Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bernie Sanders on a Picket line. Is he running for office?

The Democratic Party is the Billionaire's Party
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Surprise surprise. Bernie sanders, the popular liberal Democrat challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for US president in 2016 was reported to be on a picket line in Iowa this morning.

This is normal procedure for Democrats when they are either running for office or when the union officialdom calls in a favor during a strike in return for the hundreds of millions of dollars they donate to Democratic candidates. It’s actually billions over the years. The politician will walk up and down for a bit, ensure that the workers don’t get any silly ideas about using the power of organized labor and our communities to actually win anything and then head on out.  They might even write a letter to the corporation asking it to be nice.

Beyond the money of course is the human capital. An army of union staffers and loyal members (loyal to the status quo) work phone banks, walk precincts and campaign for the candidates. MY former union, Afscme, provided some 40,000 volunteers for Mondale in the 1980’s.

Workers have cottoned on to this mind you which is why so many opt out of the electoral process all together. Some unions have endorsed Sanders but the stifling bureaucracy that heads organized labor in the US will be solidly behind the Democratic Party machine.

Sanders venture on to a picket line won’t hurt the Democratic nominee who will most likely be Hillary Clinton. It can’t  be ruled out Sanders could win it but it’s very unlikely and even if he did he would simply be an Obama in another form. The support he is getting and the young crowds enthusiastically supporting him will help the Democratic candidate in the main as when the choice is made Sanders, loyal party member that he is, will call for his supporters to vote the Democratic Party choice.

We have pointed out on this blog that this will have a multiple affect, particularly on the young people.  Some will leave politics disgusted with yet another betrayal (many of them hate the thought of voting for another Clinton) but others will be looking for somewhere to go.  We in the Project for a Working People’s World have argued that we should in no way support Sanders and instead join the Green Party.  Download our Alternative to Sanders here. Feel free to share it.

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