Bernie’s Strategy

Here’s a take on Bernie’s move to endorse Biden I haven’t heard yet. It was essentially a purge of the grouping that the right likes to call Bros, the people who weren’t Democrats and were therefore a hindrance to his strategy of a prosocialist takeover of the Democratic Party, which is more important to him and to the country than winning the presidency. The strategy he has used all along is a classical united front strategy, which is the only way the left has ever achieved any power anywhere. The concept was developed by Lenin but has become an organizing tool for almost any purpose, right or left. You suggest points of unity and you unite with everyone who supports them. You know the ones he used in his own movement, M4A, GND, Free college, etc.

The Democratic Party – arguably the largest private organization of any kind in the US – is a broader united front with, at this point, one point of unity: defeat Trump. I speculate that it was Bernie’s assessment that the #neverbiden wing of his movement was disrupting that process. Lenin too attacked the ultraleft, which is one characterization the #neverbiden faction. The ultraleft, wittingly or unwittingly, supports the right, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a growing number of #neverbidens are on Trump’s payroll.

The art of the united front is playing off divisions in your rivals in the front (frenemies?) so your policies can dominate. Bernie played this brilliantly right up to Obama/Biden’s even more brilliant move on the day before Supertuesday: the overnight united front against Bernie. Of course we hated it, but one can’t fail to admire its elegance, doubtlessly the Obama touch.

Struggle-with, struggle-against is the dialectical process of the united front. You fight with your rivals to get as many of your policies adopted as possible, and then you unite with them in the larger struggle.

One comparison is the German election of 1932. There were three parties contending, the Socialists (21.58%), the Communists (14.32%), and the Nazis (37.27%). Imagine how different history might have been if the left had joined in a Stop Adolph united front. You’re right, Trump isn’t Hitler. Pence is.

Speaking of imagination, check out “The Plot Against America,” John Simon’s version of Phillip Roth’s novel. In 1940, antiwar pro-Nazi Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR for president. Or, even better, read the book.

So, after much agonizing and soul searching, I’m going to accept the wisdom of Bernie’s move and bid my more anarchistic friends good luck on their third party attempts. I’ve been there. I probably voted for Carter, but no Democrat before that. I was a part of the ultraleft for years, until I realized that the strategy of calling for revolution from the sidelines wasn’t effective. In order to win over the people to a socialist perspective, we need to be where the masses of people are, and at this point, like it or not, that’s the Democratic Party.

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