Our Times 3

March of the Sandernistas

Bernie Sanders is surging. The democratic socialist senator from Vermont has stayed in the spotlight since his 2016 presidential run, centering the upcoming Democratic nomination on generational issues like income inequality, climate change and endless war. In this collection, we offer different perspectives on what the Canadian left can take away from the Sanders campaign.

  • Elite political journalists are eager to kick Bernie Sanders on his way out the door

    Bernie Sanders has always made elite political journalists uncomfortable, on a deeply personal level. When Sanders rails against the corporate-friendly status quo, it rubs them the wrong way. Accepting the status quo as fundamentally reasonable is a prerequisite for succeeding in modern mainstream political journalism. Anything else makes you an “activist”.

  • The one-choice election

    There are no substantial political differences between the Democrats and Republicans. We have only the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and their liberal apologists adopt tolerant positions on issues regarding race, religion, immigration, women’s rights and sexual identity and pretend this is politics.

  • Democratic establishment deals Super Tuesday blow to Bernie Sanders, but race is far from over

    Super Tuesday did not go as Bernie Sanders and his diverse working-class movement had hoped. While there are still a few months left before the convention, the next few weeks will determine the fate of the campaign. And for the sake of social, political, economic, and environmental justice, Bernie must win.

  • Super Tuesday and the irrevocable split in the Democratic Party

    Democratic Party leaders are talking themselves into the fiction that, even if they deny the nomination to Sanders, his supporters and movement will have ‘no where else to go’ but to fall in line behind Biden. But they do have somewhere to go: they’ll sit home. And then they’ll perhaps go out and organize a party independent of today’s Democratic Party.

  • Bernie Sanders and the desperation of democratic elites

    The choice the leadership faces is whether to transform itself into a Trump-like party, openly run by oligarchs and billionaires; or to return to a pre-1990 Democratic party—before the DLC faction takeover—and allow Bernie Sanders to become its presidential candidate. The party leadership’s current actions clearly show it now leans heavily toward the former.

  • Bernie Sanders and the case for a Canadian left-populism

    The “utopian” demands that we democratize our economy and do what we must to avert ecological collapse—by euthanizing our fossil fuel industries, investing in a green energy transition, and rehauling our foreign policy—are the only kind that could potentiate the mass movement necessary to gain ground in the electoral arena.

  • The lesson Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders have for the left: Embrace class conflict

    It must be put clearly that class conflict is a reality in this country, too; that the economic elite have never supported the CCF-NDP, and they never will; and that we’ll be branded as class-warriors and socialists no matter what our policies, however ambitious or modest. We need to embrace the image we have, and not be ashamed of it.

  • What Bernie Sanders can teach the Canadian left

    While democratic socialism may well take a different form in Canada than with Sanders, the latter has shown us that the public, even in a conservative nation like the United States, is clamoring for social and economic equality and democracy. Americans are listening to Bernie Sanders; Canadians are listening to Bernie Sanders; NDP parliamentarians like Niki and Steve Ashton are listening to Bernie Sanders; the question remains: is the NDP as a whole listening?

  • Democrats craving a brokered convention—including Elizabeth Warren—should learn the lessons of 1968

    For four years, Democratic officials have insisted that Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to the republic whose removal from power is the paramount political priority. Yet the strategy on which they are now explicitly relying to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders from being their 2020 presidential nominee is the one most likely to ensure Trump’s reelection.

  • The Bernie Sanders campaign and left politics in Canada

    Does the Bernie Sanders campaign matter here? Of course it does. Who among us has failed to “feel the Bern”? Thanks to Bernie, and contrary to what anybody thought possible only a few months ago, Americans are talking class politics — for the first time since the 1930s! It’s the working class versus the billionaire class.

  • The new rules of the game

    The quadrennial political game of least worst, or how to scare the public to vote for presidential candidates who serve corporate power, comes this season with a new twist. But should Bernie Sanders manage to evade the snares, traps and minefields laid for him by the Democratic Party elites, the game of least worst will radically change.

  • Bernie’s very welcome assault on our cliché of greatness

    Can you imagine electing a president so arrogant he actually claims the right to think for himself and challenge US foreign policy, past and present? A president who honeymooned under the Soviet moon? As the media is pointing out, the cliché we deeply cherish (we’re good, they’re bad) is under assault in 2020.

  • Bernie’s right: Three billionaires really do have more wealth than half of America

    The three wealthiest U.S. families are the Walton’s of Walmart, the Mars candy family, and the Koch brothers, heirs to the country’s second largest private company, the energy conglomerate Koch Industries. These are all enterprises built by the grandparents and parents of today’s wealthy heirs and heiresses. These three families own a combined fortune of $348.7 billion, which is four million times the median wealth of a U.S. family.

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