Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On my call for Bernie Sanders to "Shut Up"

Vote Democratic. Vote Hillary, that will be his recommendation
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Three months ago, I wrote a piece about Bernie Sanders. This is before he announced his run for president.  The title I gave to the piece was: Will Bernie Sanders Please Shut Up. Not long after I'd written it I regretted the title. Title's of things we write and the hardest damn things to come up with sometimes.  But this wasn't for me because I was angry at the guy. I should not have used that title because why would anyone not support a politician expressing what people feel and what they're angry about

Why was I angry? I was angry because all over the Internet there were these Bernie Sanders agitational quips about injustice,  inequality and how bad bankers were etc.  There was never an answer, a plan of attack, what we have to do to turn things around.  I explained that Sanders, just like Warren and Reich, were simply tapping in to the mood that exists in the US. They are speaking to the intense anger and hatred of the 1% that lies beneath the surface of society.

I have heard this stuff before. Sanders will talk like this and run as a Democrat. There is no way the section of the capitalist class that is primarily behind the Democrats will run Bernie Sanders and he knows that. His plan back then that has been confirmed, since he is running for President as a Democrat.

As they did around Obama, many young people will be enthused and invigorated by Sanders oratory and the subject matter.  It is common for us here in the US to stress the individual, whether they have more integrity than the others and all that, rather than the party and its class base which is what really matters.  It is a positive thing that so many young people will be moved by Sanders and get involved in his campaign.  I also have many friends and former co-workers who vote Democratic and some who vote Republican who are also enthused by it.

But having seen all this before, or something very similar, it doesn't have quite the same affect. Jesse Jackson was talking along class lines in one of his campaigns in the 1980's. talking of big fish and little fish, the hawks and the doves, the sharks and the fishes.  That all changed after the Democratic Party Convention when we were suddenly singing refrains of "we're all in this together".

Bernie Sanders never talks of real solutions except to elect a Democrat in to the White House (Don't we have one now?)  No talk of the need for a third party, a workers party based on our organizations both industrial and community based, one that can also represent the interests of small community based businesses against the crushing weight of the corporate elite and the state. He does not in any serious way deal with the question of racial discrimination and the police brutality and murder of African American males by the militarized and out of control police. He doesn't speak of the mass incarceration of African American males.  Since Picketty, inequality is the rallying cry and if we fix that, capitalism will be good. Sanders has taken it up now.  He says class war has only been going on for 30 years. Some socialist. He has  also supported US imperialism's disastrous foreign policy agreeing to supply the Zionist regime with fresh ammo when they ran short after such a successful campaign of slaughtering the women and children in the Gaza concentration camp.

So I could  not possibly support his campaign but how we approach and relate to the hundreds of thousands of genuine people who will be drawn in to his campaign, many as their first active political statement, is crucial if we are to build a wider movement against austerity. The title of the article I wrote back in April would not help that process it would hinder it. For a more detailed account of how those of us connected to this blog and the Project For a Working People's World believe we should approach those who are involved in the Sanders campaign, go to this link.

1 comment:

Teri Norris said...

You should know that a true third party is too far beyond the American people's comprehension. The Tea Party members ran as republicans and look at them now.