No 1708 Posted by fw, June 21, 2016
“As Sanders used the term, his ‘political revolution’ always meant increasing voter turnout and support for the Democratic Party: ‘Democrats at the White House on down will win when there is excitement and a large voter turnout, and that is what this campaign is doing,’ he explained in October of last year…. As Sanders sees it, his challenge is now to prevent those attracted to his campaign from breaking with the Democratic Party. He has not yet formally endorsed Hillary Clinton in part because he wants to keep the attention of his supporters on the Democratic convention, claiming that he may be able to wrest significant concessions from Clinton on aspects of the Democratic Party platform—a meaningless document that has no impact on policy.” Joseph Kishore, World Socialist Web Site
Joe Kishore is an American activist and writer. He is the National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (United States) and a writer for the World Socialist Web Site.
In striking contrast to rave reviews of the People’s Summit from progressive online sources, including Common Dreams — People’s Summit Offers Hope for a Movement Bigger Than Bernie — and Democracy Now – People’s Summit with Juan Gonzalez, Naomi Klein, Rosario Dawson, Joe Kishore rains on their parade with his sobering report of a summit seemingly orchestrated by the Democratic Party to co-opt Bernie’s supporters into helping get Hilary elected. As he writes in his conclusion:
The various organizations that have been gathered around it [the Summit] are seeking to continue the basic work of the Sanders’ campaign when Sanders is no longer running—that is, containing the anger and opposition fueled by the crisis of American capitalism, and channeling it behind Clinton and the Democratic Party, through November and beyond.
Is Joe right? Will Bernie’s followers be co-opted? All will become clear at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, to be held in Cleveland, July 25-28.
Below is an abridged repost of the article with added subheadings. To read the complete article, click on the following linked title.
Democratic Party working to contain and smother Bernie’s legion of progressive supporters
As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders prepares to formally back Hillary Clinton’s campaign for US president sometime between now and the convention in July, sections of the Democratic Party and its periphery are working to contain and smother the oppositional sentiment that found expression in support for Sanders’s campaign.
Peoples’ Summit in Chicago attracted disparate voices from within the Party
On June 17-19, a wide array of organizations around the Democratic Party will meet in Chicago for the “Peoples’ Summit,” which has already attracted national attention in the media. CNN reported that the summit will draw together the “progressive army that stood at the front lines of his ‘political revolution.’” The Washington Post writes that some 2,500 are expected to attend the summit, to “talk about many of the same issues Sanders championed.”
National Nurses United, a main summit sponsor, sees an opportunity to “unify disparate movements”
Explaining the purpose of the summit, a spokesman for National Nurses United, one of its main sponsors, said, “There’s going to be some genuine discussion and debate about how to unify all these disparate movements, how to take the energy and enthusiasm, and coalition that came together around the Sanders campaign and continue it.”
Summit’s organizers published a manifesto calling for action “not based on partisan identification”
A manifesto published by the summit’s organizers states: “We envision this Summit as further deepening the relationship between participating organizations rooted in principled anti-corporate politics, development of community leaders, direct action not based on partisan identification, and strategic organizing to build power.”
The claim to non-partisanship is a fraud, since most of those participating are Democrats (though, on the web site, no speakers are identified with their party affiliation).
Central purpose of the summit was to build political support for a Party about to nominate its most right-wing candidate ever
The central purpose of the summit is to build political support for the Democratic Party even as it moves to nominate its most right-wing candidate in history, Hillary Clinton, beholden to Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus.
At his campaign launch last year, Sanders’ goal was to increase voter turnout for the Democratic Party
The holding of the People’s Summit corresponds to a definite political logic and function. When Sanders launched his presidential campaign, he did so from the standpoint of bolstering flagging support for the Democratic Party and the political system as a whole after seven years of the Obama administration.
As Sanders used the term, his “political revolution” always meant increasing voter turnout and support for the Democratic Party: “Democrats at the White House on down will win when there is excitement and a large voter turnout, and that is what this campaign is doing,” he explained in October of last year.
After winning more support than expected, his goal now is to keep his supporters from breaking from the Party
The Sanders campaign won far more support than the candidate himself anticipated, however, reflecting the deep anger among workers and young people over social inequality and a political system dominated by the rich. Sanders’s denunciations of the “billionaire class” and his self-identification as a “democratic socialist” contributed to his success, under conditions in which more young people now identify as socialist than capitalist.
As Sanders sees it, his challenge is now to prevent those attracted to his campaign from breaking with the Democratic Party. He has not yet formally endorsed Hillary Clinton in part because he wants to keep the attention of his supporters on the Democratic convention, claiming that he may be able to wrest significant concessions from Clinton on aspects of the Democratic Party platform—a meaningless document that has no impact on policy.
He has called on his supporters to be focused on defeating Trump, that is, electing Clinton
In a speech to supporters on Thursday night, Sanders called for “the political revolution [to] continue into the future.” After referring to many of the indicators of social crisis in the US that have motivated support for his campaign, Sanders went on to explain that this support must now be focused on “defeating Donald Trump,” that is, electing Clinton. “The major political task we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”
Sanders added that it was necessary to take the “energy” expressed in support for his campaign “into the Democratic National Convention on July 25” in order to ensure that the “Democratic Party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda.” In this way, the Democrats can become “a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy contributors.” He called on all his supporters and volunteers to run for office as Democrats in local elections throughout the country.
The People’s Summit is aimed at co-opting Sander’s supporters, contain their disappointment, help the Party elect Clinton
The “People’s Summit” is aimed at providing the organizational framework for this operation. The various organizations that have been gathered around it are seeking to continue the basic work of the Sanders campaign when Sanders is no longer running—that is, containing the anger and opposition fueled by the crisis of American capitalism, and channeling it behind Clinton and the Democratic Party, through November and beyond.
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