[Marxism] President Bernie Sanders?
markalause at gmail.com
Wed Apr 24 08:46:01 MDT 2019
I don't equate acknowledging the history and experience of Democratic
politics with seeing it as "too late" for us to do anything in politics.
In many respects, Trump has represented a progression of--rather than a
serious break from--the recent trends in American politics, particularly in
Republican circles. Aside from his personality problems (coupled with
signs of dementia), Trump won the Republican nomination not over the
resistance of its dominant currents but by extending them. In particular,
I mean the "free-market," anti-regulatory dogmas of Reaganomics and the
militant corporate Christian Right. Indeed, the most committed to one or
another of these fundamental tenets of Republicanism, the most they tend to
If we want to learn from experience, we have to acknowledge that the
Democrats have not, in our lifetimes, ever nominated for president the most
progressive of their options. Not once.
And, in the end, we all know that Sanders will--as he is already pledged to
do--endorse Biden or whichever of the Clinton lite alternatives the party
thinks it can run without alienating the 1%. Trump is so awful that they
may well elect such a candidate in 2020, but we shouldn't delude ourselves
that any such option is going to make any serious change. And that
candidacy will also give Trump his best chance of winning another term.
.... And, if that happens, I have no doubt that the Democratic
establishment and its media voices will blame it on forces to their left.
Maybe the legions of Sanders supporters who didn't vote or voted for Trump,
or perhaps the black voters or white women or workers or others who failed
the Democratic party again by not showing up in enough numbers. And
certainly the Greens. Maybe even Ralph Nader's residual influence.
The Left will go nowhere if it can't deal with the material realities we
On another note, some time back I asked for a single instance where the
American movement ever did a serious balance sheet on its experience in its
national electoral work. I got one response from a comrade with a document
from outside the U.S.
This tells us something about our capacity to critically evaluate socialist
electoral projects, of which the episodic hallucinations about FDR are a
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