Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cheerleading for Democrats. Bernie Sanders leaves a lot out.

Wow! Never heard this before. But who are we standing with?
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I just watched a video on Facebook of Bernie sanders speaking at a UAW union hall. It was apparently a few months ago.  I find it very hard to understand how people are so quick to stick the integrity and honesty label on this man. “Bernie is the real deal” says one user. “He is so inspiring” says another. “I’m all in for Bernie” writes another.

Now I can understand a young person being drawn to this, a person with little, or no experience with populist rhetoric.  I have commented numerous times on how Bernie is cleverly tapping in to the righteous anger that exists in US society.  He knows what he’s doing. He also knows that it is highly unlikely that he will get the Democratic Party nomination and will at that point tell his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I realize his supporters, many of them, are genuine people who want the change he is alluding to. But he’s very dishonest. Leave aside that he’s saying to the audience things they want to hear and are familiar with. It’s not rocket science. There has been a continuous assault on the living standards of American workers and middle class over the last 40 years. It intensified after the crushing of PATCO and the defeat of numerous strikes of resistance during the 1980’s.  The heads of organized labor did nothing to stop that offensive which is the main reason the strikes ended in defeat. Seeing the labor officialdom's capitulation as a green light, this war on workers and the poor has continued and intensified since.

Yes, Sanders says things he knows are on people’s minds and will validate their concerns.  He also leaves out other things that he doesn’t want the audience to think about. He is careful not to mention that he is a socialist a mantle he has claimed in the past, or even use the term “capitalism.”.  He never mentions that he is the Democratic Party candidate and wants you to elect a Democratic President in 2016.  He is a cheerleader for the Democratic Party which is fine if a candidate is honest about that. He is not.

He does what a lot of liberal Democratic voters do; he ignores the record of this party and focuses on the Republicans. He doesn’t even mention the Democratic Party because he knows how both parties are hated in this country as workers, youth, the poor and the middle class have lost ground under both of them. He mentions billionaire Republicans like the Koch brothers. Well sure, they’re a nasty duo.  But what about the tech billionaires that support the Democratic Party?  Obama and the Clintons are up to their necks in Goldman Sachs money.

Here is a supposed socialist and he not once mentions that the wars, level of inequality in the US, poverty, environmental destruction, racism and sexism are a product of a social system he describes as capitalism.  It’s simply greed. What is greed?  The investment banker Felix Rohatyn is a Democrat.  Robert Rubin, the former Goldman Sachs chairman is a Democrat. Billionaire Tom Steyer is a Democrat, Mike Bloomberg is I believe, he’s worth $30 billion. Are they greedy?  Sanders is a selective billionaire thrasher. The main thing is the billionaires own both parties and most of them give to one or the other depending on the situation.

Sanders says in the video that “We do need a political revolution”. He’s not talking about a new political party here based on workers, our organizations and communities. He says we have to “stand united”. OK, with whom? I’ll tell you, Democrats.  He goes on to explain what he means by political revolution. He says that it means we can’t have elections where “63% of the people don’t vote, where 80% of young people don’t vote.”.  He makes it clearer, “Politics in a democratic society and involvement in the political process is what patriotism is about.” He tells his blue-collar audience. He wants to register the unregistered as Democrats.

His main focus is on the Koch brothers. He get’s upset he says, “hearing working people voting for candidates that are going to send their jobs abroad, who are going to take their kids off of health insurance, who are going to make it harder to send their kids to college.”

But here in California Democrats have savaged education. Isn’t Arne Duncan a Democrat and what about Rahm Emanuel?  Talk about someone attacking workers. They’re all attacking pensions. Richard Blum, Dianne Feinstein’s husband is one of the leading figures responsible for pricing public education out of reach of most working people.

Sanders gives no indication as to how his programs will be funded or what has to be done to loosen the grip the 1% has on our economic and political life. He can’t talk of the monopoly they have in the political arena because he’s running as a candidate of the 1%.  The nicer friendlier billionaires I suppose. He says nothing about US foreign policy that has slaughtered millions of innocent people because he supports it. He supports the drone program, supports the bombings and as a Zionist supports the billions given to the racist Zionist regime in Israel/Palestine. Those of us that want change at home cannot and must not abandon victims of corporate wars outside of our borders.

The trillions spent in these predatory expeditions (he also supports US foreign policy in Syria) should be brought back home but he says nothing about that. The roots of terrorism and anti-American feelings sprout from US corporate foreign policy and its uncritical support of the Zionists and their Apartheid polices.

Sanders is dishonest because he knows he is campaigning for the Democratic Party and doesn’t mention it once in this video.  “If we involve millions of people in this campaign…” Sanders tells his audience, “….man we can create a country the likes of which no one has ever seen.”

Sanders has no independent plan at all. The goal of what he calls” this campaign” is to get a Democrat in to the White House next year. The reason he doesn’t say that is so many Americans are on to the game the two parties play and hate both of them. Like it or not, they have decided to opt out of what they see as a totally corrupt system altogether.

We need a political revolution alright. We need a party not tied to billionaires and bankers, but one based on workers, our organizations and communities.  The Democratic Party as one of the world’s dominant parties of capitalism cannot resolve the day-to-day crises workers and the poor are faced with. The middle class also, is being driven backwards by the dictatorship these two parties have over political life in the US.

There is an alternative and Sanders supporters should join it and build it and that is the Green Party. The more influential that party become, the more reforms the two bankers parties will cough up to derail that movement. You don’t have to win an election to have influence over policy. From what this writer can see, it is not a capitalist party, nor a workers party.  But it has somewhat of a national structure and appears to have a democratic internal life. Sanders supporters should join it, strengthen and build its working class base and stress direct action not just electoral campaigns while arguing for the only solution there is to the crisis of capitalism, a democratic social society. Vote for Jill Stein for president in 2016. Here is what a small group of people in the Project for a Working People’s World (including this writer) say about Sanders and the alternative.

What the Project for a Working People’s World stands for is here. If you like these ideas and would like to discuss them further with us contact us at:

1 comment:

BenL8 said...

I think you could find some reasons to disagree with Sanders. You just don't like him. Give me a better reason to disagree with him. Before he cast in as a Democrat he debated about a third party candidacy. He said that Nader was just cast aside, marginalized, not regarded as a real alternative -- just a spoiler, a disgruntled nay-sayer. And Ralph came off as a negative voice, not a positive character. Unfortunately. Now the media is questioning, Is Sanders electable? Big change. Is Sanders likeable? Yea. Is Dick Cheney? Bush? Romney? Of course not. Even Hillary? Now go look at Jill whats-her-name of the Greens. Did you follow her candidacy last time round? She was shrill and unreasonable, like a buzz saw without an off switch. Apparently she's taken control of the Greens. I'm a registered Green, so I'm not happy about that. I read your writing because I think your premises are right on, but your practical application is not well developed at all. Humanity is full of greed, and we need a system that is democratic (small d) and intelligent. Even socialists have a greed problem, it is inherent in the nature of human nature. I have been reading about changing the labor laws, Marion Craig and Ellen Dannin in the Monthly Review. And about democratizing the corporation, changing the charter laws to include all stakeholders on corporate boards, and about tax incentives for corporations that have employee profit sharing and ownership sharing programs. The book is "The Citizens' Share", and also about the problem of monopoly power in "Cornered". We are not going to abolish corporations, we are going to eventually transform them into the service of the ordinary workers who do the majority of the work. About 5 out of 6 workers, work in places with 50 or more employees -- called corporations, and about 1 in 2 work in places with more than 500 employees. Corporations are efficient, but they are corrupt and unfair, they must be transformed.. So, I like your work and writing, you are getting better, but the same old "dump everyone" spiel is tiring. Your old coffee buddy, Ben