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Sanders: Whoever Runs for President Must Fight for Workers and 'Take on the 1%'

Sanders: Whoever Runs for President Must Fight for Workers and 'Take on the 1%'

Common Dreams staff

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) brushed aside talk of his own 2020 presidential run in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, but insisted that whoever does run for president must "focus on the needs of workers" and be "prepared to take on the one percent."

"What we need to do as a nation, whether I run or no matter who runs, is revitalize American democracy and create a government that actually works for working people, and not just for billionaire campaign contributors," Sanders said.

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Bernie, you lost credibility when you bowed to the Hildebeast. No more lessor of evil bs…only an independent progressive can BEGIN to end this duopoly of corruption . Militarism, corporatism,and crony capitalism are the cancers of our society. A purchased congress and a pusillanimous SCOTUS are useless. Only a grassroots revolt can stop this evil Empire.


I say it’s time for a Democratic-Socialist, old, Jewish New Yorker for president! Seriously, he’s too old and he may not be perfect on every issue BUT he’s the best I’ve seen in terms of what our country needs now. A plutocracy, which is in the process of crushing us, needs to be stopped. A monumental task that won’t even be tried by the donor-pleasing Dems currently in control. In my opinion, a third party is totally unfeasible at this time and our only chance to move our country in a truly progressive direction is to reshape the Democratic Party; unless a younger, charismatic progressive with Bernie’s values and integrity appears, I’ll support Bernie all the way in 2018 and 2020.

It’s not enough to be anti-Trump. Between the plutocracy and Climate Change, we have very little time for the overhaul of fundamental direction. At this time, I see Bernie as our only hope for success.


Looks like I agree with you on what most of the problems are but I have to say that, as a Green, I took Noam Chomsky’s warning/advice and voted for Hillary. I don’t think Bernie caved; I think he viewed things as Noam (who is no fan of Hillary) did, that Trump’s election had to be prevented in view of the tens of millions of people who would be devastated - as is happening now.


Bernie could easily win. He would get about 70 percent of the under 45 vote and they would come out in force like they didn’t for Hillary. Whether the Democratic Party will allow him to run is the question. It’s become such a Neoliberal party that Bernie is a bigger threat to their corporate donors than Republicans are.


Bernie Sanders is right that the focus should be on the 2018 election. If I have a problem with his statement is that he doesn’t mention taking on the alt-right. He needs to update his message. The main threat now is the white supremacy and the alt-right. That is in a addition to the 1%. He is correct that the working people, by which I think he means the white working class who do manual labor, should not be neglected. Many of these people are pretty solid Republican for various reasons but others I think can be convinced that their best option is to vote Democrat. The most important thing now is to elect Democrats. If a more progressive Democrat can win the primary or is the candidate that is a plus in most cases but in the general election we need to vote for the Democrat to combat this march toward white supremacy and fascism that the Republican Party continues to support.

Bernie Sanders’ experience and commitment to many/most important issues (with a few notable exceptions), and he has the wisdom to know which battles to fight and when have brought him and us to this time. Sanders was betrayed by HRC the DNC DCCC establishment Dem corporate/banker/wall street wing whores in the last election. Those same forces are still in power and still will not reform or alter their corrupt craven complicit course serving big-money rather than the 99%, and they will not in the mid-terms or in 2020 - those people are part of the problem, complicit to R’Con extremism and devoid of courage, commitment, or integrity to fight for anything except timidly and falsely around election time! Those people support for-profit wars and obscene military spending rather than critical civilian priorities that have been building-up for many decades - they are frauds, just as R’Cons who serve the same powers and corruption and don’t give a shite!!

The fight to take on the oligarchy, for-profit health care, and financial usury; to actually fight for workers ad take-on the 1% and all corrupt subversion of our nations so-called representative government!

Right now, Bernie sanders represents the 99% and that fight, regardless the BS nay-saying of some who don’t offer anything else, just tearing your actions down - they are complicit to R’cons and the PTB by such divisive actions. Bernie Sanders is leading now when the DP sells out, and there are essentially no other leaders making their voices heard as consistently or as loud! Those, and most other politicians still kiss the sellout DP’s worthless cowardly ass, while they betray progressives!


The information I have is that Sanders was threatened in no uncertain terms and told not to take the fight to the convention floor, by a wealthy billionaire casino magnate with the initials S.A. They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and he did not willingly withdraw from the race.


Notes on Sanders and Progressives

  1. Can’t see Sanders’ running again - anticipating this, progressives will have to take his achievement and make of it what they will.

  2. So what did Sanders achieve? I would say:
    a) mobilized the large, left liberal part of the Democratic and independent electorate around a left of liberal platform;
    b) in so doing, highlighted the degree to which the right liberal ruling bloc of the Democratic Party undemocratically refuses to represent its progressive bloc - even as it depends upon + demands its vote;
    c) in so doing, challenged the legitimacy of the Democratic Party, and created a proto-insurgency - Sanders’ ultimate endorsement of the right liberal faction notwithstanding;
    d) introduced one approach to carrying progressive - albeit, reformist - electoral politics beyond his campaign - creating an organization and an electoral strategy for future progressive work; and, last,
    e) by focusing on the 1% and the idea of single payer healthcare, not only gave progressives their themes, but broadly established the terms of future progressive campaigns.

  3. From this point of view, Sanders’ political fence sitting is immaterial - by popularizing a left liberal rhetoric, leading a proto-insurgency that challenged the legitimacy of the Democratic Party, and creating a reformist, progressive clearinghouse organization, Sanders has given progressives a starting point, something to build on - whether by siding with his reformism or breaking with the Democratic Party.

  4. And next? Sometimes it is up to masses to go beyond their leaders, and that is certainly the case with Sanders. The besetting problem of American politics - I’ve asserted a number of times - is the lack of a strong grassroots movement. Highlighting just how much of the electorate is to the left of the ruling Democratic Party is a first step in forming a more progressive bloc.

Sanders has done his main work, led as far as he could. We have to let go of our beloved Bernie - it’s up to us now.


Yup. And as Hillary told us repeatedly, she was ready to take on Wall St, and in 2020 the DNC will give us another such candidate ready to take on Wall St, and again, about half of the voters will fall for it. . .


What’s your party’s slogan for 2018?:

We Fought One Whole Weekend for the Dreamers

The Republicans Aren’t the Only War Party in Town

Thanks for Your Votes, DFHs, Now Go Away


Bernie is right, as far as I’m concerned. I will only vote for candidates who take on the billionaire class. It should be illegal to possess extreme wealth.


That bowing was always the price of admission. To gain access to the debates and to have any chance of pushing the party platform, he had to run as a sincere Democrat, which included a pledge to support whoever the nominee would be. (Frankly, I think there is a strong chance that pushing the party was his whole original reason for running, not because he thought he’d have a real shot at winning.) At the point it was obvious that the game had been rigged against him, he had three options. He could continue fighting fruitlessly from within the party and be blamed for damaging the party, he could welch on his pledge and run as an independent, still have no chance of winning, and risk being blamed as the spoiler if Hillary lost, or he could work to solidify his position within the party and try to grow his faction. The first two options would have handed the DLC bunch a cudgel which they would have wielded to drive out Sanders’ supporters and solidify their stranglehold on the party. Clinton would certainly have attempted a purge of progressives had she won, but by swallowing his pride and stumping energetically for her, Sanders was doing what he had to do to protect progressives within the party from the vindictive fallout of his having dared to inconvenience her by running against her in the first place. But if Sanders campaigned energetically for her and she still managed to lose, that would present a historic opportunity to shift the base away from the DLC wing and towards the progressive wing. The polls that showed he would have beaten Donald were the icing on the cake, because that demolished the “electability” argument which has always been the main pillar of DLC support.

So Sanders lost cred with Greens and outsiders who had no chance of threatening the Duopoly from the outside anyway, and in exchange, he became one of the most respected, credible, and popular leaders within the Dem party with a real shot at transforming it from within. That’s not a bad trade. Even if by some miracle, he had had some chance to become president last time, he would have been an isolated man facing two opposition corporatist parties, and they would have just kept him tied up until they could sweep back in and erase any trace that he’d ever been there as quickly as possible. If Sanders succeeds in helping the rank and file take over the Dem party, the lasting impact from that could be far greater and more enduring than anything he might have accomplished as President.

To me, it looks like Sanders has been playing the long game brilliantly. Unfortunately, he probably doesn’t have enough time remaining to benefit from that himself, but I don’t think in his mind this has ever been about him. I think he’s thinking in terms of what he can leave as his legacy. I expect he would love to have the help of his former supporters, but if some of them are so butthurt and disgruntled that they can’t do anything but throw rocks at him and the Dems, it would not surprise me if he uses that to help solidify his position within the party as well.


A possible flaw in this advice is that it’s not only on the shoulders of whomever runs, but quite largely on the actions of mainstream media. Without its cooperation, which in my view is unlikely, we won’t see the shift we so desperately need. Most mainstream media corp’s are Republican-owned, and have been for quite some time. They too are part of “the 1 percent.”


Although I agree with you regarding the danger of Trump and his right wing white nationalist and misogynist supporters, I think you intentionally steer clear of criticizing corporate power, and the open embrace of such by Republicans and Corporate State Democrats.

A lot of the danger of fascism, if not most, is the rise of the Corporate State. I think you are intentionally “blind” to this fact.


Thanks Bernie, now take on Corporate State Democrats and I’ll sing more of your tune.

Has Bernie called out the Democrats in the “Bailout Caucus” yet?

I know the answer of course.

The main threat has always been the 1%. They created the alt-right, using misdirection and propaganda to capitalize on the hardships and unrest they themselves caused.

“He is correct that the working people, by which I think he means the white working class who do manual labor, should not be neglected. Many of these people are pretty solid Republican for various reasons but others I think can be convinced that their best option is to vote Democrat. The most important thing now is to elect Democrats.”

That looks like an excellent rebuttal of what you said at first. (Unless, of course, you think the best way to win over these people is to go after them and attack them as being the worst threat we are up against.)


Of course. I have none to offer, but the source I trust. I thought it
very strange Sanders would drop out as he did after the campaign he
fought, and he has gotten some serious criticism and even abandonment
because of it. So, sorry I have no proof, but I’m personally convinced
based on what I was told, and by whom.

You could be right, chapdrum - but, if mainstream media support is, indeed, the benchmark without which no progressive movement can succeed…then progressives may as well throw in the towel and start devoting themselves to private life goals and self-preservation as the nation degenerates into a land of gated communities and hovels.

I choose to take hope in how Sanders’ campaign succeeded in…well…arising…and so energized a heretofore-taken-for-granted left liberal electorate and challenged Democratic Party legitimacy - despite the lack of support and, indeed, active derision, from virtually the entire ambit of right wing to liberal journalistic opinion.