August 27, 2015

Liberalism, economic class, race, elections: #FeelTheBern, #BlackLivesMatter, #GreenParty

As Bernie Sanders makes focus on economic class issues a primary part of his campaign, and simultaneously has faced disruption from Black Lives Matter, two new pieces from the Jacobin are very relevant for this issue.

Toure Reed discusses how racism and classism have a fair degree of overlap, especially for blacks trying to advance, and shouldn't be separated as much as some liberals do — or as much as some activists do. He specifically notes mid-20th century black civil rights leaders like Philip Randolph who explicitly combined them, in fact.

It's very good reading, not just for proper policies and stances, but because it leads to the next piece.

Lance Selfa dashes cold water on Sanders' chances of getting the Democratic nomination. Sunkara starts with 1968 and "establishment" candidate Hubert Humphrey being rammed down Democrats' throats. But, what about 1972? He says George McGovern had more establishment support than some may realize, but not enough. And, that Jesse Jackson, among others in 1972, sank the possibility of a third part from the left at that time.

That of course gets us back to Sanders, who decided to run as a Democrat. And, beyond that, who has specifically disavowed a general election run if he's not the Democratic nominee.

How many of his supporters, in such a case, would actually vote for Jill Stein or whomever is the Green Party nominee? No more than 10 percent, I venture, because most of them will believe whatever pablum about party unity, etc., that Sanders spouts at the convention.

And, if Sanders makes platform demands of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention, how many will she accept? If Walter Mondale in 1984, getting back to Jackson, is any indicator, about none — at least none with any teeth.

Of course, beyond what Selfa notes about 1984, this was as much due to Jesse's personality as anything else. He wasn't walking away from "money in the bank" because a lot of it went into his own pockets.

Of course, as Selfa notes in conclusion, Denny the Dwarf Kucinich never left the Democratic party, either, and he wasn't lining his pockets like Jackson was.

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