Electoral Strategy After Bernie's Campaign
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21449
Supporters of Bernie Sanders wagered that his campaign would be the most important event in the development of socialist politics in decades. There is at least some evidence to suggest that this prediction was correct.
A moment like this demands that we embrace a great deal of strategic flexibility while clarifying our long-term goals and stipulating the limits to our flexibility.
This kind of strategic experimentation can take many forms. Obviously the most desirable, and perhaps the most fruitful, will be supporting independent socialist campaigns. Campaigns by Kshama Sawant in Seattle, Ty Moore in Minneapolis, and Jorge Mujica in Chicago show that independent socialists can win significant support and help to build a base in their neighborhoods for working-class platforms. When they win, as Sawant has shown in Seattle, they can use their office to act as tribunes for working-class issues.
With some hesitation - and this is where the strategic flexibility comes in - I think that the goal of building an independent left party can also be advanced through a strategic engagement with certain Democratic primary campaigns. The goal of this strategic engagement in Democratic primaries is to popularize a socialist program through the campaign and an elected official's time in office.