Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Say It Ain't So

Now that Bernie Sanders has formally ended his quest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and endorsed his opponent Hillary Clinton it will be interesting to see what form the anger and disillusionment with the Democratic Party that was a large part of the fuel that propelled his campaign takes. Sanders supporters, many of whom are angry and disillusioned over the seeming betrayal of their hopes for change, are discussing and debating the matter on social media at the moment. Some want to back Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Others are urging support for Republican maverick Donald Trump, who on economic matters more closely resembles Sanders than the fiscally conservative Clinton.

Trump today renewed his appeal to Sanders supporters with twitter comments like this:

Trump's reference to Occupy Wall Street is telling. That movement didn't involve itself in politics and endorsed no politician or party, and it generated more excitement among actual Leftists like myself than did the Sanders campaign. It's organizers realized what many Sanders supports haven't yet become aware of, that significant change can't come from within the political system, such as by turning your power over to a self interested, political insider like Bernie Sanders and then hoping he can manipulate the political system for your benefit, a system which is designed to prevent change and protect the status quo.

Change is forced onto the political system by large shifts in public opinion and by mass movements such as the Labor Movement of the early 20th century and the Civil Rights, Women's and Environmental movements of the mid 20th century, movements that have a lot to do with bringing about those shifts in public opinion, and can organize people into voting blocks, or massive street demonstrations or other organizational forms than can exert some real power.

Those who want change should observe how the Black Lives Matter movement operates. Most of its members are, like most members of the women's movement, mired in the dead end of identity politics, which doesn't seek to eliminate hierarchy but merely to change places on the totem pole with other groups, but it's not organized as a hierarchy. There are opinion leaders, but consensus is arrived at democratically, and like Occupy it doesn't have formal leaders  or endorse candidates or parties.

Watch also examples like the labor movement, which spent itself by becoming a hierarchy, with leaders dictating and making endorsements and eventually having more interests in common with the politicians than with their members.


  1. I read today where in some polls only 3% separate Hillary from The Donald. That, at this late date, says something. A very strong worrisome message of problems with the electorate, or at least those being polled.

    I think that the rancor, obstruction tactics and outright hatred of President Obama by Republicans and the right wing press has taken its toll on a good portion of the people. They will vote for anyone but a Democrat.

    Another problem is Hillary herself. Seen as not only the old guard, but the Democratic Party old guard. This is especially true of the way younger folks seem to see her.

    Take those "issues" and compound that by the youth today, the media today, the social media today and we have this convoluted situation we see at this stage of the election cycle.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. I personally am of the opinion that the Republicans would rather see the country go down the tubes, up in smoke, than vote for someone identified as a Democrat.

    The great American "middle" will be the decisive element. Lets see which way they go.

    The individual parties, Republicans and Democrats, have been maneuvered far to the extremes of the political spectrum. I fully understand that some would have them both go further in opposite directions......

    If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch, as interesting as the circus it has been.

    1. I like your take on it NM. Thanks for that. I'll be watching with great, great interest.