quote from National Geographic as the author described the competing interest in protecting the underfunded park management he stated:

“Passionately dedicated people need to recognize that righteous intransigence is not a strategy; it’s just a satisfying attitude.”

The complexities of park management are daunting in and of themselves. The complexities of holding together the powerful movement are at the least unnerving. I wish I could sit down with Bernie and find out what he plans. He cannot reveal everything; if he did, The Corporate Democrats would block him. I did read an entry on Facebook entitled “Conference call by Bernie to his delegates.” It is excellent; almost as good as sitting down and talking to Bernie. He stated specifically that he is not suspending his campaign even though endorsing Hillary. Talk about tactical brilliance, I am a proud Bernie Democrat.

One principle that must guide our actions at this time requires that he recognize and accept that for now we lost this battle for the nomination nothing else.  That loss, however, does not allow us as progressives to recede to the shadows, organized as in the past. We must accept Bernie’s leadership and simultaneously that he continue to lead the revolution as he is doing at this very moment.

Yours in Struggle,




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