III Publishing

Will the Ultra-Left Attack Bernie Sanders?
January 17, 2020
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by PeacefulJewelry

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation

Sanders might be treated to his own medicine

Where the ultra-left starts in the United States of America depends on who you ask. Recall that the Clintons were called Communists by hard-right Republicans even as they were called sell-outs by many in the progressive or even liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Of course it is not clear if Senator Bernie Sanders is in the left wing of the Democratic Party or is an outsider dishonestly trying to capture the party apparatus to promote his own political career. Then again if you go back to when Sanders was the Vermont representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, there is a lot of evidence, in speeches before local audiences, particularly in rural area, that Bernie positioned himself well to the right of most elected Democrats.

In 1972 Bernie had been a political activist for about a decade. He ran for governor of Vermont as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which was affiliated with the People's Party. As such Bernie opposed the election of the Democratic Party presidential nominee, George McGovern. The Left was much bigger and felt more powerful in 1972 (it would soon collapse when the Vietnam War draft ended) and was quite effective at hounding McGovern from the left even though he was (and still is) the left-most, closest to socialist major party Presidential nominee in American history.

Many people don't fall easily into political categories, but they start to as you move to the left. If can be hard to distinguish between New Dealers and Democratic Socialists. But step to the left of Democrat, where people don't try to be Democrats or just hide behind the Independent label, and things get clearer. You have the Green Party, which has been successful in Europe, but received little traction in the U.S. The Green Party is often defined by its environmentalism, but it also tends to some form of soft, democratic socialism, at the very least some serious wealth redistribution. These days it is hard to distinguish between the positions of the Green Party and those of Progressive Democrats, particularly those who support the Green New Deal.

Will more people who are traditionally Green Party voters support Senator Sanders, if he is nominated, than supported Hillary Clinton? Most likely. Many of my friends who used to be active in the Green Party abandoned it after the 2016 fiasco. They all want to defeat Trump, but many say they will only vote Democrat if Bernie is the nominee. Like Sanders, they prefer no improvement at all to the first step in a long journal. They wan to click their emerald heels and be transported instantly to social and ecological Nirvana. Understanding reality in detail is not a strong point for that personality type.

But the Green Party is the Far Right of the True Left. The True Left fall into three main camps: non-Marxist socialists, Marxists and Anarchists. Much as I would like to tell you how similar Trotskyists actually are to Stalinists, and how different Anarchists are from Marxists, for the purpose of Presidential politics I can lump them together.

Because they will all do the same thing. Criticize. Criticism of all things Republican goes without saying, but Democrats can do no right either. When Democrats do something in the socialist program, like creating Social Security (actually co-created with Republicans) or extending its benefits, there is no cheering on the Marxist left. The Capitalist stool pigeons are bribing the working class!

When Bernie abandoned Socialism to help real estate developers in Burlington, Vermont (Bernie Sanders at the Crossroads) for a teaspoon of power and a regular paycheck, his Trotskyist friends became critics. The rare person who takes the time to check the local leftist zines, or even local community papers, from Bernie's national-level political career that began in 1990 can learn a lot about the real Bernie Sanders. He was quite slick, getting elected in a relatively conservative state while giving socialist speeches to select audiences, despite his support for gun rights, opposition to gay rights, and the massive imprisonment of black Americans he supported in the 1994 Crime Bill. Which bill was written by Joe Biden.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, but you never know when a herd of humans will decide to turn in an unexpected direction, or get spooked by the unexpected. No one expected Donald Trump to be elected President, not even Donald Trump. So maybe Bernie will be President. I don't think it is likely he will be the Democratic Party nominee, and I believe if he does become the nominee the Republicans will scare people with the Specter of Communism.

Meanwhile we are all in dire straights on Spaceship Earth, whether we admit it or not. We need to reduce the birthrate to an average of one child per couple. While some pols have talked about global warming more than others, not a single one has raised the Specter of Human Overpopulation. Which is the most real of the specters haunting us.

III Blog list of articles