Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/899/22678

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 April 2016

USA: the un-Democratic primary

Why we need A new party of the 99%

Bernie Sanders addressing a mass rally during the Democratic primaries campaign, photo by Bernie Sanders 2016 (Creative Commons)

Bernie Sanders addressing a mass rally during the Democratic primaries campaign, photo by Bernie Sanders 2016 (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative (co-thinkers of the Socialist Party in the USA), Seattle

Despite a decisive victory, providing further confirmation of her likely nomination, in many respects Hillary Clinton emerges from the New York primary more damaged, her party more divided, than she entered it.

The 'Battle of New York' has served only to further expose what millions of people in the US are becoming painfully aware of - the Democratic Party primary is rigged in favour of the establishment.

The discussion started with the top-down, super-delegate system and enormous influence of corporate money in politics. It has gone on to raise awareness about the generally undemocratic nature of the Democratic primary and party itself.

This includes its myriad of anti-democratic voting rules, frontloading of conservative states, heavy tilting of the playing field by the media establishment, and antagonistic role of Democratic Party leaders towards grassroots challengers like Sanders.

Rigged

Working people have seen the pro-corporate character of the Democratic Party leadership itself on full display. To this establishment, Sanders' call for a 'political revolution' against billionaires and wealthy campaign donors is utterly unacceptable.

This Democratic leadership bases itself on the exchange of favours and on a revolving door of influence between elected positions and lucrative corporate and lobbyist careers. Meanwhile they use their weight and influence to whip labour and church leaders into line.

Add to this the combined power of Wall Street Super PACs (fundraising Political Action Committees) and you have a primary and political party which is hostile terrain for a candidate of the 99%.

One simple fact reveals the rigged character of the system: National polls consistently show Bernie Sanders enjoys, by far, the highest favourability rating of all presidential candidates, and beats all Republicans in head-to-head match-ups. Yet he will very likely be eliminated before the general election if he plays by the rules of the two-party system.

We are entering what is possibly the most favourable moment in US history to launch a new left party. Public trust is collapsing in both major parties, the establishment media, and all the key institutions propping up American capitalism.

Eight years since the Great Recession, with most workers still suffering despite the recovery on Wall Street, all the built-up anger and discontent is expressing itself in a bitter revolt against establishment Democratic and Republican leaders.

This is the context for the dramatic rise of Bernie Sanders - with a genuinely left-wing platform, refusing corporate donations, embracing the socialist label, and making the call for "a political revolution against the billionaire class" his central slogan.

The stronger Bernie's "political revolution" has become, the more it has threatened to break out of the straightjacket imposed by the Democratic Party which is completely dominated by big business.

Run through November

That's why Socialist Alternative, and #Movement4Bernie are petitioning Bernie to continue running through to November as an independent or on the Green Party ticket with Jill Stein, if he is blocked in the rigged primary process, and to call a conference to discuss launching a new party of the 99%.

If there are concerns about helping elect a Republican, there is no reason Bernie could not at least run in the 40-plus states where it's absolutely clear the Democratic or Republican candidate will win, while not putting his name on the five to ten closely contested "swing states".

On the other hand, if despite all their dirty tricks against him, Sanders remains loyal to the Democratic Party and backs Clinton in the general election, it would mean the demoralisation and disorganisation of much of our movement.

We need a strategy to push back right-wing Republicans. But collapsing the anti-establishment movement behind Bernie into the Clinton campaign - a false unity with the candidate of Wall Street and the political establishment - would leave the field wide open for right-populists like Trump or Cruz to expand their base.

If Sanders chooses that path, continuing the political revolution will mean 'Sandernistas' boldly moving beyond Bernie.

An aggressive independent campaign for president by Bernie Sanders, linked to building a new mass party for the 99%, could dramatically transform American politics.

Bernie would not need to win the election to force a decisive leftward shift in US society. Even registering a vote of ten or 15 million for a new party (and the potential exists to win a far larger vote) could strike a crippling blow to the political monopoly of the two parties of American capitalism.

Stakes

The stakes are simply too high to let this moment slip through our fingers. Capitalism is plunging humanity into a social and ecological catastrophe. Bernie's campaign shows a viable fightback is possible.

What's missing is a strategy to sustain and grow our movement. Now is the time for bold action to build a fighting, working class political alternative - a party for the millions, not the millionaires.


This is a shortened version of an article originally published on www.counterpunch.org

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 27 April 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Historic all-out junior doctors' strike action

Tata steel crisis: 100% nationalisation now!

Hillsborough inquest victory: cops unlawfully killed 96

Nationalise BHS to save 11,000 jobs

Rich List betrays lies of austerity

Queen reaches 90: abolish the monarchy

Most diesels emit illegal levels of poison

Them & Us

Top tweets: TUSC


What we think

Defeats and u-turns show Tories are weak


EU referendum

Trade unions: myths of EU 'Remain' campaign


Elections 2016

An anti-austerity alternative on the ballot paper

Welsh Assembly elections: A working class voice to say 'save our steel!'

Scottish elections: strong mood for anti-cuts strategy continues

London elections: fight for an anti-austerity GLA

Warrington: Socialist councillor fighting cuts and hitting doorsteps

Why I'm standing: TUSC can make a real difference

Southampton Labour council faces crisis as cuts hit city

Anti-cuts stand wins support from students in Leeds

Countering the growth of Ukip in south Wales


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors withdraw all labour to step up pressure

Trade Union Bill concessions made - now fight to scrap the lot!

Housing: Catalyst needs converting

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Butterfields: campaign to stay getting results

Women's Lives Matter


International socialist news and analysis

USA: the un-Democratic primary

Poland: anger at abortion ban plan


May Day greetings 2016: click here


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 April 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

USA:

triangleCWI news in brief

triangleUS: #CancelKavanaugh

triangleUSA: crisis follows Supreme Court justice nomination

triangleTrump's tariffs raise international tensions

triangleNicaragua: With the people against the Ortega government and imperialism

Socialist:

triangleGive us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

triangleJobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

triangleThe Socialist quiz of 2018

triangle'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

US:

triangleSan Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

triangleTrump is capricious and dangerous - but is he really in charge?

Election:

triangleNew twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

triangleSocialist Party members and supporters outside parliament demanding a general election, 11.12.18 , photo by Ra Ragavan

Capitalism:

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

Socialist Alternative:

triangleBlack Friday day of action against Amazon

General election:

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

Seattle:

triangleHow can Trump be defeated?

Kshama Sawant:

triangle1,000-strong rally in London this weekend

Big business:

triangleEnd Tory misery - general election now!

Green Party:

triangleCanterbury Socialist Party attends 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

International

International

12/12/18

France

France in revolt

5/12/18

Iran

Workers defy brutal Iran regime

5/12/18

Midwives

Midwives go on strike in New Zealand

5/12/18

France

France: mass demonstrations force president to back down

28/11/18

Iran

Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran

28/11/18

US

San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

28/11/18

France

Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

21/11/18

US

How can Trump be defeated?

21/11/18

Sri Lanka

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka

21/11/18

Spanish state

Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

14/11/18

US

US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism

7/11/18

Sexual harassment

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment

7/11/18

CWI

CWI news in brief

7/11/18

Antisemitism

Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

31/10/18

Brazil

Bolsonaro - a threat to Brazil's workers and all oppressed people

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999