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writing for godot

Stay in the Race, Bernie: The Democratic Party Platform Depends on It!

Written by Judy Pasqualge   
Friday, 03 April 2020 10:28

The aim of this article is to refute the claim that Bernie Sanders remaining in the race will affect the electability of the likely nominee, Joe Biden. The calls for Sanders to pull out ‒ by various journalists, politicians and, now, even talk show hosts ‒ seem to ignore the issue of the platform to be adopted at the DP convention, and on which winning actually depends.

I suspect that many of the people who issue this call earn way above the normal salary, have access to good health insurance, and/or assets that run into the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. Likely, many of them in younger and leaner days held very different positions than they do today, and have forgotten them; in short, their priorities have changed, and these no longer really concern the vast majority of people.

Sometimes, these are the very people whose main method of public action seems to be verbal derision of the RP and of people who do not agree with them 100%.

As a longtime Bernie supporter ‒ unfortunately, due to the derision, now required to identify myself (woman, age 65, white) ‒ the above people should realise, for example, how insulting the label 'Bernie bro' is. It is a cowardly use of a demonising stereotype; it is a cheap shot at serious issues and at the candidate himself, and likely to turn off many potential voters this November.

The DP seems to be doing all it can to lose the election ‒ because the priority of far too many DP leaders, the DNC chair, former DP high officials, and many of this year's candidates who have dropped out is only to win election for their own benefit (especially reelection).

And to do that means, even unconsciously, to prioritise satisfying their big money funders. That this continues is shown by the DNC putting corporate lobbyists in charge of the DNC budget (interests in fossil fuel, construction, retail, investment banking, etc.), with expenditures to corporate lawyers, anti-single payer interests, etc. ( dncs-budget, 30 March 2020).

In addition to the DNC, the current front runner has a sketchy past on too many issues and is seen to quickly change positions to serve himself ‒ information about which is becoming more evident than the DP might think.

What does the DNC and mainstream DP think? That voters are idiots? That a DP influenced by such donors will appear to prioritise the needs of the majority? That in these times, with the future after the pandemic and economic crash at stake, government by big-money influence for profit is ok?

I think the best way forward right now, with an election win in mind, is to prioritise the party platform. If the DP sticks with the usual formula of what can pass in a House and Senate composed of too many people who depend on wealthy donors, then the party can just reissue the 2016 platform.

Or, the DP could put together a platform that would already include a set of (publicly available) bills to be submitted in January 2021; such proof is now necessary, given that for so long so many promises have been broken.

Obvious issues concern:

a. healthcare: if millions without health insurance and care is ok, come out and say so and explain your timetable to provide coverage to all;

b. the earth crisis: if protection of the fossil fuel industry is the priority, as shown by only mentioning rejoining the Paris accord and a carbon tax, then specifically refute the measures in the Green New Deal;

c. minimum wage: if $15 is too high, explain why, and what level is appropriate;

d. foreign policy: if the DP position is to continue to prioritise protection of the interests of large US banks and corporations ‒ supporting actions abroad that directly go against what is verbally supported for people in the US, and which directly harm women, children and men ‒ then explain the benefits to the US of actions that cause civilian death via economic sanctions and usurious debt, and a huge level of acceptable collateral damage via efforts at regime change (supporting right-wingers and/or chaos) and drone warfare.

One could go on and on, but there is no need. The positions on various issues are already out there in the public domain. And they are likely to receive even more attention because of the lapses shown by politicians of both parties concerning the pandemic.

Above all, the DP high-ups must get off their high horses. Many people like me have seen it all, including:

1. a DP secretary of state in the 1990s who said that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to sanctions on medical necessities was acceptable;

2. a DP president, vice president and secretary of state who ignored the 2011 RP threat to the public sector union in Wisconsin;

3. a welcome health plan, Obamacare, which fined the uninsured who did not enroll ‒ with a massive 19-pages of instructions to calculate how much was owed;

4. a new DP idea of 'buying into' Medicaid ‒ sounding ominously like how seniors now have to buy into Medicare Part B (lessening my monthly Social Security payment by 13%);

5. a 2016 DP candidate whose position on the minimum wage was 'maybe $12.'

6. a current DP House in which too many endorse economic sanctions on countries that don't follow US economic interests (and now face the epidemic), and who still have not heeded the global call for ceasefires in Yemen and Syria ‒ for shame!

Democrats, it is time to decide what the priorities really are. Lip service is not enough ‒ your former facade of caring doesn't work any more, and it's even more broken that it was in 2016.

The party platform has to look ahead, set goals (which may take time to implement); it has to be sincere, not only seem to be so.

This is why it is necessary for Bernie Sanders to stay in the race right now and until the convention. If he bows out, much of corporate media will drop him; if the platform is is not a serious one, then the DP could well lose in November ‒ regardless of obtaining my vote. your social media marketing partner
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