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Progressives (Not Corporate Democrats) Are Winning the War of Ideas, But the Fight Isn't Over


Progressives (Not Corporate Democrats) Are Winning the War of Ideas, But the Fight Isn't Over

Jake Johnson

Now that the 2016 primary season is drawing to a close, many are contemplating the impact the presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will have on the American political landscape, both in the near future and years, perhaps decades, down the line.


The war of ideas doesn't mean jack in today's world. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and the corporate conspiracy has damn near all of the power in this world which it seems hell-bent on destroying. The fight has started and stopped many times throughout history. It is only reigniting at this juncture. May it succeed!


Once again, lets be clear as progressives. The days of empty platitudes, ideals but no action, and sell out corporate democrats are over. The mass will not vote for politicians that specialize in betrayal of the middle class. We are storming the gates and we are not interested in compromise. Clean up your act or that will be the end of you.

The democratic party has been walking a dangerous line for far too long and the masses are tired of the clown show. While I can't speak for all, I will say this. The corporate democrats may force HRC down our throats but we are going to make you eat and breathe Bernie's platform. If you don't, we are gone. Say hello to President Trump.


Send the Judas Goat back to his comfortable perch as Vermont Senator for Life, I say. My distaste for Sanders has only grown with the primary contest. His doomed and nominally socialist, socialism-neutering campaign feeds the deadly illusion that progressive, social-democratic policies lack majority support in the U.S. Nothing could be further from the truth but the Bernie madness and failure helps cloak the reality. It also helps Hillary seem to have emerged victorious from a serious and democratic debate about the issues. Truly, it would have been better for her to ascend to the top of the Democratic ticket through a more transparently corporatist coronation.

Then comes the deepened sense of popular powerlessness engendered when Sanders tells his supporters to vote for Hillary, a candidate who epitomizes much of what he at least claims to be against. He promised to do this from the start, pledging not to be “a spoiler like Ralph Nader.” Trump likes to tweet a quote attributed to Mussolini: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” Bernie will ask millions to vote like sheep on the day he gives his concession speech.

-Paul Street


It is important to hear what Bernie has NOT said yet (party unity). I await to hear what he has to say tonight and also what happens between now and the convention. CA and the E-mails are still in play; Bernie and his associates have also been in the game a long time. I remember his shrewdness last summer and chuckled to myself when he did this:

"Hillary Clinton visited Democrats on Capitol Hill Tuesday, stopping by the weekly Senate caucus lunch to address her former colleagues, including the man who has emerged as her main competitor: Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But Sanders left the lunch early and made his way straight to a press conference at the Capitol. He began by welcoming Clinton back to the Senate, and said he looked forward to a serious debate between the two of them on the issues, reiterating his oft-made point that he doesn’t run negative campaign ads. He proceeded to describe the differences between himself and the former secretary of state. Again and again, he talked up his positions on a variety of issues, and each time, he criticized Clinton for her positions, or, as he said, lack thereof."


Right now it's on to Philly and nothing will sway me and others. This election is too important for people all over the world.


There's a reason for that, Andrew. First, the last time Democrats passed liberal legislation was Medicare, fifty-one years ago. Most living Democrats are too young to have ever even tasted liberalism.

And over the last thirty-five years, all Americans have heard in the media is right-wing bilge on thousands of GOP talk radio stations, and the same bilge for eighteen years on Fox. There has been no liberal counter-narrative to be seen and heard - and other than a few websites and a few obscure online radio shows, there is no counter-narrative, still. So part of the problem is propaganda that frames the right-winger in the Oval Office as a flaming liberal. But the biggest problem is the sellout of the Democratic Party to the MIC, and to the One Percent.

It's difficult to even discuss liberal ideas anymore, even at a place like this. The authoritarian attacks (from Democrats!) never end.


No one said this revolution would be easy. Easy would be if Bernie won and we could get behind him a push for policy changes.
We're ready for the fight that is coming. 43-45% of us voted for Bernie, it's more than that though since so many were disenfranchised. We are a large voting block and we aren't going away.
Voting for Hillary is approving the horrible things she stand for and has done in this stolen election. She's on her own this is our first showdown, don't fall for the lesser evil crap that's as old as she is. If we abandon the party and refuse to play the game it will send a loud message to get it or get gone,.
Never Hillary


Another well written article by Jake.
Savvy analysis for a young writer- you and your generation are the only hope for shaking up and dismantling the corporate controlled Democratic party.
FDR would be ashamed of the influence peddling being conducted by the Clintons through the Clinton Foundation.
Two books I'm recommending:
Thomas Frank- Listen, Liberal
and Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer.
Follow the Money. The Dems have sold out the base.
So what we now have is the top 1% dominating the GOP by manipulating the poorly educated (Trump's base), and the top 10% and Wall Street hijacking the Democratic party ignoring its base of working people and organized labor.
Thus- is GREEN the new progressive Democratic party?
Let's get Jill Stein on every ballot we can.


Progressives' highest priority for June 2016 is to make every effort to get the Green Party on the ballot in all states and territories where voting will occur in November.

Every voter needs to have the opportunity to vote for a progressive candidate and not be limited to voting for corporate Democrats and Republicans.


Write in Bernie. Jill Stein is great but never won any good percentage of votes. Never again.


...but I'm afraid the clown show will continue unless Bernie leaves the Democrats and conducts his revolution from a party of the left.

Unfortunately there is no indication that he intends to, so lesser-evil Hillary voters are now being corralled with the hope that Bernie will be a positive influence on her politics.

This will happen right after the inhabitants of hell have their first snowball fight.


You're probably right, but I wouldn't expect Bernie to win this election if he moved to a 3rd party of the left.

It is the building of a strong, viable leftist movement for the future that is important, and I think that can only be done from within a 3rd party, never from within the Democratic Party.


Lest we forget how many people have taken Bernie's message to heart of a political revolution for a more participatory democracy . . .


It's the technology. Corporatists have completely taken over the MSM and, mostly through the use of television, have been able to successfully bamboozle the great majority of voters for the last few decades. Bernie voters get most of their information from independent sources on the Internet, not from the MSM. As long as Internet news sources are widely available and popular and do not become corrupted, then the number of voters to the left will grow and candidates with progressive messages will have more and more success. That is why maintaining Net Neutrality is even more important than overturning Citizens United.


There's nothing new about progressive politics in the US. Progressives (by definition) focus on building a better society/nation from the bottom up -- not "from the middle out," as Democrats and liberals believe. It recognizes the grave short-comings of our capitalist system, and the consequences of those short-comings (poverty).

I've seen very little evidence of progressive ideology in the post-Reagan era. The US, in fact, chose to go in the opposite direction, reversing the progress made from FDR to Reagan. Today's liberals clearly believe that our deregulated capitalism is so successful that everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. When they "stand in solidarity" to maintain the status quo of the better-off, the middle class, they are declaring their support for our current system. We remain in a regressive, not progressive, era.


Actually, the current round of the "fight" has been ongoing since the 1980s. Any chance of a progressive revival (such as seen in the 1910s, 1930s and 1960s) was successfully cut off, ended, in the 1990s via the Bill Clinton administration.

It really is necessary to put these issues into historic context to understand why there is no chance of seeing a strong progressive movement today. Each time in the past that the richest few gained too much power, to the harm of the country, the proverbial masses ultimately united to successfully push back -- poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. That can't happen this time. This time, the proverbial masses were deeply divided, pitted against each other, so we don't know how things will turn out.


I don't know how much of an impact voter this has had. This means "to revoke the right to vote." This would include parolees, for example. That's a smnall sliver of the population.

If you mean disenfranchisement on the basis of ideology/class war, this would describe our current situation. Trump/Clinton have very similar ideologies and (presumably) agendas. Both increase the risk of a final war, Clinton is the greater threat to Social Security, both support the "prison state," etc. Today's politicians market to the middle class, less than 50% of the population, and no longer represent the poor to any degree. The poor have no voice in the public forum (obviously, don't own computers), no representation in government, meeting the definition of "disenfranchised."



First of all, you two geniuses, no one is "loosing." Loose means not fitting snugly!

You meant losing; and yeah, it matters since it shows the degree of literacy of the poster.

Second, the reasons there are no HEARD (or spoken) counter-narrative are due to the following:

  1. Lobbies have taken over Washington, D.C. and since campaign costs have risen sky-high, most politicians must curry favor with the wealthy (the donor caste) in order to get their campaigns funded.

  2. Lobbies WRITE key legislation. The Obama "health care" bill comes to mind.

  3. The mass media is completely in corporate hands; and therefore it's the OWNERS who determine what's fit to print, be broadcast, or transmitted over their radio programs.

  4. The Koch Brothers, Pete Petersen, ALEC and the like (billionaires' club) have financed a series of prestigious sounding think tanks. These, in turn, produce the thinkers who then receive celebrity status all across the corporately controlled media. In short, they control The Narrative.

  5. Anything on the left from "Commondreams" to "Truth Out" to "Democracy Now" essentially has to BEG for funding. Why would the money interests fund programs that hold--as their central message--the call for fairer laws of fiscal distribution?

  6. Unions have been gutted by the exodus of industries to 3rd world nations where Labor and Environmental Laws hardly exist.

So while you, too, chisel away at Sanders and also do your utmost to blame Progressives/the Left... your argument is transparent.

Closet Trump fans are generally Libertarians who don't care a hoot about sharing power, financial opportunities, or anything that might call upon the government that ACTUALLY represents The People from regulating all those "free enterprise" loving corporations. You know, the ones that pocket enormous profits while externalizing things like massive clean-up costs... to impacted communities.

Bernie hasn't sold out yet, either "Logan Waters." You can't wait to demonize him as if there's anyone else remotely positioned to improve life for the vast majority in this captured electoral system masquerading as a Democracy.


This is precisely the sort of flagellation that some think tank has written the memes to promote.

First of all, con-man, Sanders DID win California. He probably would have come in a lot stronger, possibly even winning New York had there not been major anomalies (and obstacles to voting) in Brooklyn. And don't forget that New York rejected anyone who wasn't a REGISTERED Democrat.

In case you missed "the news," about 40% of American voters are now independents. In other words, this is a HUGE demographic.

How DARE any state deny that group the right to weigh in on an otherwise quite FIXED primary?

So your post is designed to project blame where it is neither earned nor deserved while propping up The Clinton Machine and delivering (as well as reinforcing) its deceptive rationale for a False Victory.

I wonder if these screen names like "Drew Hunkins" are picked for you clones, or if you are rewarded for coming up with such lame sounding monikers?


Alas, the attorney has left a flaw in his own argument.

You start by relating that the corporatists have taken over the MSM. I agree.

However, what difference would it make if more people got their news independently if the Big Money that holds the corrupt system in place is still allowed to do that?

In other words, why present the possible repeal of Citizens United as competitive with retaining Net Neutrality?

So long as Special (i.e. entrenched) interests work the vote COUNTS through machines that can be programmed or through rules that disenfranchise the more progressive voters... it's not the number that is enlightened that matters. The problem is far more complex.