A SOCIALIST CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT?
No topic gets progressives at each other’s throats more than presidential elections. We have members who are Democrats, Greens and socialists, combined with a number of “a pox on all their houses,” so we usually walk on eggshells for fear of creating a fight rather than the unity we so desperately desire.
Bernie Sanders is the only self-identified socialist in the Congress, and is talking about running for president. This is already stirring up controversy. Some progressives think he’s plotting to help the Democrats by running for awhile then throwing his support to Hillary Clinton. Democratic loyalists think he’s taking votes away from Hillary and giving them to Jeb Bush.
Bernie is one of the most misunderstood people in the Congress by progressives. He is often attacked for, say, voting for a Defense Authorization Bill (DAB). But if one looks behind the scene, they will find Bernie bargaining with Democrats, who need his vote, that he will vote for it in return for a minimum wage increase vote, or something like that. The Dems go along with Bernie because they want as many votes as possible, and they don’t want people questioning why Bernie voted no when the Dems voted yes. So they give him his way, and Bernie will tell you it costs nothing, because a massive DAB is going to pass anyhow, no matter what Bernie does.
People don’t seem to notice Bernie is the only socialist in Congress. It’s not like he’s going to pass anything acting alone— he has to work with scumbag Senator colleagues and gets more support from Democrats than Republicans, so caucuses with them. The people of Vermont back him so well that opponents armed with millions in campaign financing from the corporate scum and their billionaire friends lose to Bernie, time after time.
He has a message that will work with Americans. It hasn’t been tried since the 1930’s when people like Huey Long ran for office and forced Franklin Roosevelt to the left, frightened that Huey would enter the race and stomp him if he didn’t offer Social Security and his other programs, with socialism on the rise during the Great Depression. The American people would back such a candidate as Bernie if only there was a way to get him seen by them.
A lot of progressives have given up and say don’t vote, but half the population don’t vote already, so that accomplishes nothing. You’re not going to defeat the system by not voting, corporate media will announce, as they always do, that voters are apathetic as the official explanation— not that voters feel they have no choices.
We need to think bigger. Those of you who are with the Greens, why not push to get Bernie invited as a candidate for the Green nomination? A sitting Senator going Green would send a signal that the Green Party has arrived. Get Bernie to accept the platform of the Greens, which is not much different from a standard democratic socialist platform.
However he runs, it is clear Bernie must be told that what turns off progressives is when a candidate drops out and endorses the Democrats. All that work and money raised in effect, then goes to Democrats who are despised by those who were the rank and file of the progressive candidate.
At the very least, such a candidate would get attention for the great causes of social justice, peace, a clean environment and all that we dream —Jack Balkwill
SOURCE: Liberty News Service, http://luvnews.info/
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