Bernie Sanders Wants To Change The Democratic Party

Give Justice A Chance

Bernie Sanders made it clear last night in California that he’s no longer running against Hillary Clinton. He’s running against Trump.

But more importantly, Bernie continues to run because he hopes to imprint his values and issues indelibly on American politics.

Bernie wants to establish a left-of-center political movement that will live on long after the 2016 primary season is over.

As Bernie said last night, he wants to see a political party embrace the values of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and he added environmental justice.  He wants the Democratic Party to open its arms and clearly, wholeheartedly, embrace those values. Is that too much to ask?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

It appears that Bernie’s justice values, which have their roots in Dr. Martin Luther King’s  civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, are the values of the American political future in the 21st-century.  That’s the conclusion I draw from the apparent fact that the younger generation of voters has enthusiastically embraced Bernie’s program.  Those voters are the future of democracy in America.

All Bernie is asking, is that the Democratic Party open its doors wide and welcome the young voters and the working-class voters who have supported him so enthusiastically.

He’s asking that the Democratic Party make clear that it is the party of social and economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.  He’s asking that the Democratic Party make it clear that it is the party of the working class, not the party of the privileged elite. It would be a tragic failure if the Democratic party concedes the working class vote to the Republicans, he said.

All he is saying is, “Give justice a chance.”

To an old baby boomer, that seems to echo the memorable chant:

“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

— John Hayden

12 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders Wants To Change The Democratic Party

  1. A dozen years ago, I did a very annoying dad-like thing. At my son’s high-school graduation party, I asked his friends what they wanted to do with their lives. Without exception each of them said they wanted to work for some kind of social or environmental cause.

    I was not surprised. We lived in a college town with its college values and after the first of them expressed an interest doing social good, it set the tone.

    A few things about it bothered me though – and I said so.

    First, each of the kids expressed the desire to DO good; which is a hell of a lot different than wanting good to be DONE. Doing good places one’s self and one’s ego at the center, whereas wanting good to be done, takes the self out of it.

    The other thing that bothered me was that in their minds wanting to become a pipe-fitter, computer programmer or accountant was a step away from social, racial economic and environmental justice.

    I told them that if they really wanted to do good and work for social justice that they should consider studying business or accounting: skills that non-profits and NGO’s greatly need (believe me, I know).

    Sure, they were kids and one could forgive them for wanting to be at the center of something grand and not being able to see that bookkeeping might do much more for the world than caring for the unfortunate.

    But that is my problem with Bernie. He and his followers, bless his heart and theirs, want to do great things for the least of us – but wanting to do is a world away from knowing how to get things done.

    As postscript, my son went to business school and became an energy analyst. He spends his days slicing and dicing numbers that save companies tens of millions dollars in energy costs – and in a small way – protects the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sure works for me. I feel as if I have been waiting since, oh, about Eugene McCarthy for someone to run on a truly by-the-people, for-the-people platform. And McCarthy was kinda lame. Sanders has more mojo in his pinky finger than the entire rest of the Democratic Capitol Hill delegation.

    I don’t know why most of the “progressive agenda” is so hard for so many people to wrap their minds around. If you have a necessity that the majority of people can’t guarantee for themselves no matter how hard they work — health care, decent education for their young, secure retirement, and, increasingly, housing — then what else is a government for, first and foremost, but to see that people don’t fall through the floor?

    I do have a problem with the Bernie-or-Bust people. Surely they really don’t think we’d be worse off if Al Gore had won in 2000 (despite his alleged misadventure with a red-headed massage therapist, no, it wasn’t me). If it’s Clinton in the fall, I’ll take what I can get, and I’ll be happier about it if the Sanders delegates and Sanders himself have leaned on the party leadership to live up to their heritage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well stated! Yes, why is it so hard for people to understand simple necessities like healthcare?

      And you hit the “Bernie or bust” foolishness on the head. Problem is, when a speaker uses strong words, such as “political revolution,” he is bound to stir up all sorts of people, including those inclined to violence as a solution to political problems, and anarchists. Even the best of us can get carried away by our own enthusiasm for a cause. This is a problem that Bernie has to own. He must clarify the boundaries of his “political revolution.” He’s already made it crystal clear that if he’s not the nominee, he will support Hillary Clinton and do everything in his power to prevent the election of Donald Trump. Obviously, he will bring most of his supporters along with him, hopefully ensuring a Democratic landslide in November.

      Sad to say, there will always be troublemakers, those who who have their own agendas, and people who create violence for the excitement.

      At the same time, Bernie is focused on, as you pointed out, influencing the Democratic platform that Hillary Clinton will stand on. He’s trying to thread a needle.

      Very soon, Bernie Sanders is going to have to read the riot act to his followers loud and clear, and probably over and over. He’s going to have to clarify exactly what he means by “political revolution.” He needs to establish clear boundaries for his supporters to observe. Absolutely no violence. No threatening people. Respect for the rights of people with differing positions. Respect for the processes of debate and decision making, no matter how frustrating they may be. This is Bernie’s responsibility. He’s used powerful rhetoric to create a spirited movement. Soon he must use rhetoric to restrain his supporters. He must read the riot act and establish the boundaries. Certainly, he has to do it well in advance of the Democratic Convention, because emotions will run high and there will be opportunity for mischief and the possibility of violence. The sooner Bernie gets started with this, the better, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

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