The United Front has been the primary mechanism of leftists to gain power for the last century. Where would China be today if it weren’t for Mao uniting with Chang-kai Shek to defeat the Japanese? Struggle with, struggle against, is the time honored principle. One of the main attractions of the united front for leftists is it puts us in contact with what we used to call “the center,” the people who haven’t heard much about our program and strategy. In this way, we build the left; beats all hell out of talking to ourselves.
A united front is what the Democratic Party is right now. We’ve just come through the struggle-against phase. The left technically lost, but remains almost infinitely strengthened since a year ago, commanding some 45% of Democratic votes. Bernie also has the momentum. I know people say he lost because of voter fraud, but that’s a given in U. S. politics and Bernie knows this. Two internal reasons he didn’t win: one, he should have joined the party at least 3 years ago and got his people on the DNC. Two, he should have targeted the Southern black vote way sooner than he did.
But it never was about the presidency. I was about taking over the Democratic Party from the beginning. Why else run as a Democrat? What if he’d run as an independent? We wouldn’t be talking about him anymore, that’s for sure.
You don’t want to split the united front just because your side lost a vote. The fact that we got even near this close to winning was a fucking miracle. Bernie has proven the effectiveness of his leadership over and over. He ran a competitive campaign without a Super PAC or taking money from corporate America. He raised an unprecedented amount of money from ordinary people is donations of $27. He dramatically shifted the conversation in the body politic to socialism, to single-payer, toward eliminating income and wealth inequality.
I think he has at least, by his spectacular leadership thus far, earned the right to the benefit of the doubt.
If we can leave our squeamishness about real politics behind and build the coalition against Trump, we will be the most powerful voice in the country. Trump = racism. What an opportunity to go head to head with the personification of racism? It we – Bernie’s movement – can get not only the Democratic ticket elected president, but also help retake the Senate and House, we will be the leaders of the party, not Hillary’s people. Bernie, regardless of his title, will be king of the Senate.
The Greens will be a part of that coalition against Racism/Trump, and maybe that’s why Cornel West endorsed Jill. So this is an opportunity to build the Green Party as a viable alternative, in the deep blue states, California, New York, but maybe not campaign in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the swing states where the Greens could split the anti-Trump vote. There are sophisticated strategies that can take full advantage of the position of power that our movement, divided as it is, has earned.
United fronts generally coalesce around a program or a series of demands: “Peace, Bread, Land” in 1917 Russia. “End the war” in the 1960s. The program that we are coalescing around in our united front is the Party platform, most of which came from the Sanders Campaign: Free college, Public option, No TPP, Wall St. regulation.
Let’s see where Bernie takes us before we jump off the train.