While identity remains a dominant factor within the cultural left, we often forget that the identity of “capitalist to my bones” is the one that matters most
I will admit that I was always a skeptic of liberal politicians. While better than their conservative counterparts, I find them fake, cynical, hypocritical, inconsistent, and easily corruptible. That being said, I fully understood why many progressive minded people flocked to Warren’s campaign. Obviously, if she had the juice behind her, she would make one of the best Presidents this country has ever seen. There was a time when she pushed a fairly solid progressive agenda, railed against Super PACs, and bravely allied herself with the likes of Bernie Sanders. I am sad but not surprised to say those days are now over.
I supported Sanders in 2016 and have been supporting him all through his 2020 campaign. Due to this, some may take my comments on the substantive and moral differences between the two with a grain of salt. That is a fair reaction. I find his policies more progressive on all fronts, from childcare to healthcare, foreign policy, and everything in between. His ability identify systemic problems and offer solutions based on mass movement organizing is something that resonates with me as a full time organizer.
The point of this article, however, is not to convince anyone that Sander’s has better values or policy. The point of this article is to wake up those progressives who despise Trump more than Sanders. There are things that have to be done in the immediate future to avoid catastrophe in November.
There is far too much at risk in this election. I know I know, I have heard that phrase uttered to me in every presidential election since I was old enough to vote. I never took it seriously, nor do I think I should have. I held my nose and voted for Clinton last time because I knew, this time, something was actually different. Given the past 3 years I think my assessment was correct. Another four years of Trump and it could be game over. A Trump Supreme Court could rule most of a lifetime. His foreign policy of cozying up to authoritarians, including his betrayal of the Kurds in Syria which helped jihadist terrorists, has already cost the life of my friend. Also, as someone who works full time on workers’ rights and workers’ democracy, the Trump administration has been nothing less than a travesty. Science and reality have been rejected and white supremacists have free reign at the White House. It can not be allowed to continue.
When faced with such an existential threat, everything needs to boil down to two very important factors; electability and policy. The former being more important given what we are facing.
Obviously, I believe of the candidates running that Sanders has the best values and beliefs, offering the best cure for the current poison in our political system. Let us ignore that. Sanders polls best against Trump, better than Warren and better than Biden. This is despite being relentlessly villainized by the media and every single other candidate.
Bernie Sanders is either going to win the nomination outright or, more likely, is going to win a plurality of delegates. The former is likely impossible without the backing of people who would otherwise vote for Warren. I do not expect Warren to drop out and support Sanders as the centrists have already done by uniting behind Biden to stop Sanders. While Warren is not going to draw a lot of support or delegates, if this support is diverted to Sanders it may be enough in the coming primaries to actually stop Biden and thus stop Trump. Those votes will do much better for humanity when used for that all important cause.
If Sanders still wins a plurality of votes, more than any other candidate, and his movement is stymied by establishment democrats it is over, we lose the general. We already put a pro war, pro corporate candidate against Trump, we know what happens. In fact, Clinton in many states was actually polling better than Biden. Can you imagine what the general election vote would be if the fire of the Sanders support base is extinguished?
The political elites who prefer Trump to Sanders are not going to use Warren as a candidate to block Sanders, just her campaign. Even if they did, she is losing to Trump in polls worse than even Biden. She is down upwards of ten points (5 in the average) in Texas where Bernie actually has Trump in a dead heat. Similar trends continue in almost every state including crucial states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania where Sanders outperforms Warren over Trump. There is not one state where she has a greater advantage over Trump, not even Massachusetts.
There is a reason why millions and millions of dollars in dark, likely corporate, money is flowing into her campaign through a super PAC when she has no chance of winning even one state. This is even after she swore that she would not take “a dime” of super PAC money (Chris Koob, formal Oil industry front man leads her PAC). This operation is simply to stop Sanders, not to support Warren.
Stopping Sanders means elevating Biden. Elevating Biden to the Democratic nominee, pushed at a fractured convention where Sanders democratically won more votes, will deliver us eight years of Trump. If we do not want Trump and if we do want progressive politics, we have a chance to stop this if we stop voting for Warren. She is doing nothing but throwing delegates to Biden. She is not even winning them herself. If her grassroots supporters backed Sanders, he would win some states he otherwise would lose to Biden, and in states where she is not delegate viable (including states where Sanders wins), those votes would actually net Sanders more delegates. Those delegates, unlike Biden’s, can be used not only to create a new progressive agenda but more importantly, save us from Trump.