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Why Bernie Sanders Is (Still) the Most Progressive Choice for President


#1

Why Bernie Sanders Is (Still) the Most Progressive Choice for President

Nathan J. Robinson

Speculation over the 2020 US presidential elections has already gotten contentious. The Democratic field looks as if it’s going to be crowded, and new prospects are floated by the press seemingly every week, from Oprah Winfrey to Beto O’Rourke. With just under two years to go until election day, it’s best not to become too consumed by presidential speculation. But for those on the left who want to defeat Donald Trump and advance egalitarian political values, it’s important to start to think about who can succeed.


#2

Typically, this piece totally ignores the fact that Sanders is a member of the Permanent Party of Capitalist Imperial Warfare. To do so would render his “progressive” credentials all but moot.

The permanent U.S. war state that wreaks havoc, terror and pollution against the vast majority of peoples in the biosphere and the biosphere itself is what the U.S. has become. This is not an “issue” nor an ideology, but a reality that has become increasingly clear since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Not only does Robinson dismiss humanity and the biosphere by ignoring this reality, he also ignores the mathematical fact that neoliberalism requires austerity to feed capitalist greed and its war machine. So all of the progressive programs that Sanders, et. al. oppose are financially (and culturally) impossible to achieve under neoliberalism.

Sure, Sanders’ rhetoric is the most domestically “progressive” out there among Duopoly candidates; and yes, if he plays nice, he can even win an (s)election under the (s)electoral banner of the Dim wing of the Duopoly.

This piece will just be one of many until Nov. 2020 to herd sheep that stray from the faux-reality of the Duopoly Kabuki Theatre into the fold once again. As long as U.S. “progressives” turn away from the reality of the permanent war state and ignore its consequences across the biosphere, we will continue to be irrelevant.


#3

Once again no mention of Tulsi Gabbard.


#4

“No mention of Tulsi”, but also no mention of other contenders…its a crowded field. Expect at least 20 contenders in Iowa.

Tulsi is my first choice among those who have indicated an interest in running in the 2020 primary.


#5

Good commentary, Nathan Robinson, and while I like your comment, Ray, Bernie is still my first choice for President, “is (Still) the Most Progressive Choice for President.”

Enjoy this holiday season!


#6

The question of the wars is exactly the question to start with. This is the boil that needs to be lanced; after that, the other challenges become increasingly easy to accomplish because so many resources and energies and attitudes will be set free. America is like the famous sculpture the Laocoon (now in Vatican museum)–and we know exactly what the serpents are that ensnare this trojan prophet and his two sons.


#7

I think Tulsi Gabbard would be the strongest progressive candidate, not Bernie Sanders. But for any Democratic candidate the task will be overcoming the fear, hate, and lies that will surely be the basis of another Trump campaign. The lies about any Democratic candidate will be spread on social media, Fox News, conservative radio talk shows, and probably even has happened in 2016 at supermarket tabloid racks at checkout counters and these lies spread into the mainstream media. Like Hillary Clinton, a candidate like Sanders may be portrayed as sickly and terminally ill, and conducting illegal activity. Sanders age is a major problem. He would be an octogenarian during most of this first term. He is human and therefore has to be physically declining with age. Also, because he is Jewish this could be a problem for some segments of the voting population that may swing to Democrats such as the working class.The are about two dozen potential Democratic candidates who have a chance and most would not be considered to be progressive. And most the Democratic voters are not progressives and generally vote for pragmatic candidates. So for any progressive it will be an uphill battle winning the Democratic primrary.


#8

It’s still a major problem that slander suits are not allowed in campaign fights. Another money based, trash talking, issue obscuring, food fight. No grownups in this realm of U.S. electioneering.


#9

Voting in Sen. Sanders as the POTUS would be a good step for progressives, but only the first step. A Tulsi as VP would be a good complimentary addition, since Bernie is not a headline hog and she needs the seasoning an executive decision-maker gets in that position.
For ticket balancing purposes, a case could be made for Sherrod Brown, though Tom Johnson1 didn’t even vote for him in his 2018 Senatorial re-election; so, there’s that disqualifier, too. Excuse me, Tom, exactly how many Green Party Broken Record representatives are going to be in the 2019 Congress? BTW-Happy New Year to you, too.
As usual, Lrx chimes in with the usual lumps of coal, negating the biggest " blue wave " since Cuomo & Clinton jumped into a large commode filled with Tidy Bowl, together. Lrx must of really went deep into the heart of " the shaft " for those big hunks of environmental degradations. His coal is consistent though; must be why he gets burned so often, here at CD.
Sen. Sanders can raise the $$$ needed to win from small donations, other than buying it like Bloomberg, that is. That’s important in this process; R U listening Nancy, or do you and the DNC want to lose again? Just wonderin’.
Man, is it going to be a Mexican gun fight, or what?


#10

I’m for Sanders, I agree with the author that he is the most liberal/progressive candidate and has been so like fucking forever. I and many others believe that he would have solidly beat Trump in 2016. I swear, fucking liberals are a lot like conservatives, liking the “flavor of the week”. Sanders is the real deal, the others are either phonies or have no record (remember Obama?). One thing I learned with Obama, first look at the voting record if one has one, secondly look at their past ie business, education, labor etc.


#11

That “hope and change” didn’t pan out ?

Hope plus two bucks bought a cup of coffee when Obama was elected in 2008.

Hope plus three bucks bought a cup of coffee when Obama left the White House in 2017.

Change continued to be limited to what you put in the barista’s tip jar so the next cup would be as good as the last cup.


#12

Bernie is the best progressive candidate, that much is known. But crucially, he seems to be the only one with the experience and personality that can beat Trump in the debates.

A Bernie/Tulsi ticket would be interesting indeed. A progressive icon and a woman warrior against a draft dodging oligarch and his lying, robbing, murdering, fascist coterie.


#13

I was so angry at Obama during his first term, particularly because he stopped talking about climate change, that I voted a write-in ballot for the Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson in 2012 (in a safe Democratic state). I would say Obama had a surprisingly good second term. His Clean Power Plan was a big deal and his ability to put together the Paris Climate Agreement was a major achievement. I would say the Iran nuclear agreement was also a very important achievement of Obama. He did wind down US participation in the Iraq War and actually removed all US troops although because of circumstances had to send more troops back that later. And getting the ACA was a big deal considering that it followed decades of failure getting anything done on health care. Obama was very popular in foreign countries, which was a big change from George W. Bush. Looking back I would say he was one one of our better presidents. Unfortunately because he was black there was a tremendous backlash against him which resulted in the election of Donald Trump. The election of Obama fooled many people into thinking racism was a thing of the past in the US. As it turned out, it is no such thing and it is threatening to tear this country apart. We are now talking about fighting white supremacy and fascism in the US and who would ever have thought that a few year ago.


#14

This is from a recent tweet from Our Revolution, Contra Costa:

Get to know Sen. Sherrod Brown: - Opposed Medicare for all (S1804) - Opposed college for all (S806) - Opposed legalizing cannabis (S1689) - Opposed expanding Social Security (S427) - Voted 3x to increase Trump’s military budget (HR2810,5515 & 6157)


#15

I am trying to work out whom I would consider the last progressive president of any party to count back the decades. Roosevelt, maybe, or would we include JFK?

If you’re certain the gunfight will be fully metaphorical, Ann, I am all up for it.


#16

Yes, he’s a VP only if the Dems want to contest Ohio. And, think Brown can help them in the Rust Belt/Midwest.


#17

Well, maybe.

Nathan Robinson completely ignores the only issue that’s up in the air. Either way, it’s a cinch that Sanders is better than O’Rourke. The question is whether the DNC does not simply deny him a candidacy again.

I wish Bernie had run Green or Independent in '16, But I would rather see him run Democrat in 2020. Having missed the shot, I don’t think he can pull people to a third party. His best pull will be with people who made a compromise similar to his and remained with the party.

But running as a Democrat, if he can even force the DNC to rob him again, that would be an accomplishment of sorts. We have seen very distinct primary and election fraud in at least 3 of the last 5 presidential elections in the US. It is quite likely that a theft will be caught again. Although it surely would not be prosecuted, it might cause some manner of review of the system.


#18

mrsannhitts writes… “R U listening Nancy, or do you and the DNC want to lose again?”. I don 't believe it is important whether Nancy Pelosi wins or lose. What is important for Nancy is that she follows the narrative that her corporate backers provide. She knows that Sanders is a sure win, but it would also mean the end of Pelosi’s career as she has built her reputation on the fact that she puts Wall Street interests first every single time.
Personally I feel that the DNC will fight tooth and nail to prevent the Progressives from seizing power even if it means sacrificing an infinite amount of elections. This is because once the DNC abandon’s its corporate sponsors, the debate would change significantly and may very well end corporate domination of our political system. For the first time in living memory we would have someone elected to advocates for Palestinian rights, ending corporate subsidies, addressing global warming, election reform, universal healthcare, free college tuition and raising the taxes on the rich. This has NEVER been acknowledged by ANY president during my lifetime. It is therefore important for both the DNC and the Republicans to reinforce the myth we refer to as “American democracy” or else their rich donations will disappear.
While Corporate America doesn’t fear a new Socialist Party, as it would only split the vote between long time Blue Dog Democrats and the new socialists which would ensure that the Republicans retain power. However, if the Socialists were able to highjack the DNC and make the Democrats a party that actually represents the 99%, that would pose the most serious threat to the American Corpocracy since its inception. No greater threat to the contemporary corpocracy exists, than to have either party co-opted by a democratic movement. This is why a candidate like Sanders must be supported by all Progressives if we’re to elect a truly representative government. If anyone else is fielded instead of Sanders, expect another four years of Trump.


#19

Probaby FDR, but he never finished his run to '48 and Truman was centrist and no Wallace.
Johnson had his Congressional advantage blown up in 1966, then came his Vietnam fiasco and rightful demise. Before that, 1960-1966 were very turbulent, but were also productive and historically progressive years. Kennedy-Johnson, the tale of two other Presidents who had the non-normal, shortened run.


#20

That’s pretty close to the way I’d describe it, Ann. I am thinking that the reason progressive candidates do not win is not because they are inside or outside the Democratic Party per se, but because they are up against the same party machine and deep state either way.

We did have a progressive candidate in '72, but that’s over forty years gone, and almost thirty after FDR.