Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/908/23132

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 June 2016

US presidential election

Sanders' strategy runs up against the buffers

Kshama Sawant on a 15 Now demonstration in Seattle, photo Alex Garland

Kshama Sawant on a 15 Now demonstration in Seattle, photo Alex Garland   (Click to enlarge)

Despite left-wing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saying he will work with his rival Hillary Clinton to "stop Trump" and "transform the Democratic Party", millions of his supporters are looking for a way to continue the "political revolution" writes Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative national organiser

There is a massive political polarisation in US society reflected in this election. Donald Trump is the most disliked presidential candidate in modern history, and Hillary Clinton is the second most disliked!

The primary victory of the right-populist Trump and the tremendous enthusiasm for left-winger Bernie Sanders are nothing short of a political earthquake in US society.

Trump whipped up racism, sexism and anti-immigrant posturing while opposing capitalist free trade deals and simultaneously saying he'd "destroy Isis" while calling for a more isolationist foreign policy.

Sanders on the other hand mobilised millions of young people with his call for a "political revolution against the billionaire class", his refusal to accept money from corporations, and his pro-working class programme.

Trump and Sanders have one thing in common though: they were bitterly opposed by the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Undemocratic

From voter fraud, to coin tosses, to illegal campaigning and attempted sabotage, the Democratic Party leadership pulled out its undemocratic tools to stop Sanders. It also used the capitalist media to both ignore and to attack him.

Despite this, Sanders says he will work with Hillary Clinton to "stop Trump" and "transform the Democratic Party". Meanwhile, the millions of Sanders supporters are looking for a way forward to continue the "political revolution".

Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle city councillor, initiated #Movement4Bernie. Its petition calling on Sanders to run all the way to the November election and form a new party of the 99% has around 120,000 signatures, and support for this call is growing.

In one CNN poll, Jill Stein, the left-wing Green Party candidate is polling at 7% of the vote with most of this support coming from people who have been "feeling the Bern".

While this poll comes before the tidal wave of "lesser evilism" against Trump hits left-wing voters, it shows the current search for an alternative among Sanders supporters.

Trump and the right-populism he represents cannot be defeated by relying on the Democratic Party. Its big business policies directly lead to support for right-wing populism, such as the free trade deals and bank bailouts it has championed.

As we have pointed out repeatedly, an establishment icon like Hillary Clinton is the worst way to defeat Trump in this election. If defeating Trump was truly the Democratic establishment's top priority, why did they do everything in their power to stop the most effective anti-Trump candidate, Bernie Sanders?

Break with Democrats

Further, if Clinton wins this election do we really believe it will put an end to the threat of right-wing Republicans?

It is only a working class programme that can effectively combat right-populism. That is why we demand that Sanders breaks from the Democratic Party and runs in the general election to begin building a new party that can combat both right-wing populism and the corporate-controlled Democrats rather than letting Donald Trump become the only well known 'anti-establishment' candidate.

The Sanders campaign has given political expression to working class anger at the billionaire class, particularly among young people. Over 1.5 million people attended Sanders' rallies. This shows the potential for what could be done to continue the "political revolution against the billionaire class".

A majority of young people in the US - the best educated and most diverse, yet most indebted generation in history - now prefer "socialism" over "capitalism", even if their idea of socialism is limited and confused.

US

US "democratic socialist" presidental hopeful Bernie Sanders, photo Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

This is not just a passive preference though; young people are moving into action through the Sanders campaign, the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage, Black Lives Matter and struggles against sexism and homophobia.

Throughout Bernie's campaign, there has been a clear contradiction: he's running a campaign of strident opposition to corporate America within a party controlled by those same corporations he's fighting.

On the left, Jill Stein of the Green Party is the strongest presidential candidate. Socialist Alternative has gathered support for the idea of Sanders running alongside her all the way to November to continue the fight against the billionaire class.

Stein has a left-wing programme and is gaining some name recognition. At Socialist Alternative's recent national convention, we agreed to support her campaign while building the socialist movement necessary to end the poverty, war and misery of capitalism.

If Clinton wins, then the Democratic Party will be overseeing a system in crisis and carrying out attacks on working people, youth and the oppressed. Movements would then come into conflict with the establishment Democrats while Sanders pushes people to "reform" the Party.

Independent

These contradictions would provide possibilities for independent left and working class politics. To fully prepare for immense opportunities in the future, socialists must skillfully but boldly stand up against "lesser evil" pressures and put forward a strategy and programme to win victories for working people.

Socialist Alternative in the US made a breakthrough for independent working-class politics and socialist ideas by getting Kshama Sawant elected twice to Seattle city council.

We led the way on the movement for a $15 an hour minimum wage, and were a socialist pole of attraction in the Sanders campaign. This preparatory work in advance of the mass upheavals coming in US society will provide tremendous opportunities to organise for the socialist transformation of society.

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


In The Socialist 29 June 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend anti-austerity struggle

Tories Out! General election now

United working class resistance can cut across racism

Scotland: Towards a second indyref?

Thousands rally in support of Corbyn

June - July meetings on the EU referendum result


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' strategy runs up against the buffers

Italy: Prime Minister Renzi's party routed


Workplace news and analysis

Stand up for education!

Unison conference 2016: Major turning point in the union

RMT conference 2016: EU and Corbyn coup on the agenda

National Museum workers accept deal

Protest to demand reinstatement of sacked bakers' union rep

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Old v young is a phoney war - the enemy is the 1%

Blacklisting victory donation dedicated to workers' struggle

Theatre review: Bread & Roses

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party joins London Pride to march against LGBT-phobia

Leeds holds vigil in solidarity with Orlando LGBT massacre

'We Won't Move' meeting organises opposition to Housing Act attacks

Targets raised after two record-breaking fighting fund quarters

North West regional week of action smashes fighting fund target again


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 June 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

US:

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleAmazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

triangleSwansea: students protest against Hillary Clinton hypocrisy

triangle"This is going to be the biggest battle we've seen in Britain for a number of years"

trianglePreparing to shape events internationally

Election:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: What will the election result mean for 2020?

triangleClimate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

triangleCarlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

trianglePCS union general secretary election

Socialist:

triangleSwansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: Workers' democracy vs corporate 'leadership'

triangleFight for your future - join the socialists

Socialist Alternative:

triangleSocialist change to end climate change

triangleIndia General election shows crying need for independent socialist alternative

Young people:

triangleGreen Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos

Revolution:

triangleBuy a historical biography for Christmas

Working class:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Uniting the working class to transcend division

Democrats:

triangleMueller report underlines Democrats' weakness

Kshama Sawant:

triangleKshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

International

International

9/12/19

France

Millions strike in France

4/12/19

South Africa

South African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

4/12/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's uprising

27/11/19

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan

27/11/19

Iran

Regime's fuel price rise sparks massive protests across Iran

20/11/19

US

Amazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

20/11/19

Chile

Chile revolt continues: read eyewitness report

13/11/19

Bolivia

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

13/11/19

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

6/11/19

Chile

End repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso

30/10/19

Chile

Chile in revolt

23/10/19

Chile

Chile: An outpouring of rage against the capitalist system

23/10/19

Kurds

Solidarity with the Kurdish people

23/10/19

Catalonia

Catalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes

23/10/19

China

China at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China

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 07954 376 096

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 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999