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Sat Sep 19, 2015, 09:13 AM

If politics is the art of communication, then Sanders must be judged the winner, hands down. [View all]

In fact, the Sanders campaign represents a breakthrough for progressive “messaging” of remarkable scope and impact. Sanders, with his calls for political revolution against the billionaire class, is not just another standard-issue, forked-tongue, feel-your-pain Democrat; at each MSM-covered appearance he blasts out piercing alarms about the radical inequities and irrationalities of the status quo, along with sorely needed solutions—primal truths that would otherwise lie dormant and buried in the scattered isolated islets of far-leftdom.

To dismiss these crucial inroads into mass consciousness as mere diversion, to deride his proposals as milquetoast Keynesian stopgap, betrays the old far-left allergy to the complexity and cacophony of the large stage of life, a debilitating preference for the safety and certitude of the tiny left echo chamber. Sanders’s campaign, whatever its flaws, is thrusting front and center to a mass audience a whole series of principled, critical demands and issues (many of which overlap with those raised in splendid isolation by Jill Stein and the Green Party), the realization of which would markedly advance the material well-being and future prospects of ordinary Americans: $15 an hour minimum wage; union card check to expand organizing rights; improved Medicare for all; expansion (not retrenchment) of Social Security; revamped progressive taxation to reduce income inequality; a Wall Street transaction tax; a rapid transition to renewables to combat climate change; opposition to the ecocidal, neo-fascist TPP, NAFTA, and WTO; an end to the militarization of local police forces; cracking down on hate groups; free tuition at all public universities and colleges to alleviate student debt peonage; paid family leave; and so on. If realized in the aggregate, these demands would challenge the neoliberal logic of the prevailing order.

As a tactical matter, then, the Sanders upsurge is an invaluable tool for the mass dissemination of left themes and solutions right now—a priceless benefit that far outweighs the realpolitik lapses that preoccupy the left-echo-chamber Sanders refuseniks.

Now notice that I just used the word tactical. Allow me to explain. Whatever the rough spots in Sanders’s progressive resume, especially on foreign policy, it remains a stubborn tactical reality (and perhaps I will also be forgiven for using the word reality) that it is only through the vehicle of the his presidential campaign as a Democrat that these kinds of progressive issues and solutions can flood the airwaves and touch the tens of millions of desperate but ill-informed Americans who most need to think and hear about them—in most cases, for the first time. This is the unique and irreplaceable value of the Sanders candidacy: it is strewing seeds of mass consciousness around issues of class and inequality and the environment in a way that no other person or party could accomplish right now. Radicals need to ask themselves: How is that a bad thing?


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Reply If politics is the art of communication, then Sanders must be judged the winner, hands down. [View all]
kpete Sep 2015 OP
DinahMoeHum Sep 2015 #1
sabrina 1 Sep 2015 #2
ancianita Sep 2015 #3
LWolf Sep 2015 #4
Uncle Joe Sep 2015 #5
LWolf Sep 2015 #6