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People’s Summit Attendees Leave Determined To Keep “The Bern” Alive


People’s Summit Attendees Leave Determined To Keep “The Bern” Alive

Isaiah Poole

After an intense weekend of speeches and discussion about the future of the progressive “political revolution” sparked by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, the People’s Summit ended Sunday with a charge to continue to keep “the Bern” blazing through a myriad electoral and justice campaigns.

“The media keeps asking us what are we going to do. And the answer is simple: We are going to change this country,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, one of the principal sponsors of the People’s Summit, at the closing plenary.


There are 3 significant items missing from this list, and without them, reforms will be tepid at best:

"Many of the breakout sessions captured the agenda items that summit attendees were expected to take back to their communities. The topics included ending voter suppression, stopping mass incarceration, ending racial and gender inequity, health care for all, the Fight for $15, climate justice, and fair taxation."

Missing items:

  1. Return of the air-waves to the Public ... so what the public hears is not 90% propaganda: The world according to corporations, advertisers, and the MIC

  2. Repeal of "Citizens United"... so that Big Money won't be able to purchase, define, set, and enforce The Agenda

  3. Massive reduction to the Military-Industrial-Complex since so long as this lethal behemoth commands half the U.S. discretionary budget, what hope is there for FUNDING the things that matter; that is, the things that bring a quality of life to American citizens that might be framed as the ultimate form of National Security

Dr. Martin Luther King well-understood where poverty, racism, and the boot of militarism intersected.

Staying away from these 3 core issues might seem like a tactically wise choice, but it leaves in place the sins from which all others are generated.


From the article:

"Cobble cites two previous losing political campaigns as reasons he is optimistic about the prospects of the post-Sanders movement. The first is the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign; though he lost in a landslide, the remnants of that campaign were built into the successful Reagan presidency in 1980 and conservative infrastructure buttressing that candidacy. The second is the Jackson campaign, which had been up to that point the largest and most successful presidential campaign by an African-American candidate; the work the Sanders campaign to build and consolidate the black vote laid the foundation for the successful candidacy of Barack Obama, Cobble said. “Bernie is paving the way for a democratic socialism in a millennial generation to have a significant role in the progressive movement for the next four decades.”

What the above commentary fails to recognize is that Earth Mother doesn't have another decade or so to wait....

And that brings me to what should have been a 4th item on my "omitted necessities" list above...

  1. Definitive actions and financial commitments targeted to climate chaos/global warming

A $15 minimum wage and a solid job won't mean much if harvest cycles are depleted, rain cycles too unstable to support crops, and starvation the #1 concern.


Thank you for the update. The fight goes on.
Bernie or Bust


Heres a proposition for a 21st century unionized labor force in manufacturing. Take the model of the Chicago windows and doors folks who bought the company and now run it as a co-op. With a nationally organized 'network of unions, identify key industries in key cities with key markets (teamsters anyone?) and engage networking of unions across the country to bring any and all needed components to get industrial coops up and running. Finish one... move on to the next.


I'm with comment #1. I can understand why Bernie doesn't go to the "Green Party." He gave his word early on not to leave the Dems; however, the People's Summit is not bound by the same promise. To ignore all the work of the Greens over the years to address the same problems of the summit misses the opportunity to join a group that is organized and set up to run in nearly all states. Stay with Bernie until after the convention then, stop wasting time on a party that burns up energy by refusing to reform, and get with the people who are already with us. In such a case, a 3rd party may well win. Obviously, there's a lot more to come in the coming months before November.


"In previous presidential campaigns, the supporters of the losing candidates fold up their tents and move on to other campaigns and issues."

Really? What about in 1968. Did the supporters of Eugene McCarthy go back home to listen to their Bob Dylan albums after the nomination was won by Hubert Humphrey, who didn't even run in the primaries. Obviously not. They continued to protest against the Vietnam War. However, I do expect Bernie's movement to fade away because it is not based on one issue. The people who came together to support Sanders will go their own way fighting for their specific agendas. The anger and motivation that drove the Vietnam War movement is not present at this time. Bernie got a lot of people pumped up to defeat Hillary Clinton and transform the US into a larger version of Denmark, but now movement will split. Some will join Hillary's campaign to defeat Trump, some will support the Green Party, a few might support the Libertarian Party, and some might even support Trump. The movement will probably emerge again in a new form that is hard to envision. Who could have imaged the Occupy Movement. Hard to know what lies ahead.


I liked your post on these three things. But I want to point out that repealing "Citizens United" is nowhere enough. Remember it is recent, but big money controlled things before Alito and Scalia got their way on that. So getting rid of it is a first step. There already is a process to do that with the move to amend. Then we need to move even further.

We need to move towards full public funding of elections. It's not going to happen in Congress, because they'll never vote themselves off the gravy train. But it can still happen. We need to do it at the state level in initiatives. Other kinds of reform are needed too, a better system of voting than our first past the gate system, easier access to the ballot for independents and minor parties, and (this one building on your first point) equal time for all candidates and issues in the media and free time for political ads. As you point out, we own the airwaves, we should be able to use them to educate ourselves instead of them being used by the powers that be to keep us powerless. Doing this, though, is a major battle as they'll do everything they can to keep us away from their manufacturing of consent and selling their lie of "we."


No argument. It is a first step, albeit a very important one. Also, in the past, when anyone sought to bribe a politician there was often a legal impediment to doing so. Now, after "Citizens United" the worst of graft and bribing public citizens has been enshrined into law by a bunch of fools in long gowns.


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Your comment hit my funny bone.

Did you ever see the Cecil B. Demille "Moses" extravaganza that starred Charlton Heston?

I could see a Saturday Night Live mock-up where Bernie Sanders, as Moses, leads "His People" outside of the land (Wall Street) that worships the golden cow... and promises them New Commandments to live by.

Funny but also kind of timeless...

Dang! He fits the part!


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Well, keep it alive, except for the decades of Sen. Sanders' career and political philosophy that came before this election cycle. Sen. Sanders had spent years speaking out powerfully about US poverty and the need for legitimate poverty relief programs, on the idea that our capitalist system has some significant flaws. Today, even liberals implicitly agree that our deregulated corporate state is so successful that everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. Sen. Sanders had to revise his speeches to reflect this.


and after that first step continue on to revoke corporate "personhood"…


There isn't any agenda for organizing the "masses" who aren't on the right wing. The Dem voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. Bill Clinton split this base wide apart. It was hoped that Obama could launch a legitimate discussion about our poverty crisis. He raised the issue a few times, liberals aren't interested. We know by now that the masses aren't going to unite.

From Reagan's deregulation mania to Clinton ending actual welfare and taking the first steps to similarly "reform" Social Security (targeting the disabled), we got the policies demanded or supported by the middle class. Now we have to face the consequences.


"Populist" refers to "the people," not just the better-off. The years of this administration should have been used to help inform the middle class about the consequences of our policies against the poor, and the impact that this has had on the economy/nation as a whole.For example, the overall quality of life in the US, rated at #1 when Reagan was first elected, launching the initial campaign against the Great Society/New Deal, had already plunged to #43 by the time Obama was elected.


Highest esteem, respect for Jim Hightower, DeMoro and others who are out there solidifying the next steps. Keep us all informed, as best you can, and let us move "The Platform" forward with steeled determination, and good legislative forums. Let us stop allowing Corporate Board Rooms to WRITE OUR LAWS. Never Give Up!


Very good advice.

I believe the People's Summit needs a political party with which to affiliate, or we will see its disappearance, just as we saw the 60's movement disappear (which did not affiliate).

The established Greens are the logical choice to contain the movement, and get serious about electing local, state and federal critters, right after the 2016 election smoke clears.

The People's Summit without a 3rd party backing will be impotent and will prove to be another waste of time and energy.

The unusual opportunity for real progressive political influence - thanks to Bernie - is upon us. Let's not blow it by neglecting to give this movement real political muscle.


I don't know why either, Carol.
Could it be that they are just DNC sheepdogs in sheep's clothing?
If they do not adopt a 3rd party, that is probably true.


Sure, you paid hack! Pay no attention to ALEC, Pete Peterson, or the Koch Brothers hiding behind the curtain, a/k/a funding sites as well as direct funding to politicians.