On Bernie Sanders' Campaign

http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4490

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/09/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21274

We strongly disagree with Bernie Sanders' approach of running in the Democratic primary and his pledge to support the party nominee. However, it would be a mistake for the left not to recognize the enormous significance and potential inherent in the millions of people rallying around his campaign looking to fight against corporate America and what they perceive as the hijacking of the democratic process.

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We should embrace movements and mobilizing efforts around specific demands that grow out of the Sanders campaign. There is now a call by young people activated by the campaign for a million student march on Washington this fall, building on Sanders' call to make public universities and colleges tuition free.

We have yet to see the emergence of a large-scale challenge to austerity and a clear working-class political alternative at the national level. An effective politics that can win and implement a left program requires an organizational infrastructure and political culture that does not exist right now. With a lack of ongoing, successful independent left politics, we have to contend with the reality that anger at the corporate control of politics reflects itself in vague populism and often within the Democratic Party.

We recognize that electoral initiatives like those of Kshama Sawant in Seattle, the late Chokwe Lumumba in Mississippi, the Vermont Progressive Party, the Richmond Progressive Alliance, United Working Families in Chicago, Howie Hawkins' Green Party campaign and others, while they have their limitations and problems, represent a challenge to the hold of the Democratic Party establishment. We support efforts to run pro-worker and labor candidates as independents or on the ballot line of non-corporate parties.