Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~
It has been well-known for years that when Bernie votes, he leans right...
“So long as our nation remains trapped in the quagmire of political gridlock, we remain incapable of dealing with the most pressing issues of our times. With dark clouds of war looming on the horizon and the existential threat of climate change endangering all humanity, we need an American system capable of responding in an efficient, effective manner. As it stands now, our government is incapable of passing a budget. So long as candidates draw attention to tumors and ignore the cancer, American society is doomed to spiral further downwards. So long as Sanders caters to populist demands but fails to challenge the system that spawned them, he will not have my vote.”
Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders also favors right-wing positions on civil rights (or restrictions)
Let’s not be fooled by “progressives” who can’t find their spines when the colonial regime in Israel bombs the crowded ghetto of Gaza.
Independent political action against the corporate state is the single most important issue, not only in every big election but also in day to day resistance against capitalism and militarism. Otherwise every other issue of great importance— yes, including fossil fuels and climate change, the militarization of police departments, the ruling class war of attrition against the working class— will gain no traction. In class struggles, there is a law of nature: No friction, no traction.
Not one cent and not one vote for the parties of war and empire.
More on the history of Bernie Sanders and militarism as well as his alliance with the Democratic Party:
Liberty Union Party, Bernie the Bombers Bad Week.
Counterpunch, The Myth of Bernie Sanders
Counterpunch, Bernie Sanders Cannot Save US
Bernie is fundamentally right-wing on militarism
“Bernie is fundamentally right-wing on militarism, and nobody wants to analyze that problem in any depth.”
…Sanders speech is a laundry list of liberal issues in which everyone will hear whatever they’re waiting for. But not if you’re waiting to hear about peace.
(Will) Bunch doesn’t hide the shortcomings. He notes that the Sanders campaign staff forced the removal of a banner advocating rights for Palestinians, that in 1983 peace activists protested a GE weapons plant in Burlington demanding conversion to peaceful manufacturing and Mayor Sanders had them arrested in the name of preserving 3,000 weapons-making jobs, and that in recent years Sanders has supported the production of the F-35 also in the name of jobs for Vermonters. (F-35 will cost trillions, but so far cannot fly properly.)
In 1972 Sanders wrote, as Bunch quotes him, that the daily U.S. military budget was greater than the annual state budget of Vermont. At $4 billion today, the state of Vermont is slightly over one day’s military spending (taking annual military spending to be $1.2 trillion) but it has been a long time since Sanders has demanded conversion to peaceful spending.
Instead, he has accepted the truly sociopathic notion that jobs (and jobs of a particular sort, as if a good socialist doesn’t know that the same dollars could produce more jobs if spent on peace) justify militarism. Imagine how that sounds to the 96% of humanity never mentioned by Sanders, except when citing the successes of European nations whose radically lower military spending he seems not to have noticed.”
“What does it say about a candidate – not just his campaign, but the candidate himself – who gets so rattled by a couple of high profile endorsements for his opponent that he starts badmouthing the country’s most respected gay rights and women’s rights and health groups? What does it say about a candidate who is supposedly the front runner in one of the early contest states and in a dead heat in the other? What does it say that he, the candidate, is taking it upon himself to beat up on civil rights groups?”
In 1990 Sanders ran for the House of Representatives, defeating an incumbent Republican and a Democrat in a three-way race. During congressional deliberations over authorizing the first Gulf War, Sanders declared his support for sanctions, diplomatic pressure and even the use of US forces to “pressure” Iraq into submission, while stopping, along with most congressional Democrats, just short of voting for the actual war. This caveat was dropped in 1993, when Sanders voted for US intervention in Somalia. Sanders then voted for the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999.
This embrace of “human rights” imperialism was part of a worldwide phenomenon among layers formerly associated with the student and middle class radicalism of the 1960s and early 1970s. Especially following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989-1991, these layers moved rapidly towards an accommodation with imperialism.
The NATO interventions in the Balkans in particular were a turning point in this respect, beginning with the bombing of Serb positions in Bosnia, the dispatch of UN peacekeeping troops, and then the 1999 war over Kosovo. The German Green Party, which carried out savage austerity measures as part of the “Red Green” coalition at the end of the decade, threw its support for German participation in the NATO war against Serbia, the first foreign deployment of the German army since the end of World War II, under the guise of “human rights.” Sanders followed a similar path. (His older brother Larry, who emigrated to Great Britain, ran as a candidate of the British Greens in the 2015 parliamentary elections).
Sanders voted in 2001 for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the congressional resolution that was the basis of George Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the launching of the “war on terror,” and which is still cited by Barack Obama as the legal justification for drone-missile assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. He regularly voted for military appropriations bills, required to fund the ongoing war in Iraq Sanders claimed to oppose.
In the sphere of world trade, Sanders masks a strident chauvinism with “human rights” rhetoric, particularly with respect to China. In 1992 he co-sponsored a bill, first proposed by Nancy Pelosi, and later vetoed by George H.W. Bush, attempting to restrict the trade status of China due to its human rights record. As always, the supreme “human right” was the right of American corporations to scour the globe in source of profit; one of the benchmarks that China would have been required to meet was to provide “United States exporters fair access to Chinese markets, including lowering tariffs, removing non-tariff barriers, and increasing the purchase of United States goods and services.”
Sanders’ stance on immigration is entirely in line with right-wing efforts to scapegoat millions of impoverished and exploited Hispanic workers for the falling living standards of American working class. He has repeatedly introduced bills in Congress calling for the suspension of the federal visa program under the guise of protecting American jobs. For his efforts, he has earned the admiration of noted anti-immigrant racist and talk show host Lou Dobbs, who called him “one of the few straight talkers in Congress.”
On the massive NSA spying first revealed by Edward Snowden, Sanders has staked out a position virtually indistinguishable from the public position of Barack Obama, “welcoming” the opportunity to “discuss” government spying while demanding that Snowden be punished for revealing it. “The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has been extremely important,” Sanders said in early 2014. “On the other hand, there is no debate that Mr. Snowden violated an oath and committed a crime,” for which he called only for a “lenient” sentence. Last July, Sanders co-sponsored the Obama-supported USA FREEDOM Act in the Senate, which would regularize NSA spying under the guise of regulating it.
For some 25 years, the only thing distinguishing Sanders from garden-variety liberal Democrats in the House and Senate was the “independent” label he espoused. One survey of his voting record in the House in the 1990s noted that he was more Catholic than the Pope: he voted more consistently with the Democratic caucus than the Democratic leader in the House at the time, Richard Gephardt.
The decision by Sanders to seek the Democratic Party nomination for president was the culmination of a protracted process over four decades, during which Sanders, despite never formally belonging to the Democratic Party, never ventured beyond what passes for the party’s “left” flank, using the term “socialist” only to suggest an illusory difference with his (infrequent) Democratic Party challengers.
His role in the campaign was to use his reputation as a politician of the “left” to disguise the ever more right-wing orientation of the Democratic Party: its abandonment of even a nominal commitment to social reform, its embrace of war, assassination, mass surveillance and an increasingly dictatorial role for the American imperialist state, both internationally and at home.”
“Ultimately this is a political fight. It is critical that we stand up and stand together across issues, and across borders, to be a unified political force for people planet and peace over profit. The minute we stand up, we are unstoppable. It’s time to forget the lesser evil and fight for the greater good. The clock is ticking. It’s in our hands.”
Dr. Jill Stein was the best choice as next president of The United States of America: of, by and for the people we could have shined with Stein. Mainstream media ignored her, but Dr. Stein had the cure for what ails us. We must shut down wars to rebuild peace, support people and heal planet Earth.
President Doctor Jill Stein:
“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes