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Sat Mar 26, 2016, 10:09 AM

 

Bernie Sanders Views On Creating Radical Change Are Quite Realistic



The Sanders Campaign’s Views On Creating Radical Change Are Quite Realistic
by Kevin Gosztola
Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, Unauthorized Disclosure. Follow him on Twitter: @kgosztola


Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in an essay for The Nation, “Demonstrations, experience has shown, are part of the process of stimulating legislation and law enforcement. The federal government reacts to events more quickly when a situation of conflict cries out for its intervention. Beyond this, demonstrations have a creative effect on the social and psychological climate that is not matched by the legislative process.”

“Demonstrations educate the onlooker as well as the participant, and education requires repetition. That is one reason why they have not outlived their usefulness,” King observed.

This is what Sanders means when he talks about relying on a grassroots mobilization, a “political revolution,” to achieve social justice victories: shift the climate in politics and use the energy of mobilized masses to move a consensus on policy toward an outcome that is more just and equitable than what it would be if there was compromise without vibrant actions.

The Sanders campaign appeals to a collective desire among Americans to live in a nation that does right by its people. It invites Americans to imagine a country where policies are enacted that reflect the notion that we are all in this together. It raises expectations, giving poor, working class, and middle class Americans hope for a society structured like other industrialized democracies of the world, where universal single-payer healthcare, paid family medical leave, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and other social welfare programs are available to all citizens.

The people’s historian, Howard Zinn, asserted, “Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war.”

This is the kind of change Sanders speaks about at the end of every single one of his stump speeches. He receives roaring applause, as he recalls the trade unionist movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s right movement, and the movement for LGBT rights.

See the article at: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/03/25/sanders-campaigns-views-creating-radical-change-are-quite-realistic

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Reply Bernie Sanders Views On Creating Radical Change Are Quite Realistic (Original post)
imagine2015 Mar 2016 OP
Trust Buster Mar 2016 #1
imagine2015 Mar 2016 #2
Trust Buster Mar 2016 #3
imagine2015 Mar 2016 #4
Trust Buster Mar 2016 #5

Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 10:21 AM

1. This is a terribly flawed analysis IMO.

 

The way to affect change must start at the grass roots level. A legislative foundation must be built. That must be achieved by winning elections at the state and Congressional levels in sufficient numbers in order to change the political calculus. One this is achieved, then a leader can emerge to lead this new coalition.

It will not be successful by starting with a 74 year old leader and then beginning the process of building a legislative block that can support such a leader.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 10:32 AM

2. You need to study the history of past mass movements for social change.

 


They were organized at what you call the "grass roots level" independently of and frequently in opposition to a limited electoral strategy which failed to achieve much.

What elected politicians led and built the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, women's rights, gay rights, labor rights mass movements?

People didn't just sit around and wait for some great politicians to emerge who than built these mass movements.

Bernie Sanders even says don't just depend on him to build such movements should he be elected President.

He is calling upon those who support his campaign to organize those mass movements.

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Response to imagine2015 (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 10:42 AM

3. Sanders is running for President and not movement activist.

 

He would need a strong political coalition at the state and congressional levels. You don't elect a 74 year old and then start the heavy lifting afterwards. This is a political environment he's dealing with. Quit trying to liken him to a social activist.

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 10:51 AM

4. Unlike Hillary Clinton he has been a longtime political activist in social movements.

 


You seem to be unaware of his personal history.

"Quit trying to liken him to a social activist."

He started out as a leader of the Congress on Racial Equality back in the 60's.

And was a "social activist" in many mass movements after that.

You didn't know that?

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Response to imagine2015 (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 11:34 AM

5. He doesn't have the endorsement of a single Senator. He has no coalition in Congress.

 

Not a good place to be if you're 74 years old and trying to start a movement.

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