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Super Tuesday: Sanders Defeats Debs

Super Tuesday: Sanders Defeats Debs

Robert Naiman

Every American on the left knows that when labor leader Eugene Debs ran for President in 1920 as a socialist, he got a million votes.

I don't know if Howard Zinn would approve this message, but by this standard, Team Sanders is arguably kicking Debs' butt. Bernie Sanders has more than a million campaign contributors. A campaign contribution, for an ordinary person of modest means, is like a vote with a little bit of extra blood on it. You mean business. It costs you something. You have skin in the game.

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Cenk Uygur has a humorous and insightful video

Media Attempts To Bury Bernie Sanders


Agreed that Sanders must sharpen the focus of his campaign against Clinton.

In recent weeks Clinton redirected her rhetoric toward the GOP and successfully distracted Bernie into doing the same. Bernie’s campaign needs to remind itself that until the Party nominates a candidate it is running against Clinton, not the GOP.

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Bernie needs to keep up the attacks on Hillary. She needs to be called out for the economic royalist one-percenter she is. She is not worthy of being President. She must be defeated in November if progressives ever hope to take back the party for the rest of us.


I hope and trust that Sanders carries his campaign right into the Democratic Party, but Super Tuesday suggests that his victory will ultimately be moral, and that the November election will be Clinton against Trump.

I suppose there will be opportunities to weep. For present, I wonder whether Bernie’s team can survive his eventual defeat to achieve an ongoing institutional identity, or whether it shall go gently into that good night as a faceless non-Republican underclass.

How can this be done?

The day after the primary, Clinton will re-calibrate her rhetoric for Donald Trump, a far broader and easier opponent than Bernie Sanders, at least for Clinton, who has a long record to defend. Her funders will be pleased that she will no longer have anyone with a real criticism of their power against whom to campaign. For his part, Sanders will almost certainly not carry on his campaign as an independent outside the party. I wish he would, but in the end, all will make pretty faces.

We need someone within Sanders’ organization to look at taking this momentum into something else, something that endures and puts candidates on ballots. We need someone who can do what Ralph Nader has recommended: organize local elections and build a political organization from the ground up and from the roots out. But Nader is not the person who is going to be able to do that, not in 2016 and after.

Honestly, I don’t think Sanders is either, though I sure did not see this campaign coming. Maybe he can pull out the stops once, though it does not seem suited to the sorts of compromises that he has made that have enabled his progress to here. These problems are part of what he took on when he decided to run within the party instead of as an independent. But now many of his people are identifying themselves as Democrat and Democrat as liberal or progressive, almost if Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had not happened. If he leaves the party, many will regard this as a betrayal. If his people stay, the Clinton machine has four and then probably four years to grind them away by denying them institutional position and political voice, much as the Obama administration has done since 2009.

Is there an organization that can be made that might become a party or unite faction or two after the election?

I am not sure why the comparison to Eugene Debs.

Debs was a true Socialist and was very anti-war. In fact he went to prison for encouraging people not to join the military. On the issues Eugene Debs kicked butt.


Plus there’s the minor statistical matter of how many millions fewer registered voters there were when Debs ran, compared to now… and the category problem of Debs running in the general, while Sanders is in the primaries…

I was unable to finish reading this article that amounts to nothing but propaganda for Senator Sanders.

Comparing Bernie Sanders to Eugene Debs is a farce and slanderous to the ideals and accomplishments of Eugene Debs. When it comes to Socialism, Senator Sanders is a fraud!

“Privately owned industry and production for individual profit are no longer compatible with social progress and have ceased to work out to humane and civilized ends.”
― Eugene V. Debs, Works of Eugene Victor Debs

“Beware of capitalism’s politicians and preachers! They are the lineal descendants of the hypocrites of old who all down the ages have guarded the flock in the name of patriotism and religion and secured the choicest provender and the snuggest booths for themselves by turning the sheep over to the ravages of the wolves.”
― Eugene V. Debs, Works of Eugene Victor Debs

Common Dreams publishes this type of tripe and then has the balls to ask me for financial support. Dream on!


Spare me your eye rolls. It the way a trump does his debate.

Sanders is not a socialist.He does not get to define the meaning of the word anymore than do the people who call themselves Christians after a man oh so 2000 years ago get to.

All you do is try to change the meaning of the word.In essence you want to dumb it down to make it palatable to the Capitalists. It is the same thing Hilary does when she insists she is a progressive, or the Nobel Prize winning Barack Obama does when he claims he a man of peace.

Those Socialists that founded the CCF in Canada would not recognize what the NDP party has become and in no way shape or form would come on board with what is in essence just another Capitalist party. They had integrity, just as Eugene Debs did.


Eugene Debs is a personal hero of Bernie’s. I believe he has said that he models his ideals after Debs.

While Senator Sanders has said that, his actions and current speech is contrary to his claim.

Eugene Debs on Capitalism

The workers in the mills and factories, in the mines and on the farms and railways never had a party of their own until the Socialist party was organized. They divided their votes between the parties of their masters. They did not realize that they were using their ballots to forge their own fetters.

The infallible test of a political party is the private ownership of the sources of wealth and the means of life. Apply that test to the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties and upon that basic, fundamental issue you will find them essentially one and the same. They differ according to the conflicting interests of the privileged classes, but at bottom they are alike and stand for capitalist class rule and working-class slavery.

One question is sufficient to determine the true status of all these parties. Do they want the workers to own the tools they work with, control their own jobs, and secure to themselves the wealth they produce? Certainly not. That is utterly ridiculous and impossible from their point of view. The Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties all stand for the private ownership by the capitalists of the productive machinery used by the workers, so that the capitalists can continue to filch the wealth produced by the workers.

It is vain to hope for material relief upon the prevailing system of capitalism. All the reforms that are proposed by the three capitalist parties, even if carried out in good faith, would still leave the working class in industrial slavery. The working class will never be emancipated by the grace of the capitalists class, but only by overthrowing that class.

Source: https://stateworker.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/eugene-v-debs-presidential-candidate-attacks-the-monstrous-system-of-capitalism-100-years-ago/

Bernie Sanders on Socialism

”The next time that you hear me attacked as a socialist, like tomorrow, remember this: I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production. But I do believe that the middle class and the working families of this country who produce the wealth of this country deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down.”
—November 2015 speech at Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Senator Sanders does NOT call for the overthrow of Capitalism. His programs are within the framework of Capitalism. Hence, Senator Sanders is not a Socialist.

Note: The nationalism (social/public ownership) of business under Socialism only pertains to large corporations[1] – usually with a valuation of $10 billion or more. Of course all “commons” will be socially/publicly owned and placed under the democratic control of the workers .

Some examples of the Commons: financial institutions, utilities, communications, all forms of public transportation and related ways, healthcare and education.

[1] From the Socialist Equality Party: All privately owned industrial, manufacturing and information technology corporations valued at $10 billion or more must be transformed into publicly owned enterprises, with full compensation for small shareholders and guarantees for all pension and health care fund investments. Industries critical to the basic functioning of society—including telecommunications, agriculture, education, health care and transportation—must also be subject to public ownership and democratic control.

This does not mean the nationalization of everything. Small and medium-sized businesses, which employ millions of workers, are themselves in desperate need of reliable sources of credit and relief from the unfair monopolistic practices of the large corporations.

Source: http://www.socialequality.com/program/read


Yet he still not a Socialist. Look Barack Obama claims Martin Luther King as a personal hero. Martin Luther King would hardly agree with droning people to death in Pakistan.

I would prefer Sanders win this nomination but that does not mean it makes him a Socialist. I really do hope that the movement he triggers gets people to truly examine the nature of Socialism and what it really is.


I think it would be great if he would do it, Tom, and that this would be the next logical step–if he would do it. I don’t think he will because he has his gig in Vermont to take care of and because it will split all sorts of groups apart and even risk a Trump election, I should think. But you know, at his age, what the heck, maybe he can figure to swing for the fences once.

Ben Carson has inadvertently given US electors the very best reason to get behind Sanders ‘political revolution’:
Carson- “…I’ve had the opportunity to really study the system…it has become a little bit discouraging…seeing all the relationships that exist here…it is rotten…it is rotten to the core,… on both sides democrats and republicans…and they have weaved such a complex web… it will be very difficult to untangle it…”

Sanders is the only candidate delivering courageous leadership opposing corporate corruption, promising truthful, honest, decent governance - he is a Churchillian figure of our time with a consistent message, but few hear him through the cacophony of Goebbelised MSM.

America (and the western world) so desperately need to restore social equity and proper democratic process.
Fascism is just one tiny step further on than oligarchic corporatism - remember Europe of the late 1930’s?
Can anyone see another megalomaniac on the political horizon?

To make my point clearer in response to this article.

In truth Sanders policies are closer to that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt than they are to those advanced by Eugene Debs. Many of the policies of FDR were described as “socialism” but he was most certainly NOT a Socialist. In fact he wanted that redistribution of wealth done in such a manner it would protect Capitalism from itself.

Here in Canada it was the Liberal party that introduced Universal health care at the national level , our own Old age security and Canada pension plan and the like but that does not mean they were Socialists. They got many of their ideas from the Socialists but they were still a Capitalist party.

What Mr Naiman should be doing is comparing the vote counts of Sanders to FDR as Sanders himself referenced FDR in a speech when he was speaking of his own platform.


Headine sez: “Super Tuesday: Sanders Defeats Debs”

And here I thought this piece was going to be about Wasserman-Shultz.


This article is painfully stupid. It’s highly illustrative of the quality and integrity gap between a serious site for actual socialists (Counterpunch) and a Democratic Party sheepdog site.


Fine, but that doesn’t mean that Bernie can’t admire the courage and conviction of a person such as Debs.

Interesting comment about Common Dreams. You are able to use this site for free, they are not rich capitalists…how do you expect them to raise money so they can operate it? Maybe you would prefer them to be a capitalist for profit media source.