DNC Post #6: Bernie Delegate Walkouts, Radicalism Discussions

28 07 2016

The Bernie national delegates have been staging protests by walking out of the convention.  Many of the Bernie delegates were out and about today and given podiums and mics to speak about their experiences on the inside.  Delegates claimed that after the protest walk out before Bill Clinton spoke, during the speech people were seen being ushered into the building to fill in the empty seats.  When delegates went back in to reclaim their seats there were others sitting in them.  By the time Bills speech was over the place had been filled again and to a TV audience all was well.  Just one of the many things you don’t get the sense of when watching at home.


The crowds have thinned out some in Philly but the ones who are staying are growing more disgruntled by the day.  They witness the values of this convention in person being drastically different from what is happening over the barricades and fences outside on the streets.  On TV it all looks like a grand affair; an entertaining and unity building event.  One might as well be watching the Oscars.  And this is what’s pissing people in the streets off.  They see it as yet again another dramatic manipulation and display of what the media can present to you when the reality is so much different.  Nobody is unified.  Nobody on the streets is advocating for Hillary.  There is a grand disconnect between what is happening on the inside vs what is happening outside.  It is two different worlds.  How long will this go on for?  Would people watching at home be mad or made to feel uncomfortable if they witnessed this extreme difference?  As the days go by, it reminds me more and more of what I would read about in history books.  The last days of a regime and the disconnect the ruling class had with its constituents.


The panel discussions and street conversations and activist speeches are filled with perspectives that there is a radicalism taking place in America put on by both parties.  The neoliberal capitalist in Clinton vs fascism in Trump.  Both leaders will be war mongering, imperialist and racism driven, corporate, capitalist leaders.  The consistencies with both of them is that they are both taking capitalism further to the end.  And this isn’t an end that gradually turns into something else.  It is an end that ends at a cliff and we all fall off.  There is no transitional strategy in place for the problems associated with corporatization, militarization abroad and locally, the student debt crisis, the housing crisis, the new wall street bubbles that have re-formed, climate and environmental crisis, the immigration crisis, the labor crisis with the implementation of the TPP, among many other things.  How will either one of these leaders not aggressively perpetuate these problems?  Few claim that Hillary is the short term answer while many others claim the system has created Trump, and people like him will only grow more entitled and more monstrous as the years pass if we don’t make big changes.  No matter what candidate wins, there seems agreement in the activist and movement leadership communities that there will be a fascist backlash.  It is the system as a whole that is leading us into our own doom and neither Republican or Democratic candidate as they are right now can keep us from falling off that cliff.


Talking to people who have gone to both the RNC and the DNC they claim that the RNC was like the comments section of the internet.  In Cleveland, there were lots of people taking advantage of the state’s open carry gun laws.  There was the open carry new Black Panther Party.  There were random guys and full on militias walking around with AK-47s, there were massive amounts of cops at every corner, there were anarchists, there were gay conservative groups, there were neo-Nazis, there were cops targeting people ahead of time.  All of these groups were deeply confronting each other and it was intense.  A few of the anarchist groups were even rounded up and led on a march out of town where the cops left them out in the middle of nowhere.


The DNC had a different flavor and the far left anarchist groups felt more comfortable.  However, there was a lot more barriers, rows of fences, security gates, and separation between what was happening inside the DNC vs on the streets.  At the RNC there wasn’t this separation.  You could go up very close to the convention and the people inside were representative of the values and issues of who was on the outside cruising around the streets (minus the anarchists of course).  The DNC has been very different.  It has been a show put on by the insider political class and very separate from the political activism going on in the streets.  This greatly irks people and is seen as Orwellian oppression.  At least the people in the streets at the RNC feel represented by what’s happening on the inside.  The RNC is only scary to people on the left.  The left is scared by their own side and Hillary Clinton and her activists inside the building, who are leading the party, are nowhere to be seen on the outside.  What is to be done about this?


The responsibility lays on the shoulders of all of us to do something about this.  Democrats are already pointing fingers at Bernie supporters if Trump wins and Bernie supporters are already saying how Bernie could have steamrolled Trump based on the polls and that the Dems now have their own battle to fight.  Right now the mass populous movement on the left is uniting against Trump and Hillary.  They will not cater to extremism.  They will not cater to not being talked to and they believe Hillary Clinton and Dems are above the system.  Their vote will not be held hostage by a party that’s just assuming they will vote for them when, on paper, it is easy to see how they’ve actually worked against the interests of these same people on the left.  A vote is an important thing and will only be throw to a candidate that speaks to people.  If that vote isn’t catered to then that vote will not go to the presumed leftish candidate.  It is a simple thing for Hillary Clinton to do.  She needs to come and meet her left base where they are at.  She needs to speak genuinely to them and repair the awful relationship that has happened up till this point.  There is a sense that the Democratic political class is privileged and has no care for the common voter on the left.  This is similar to white privilege.  Why would Black people go along with what white culture would want them to do when they don’t have their interests at heart or authenticity to rely on?  Privilege is privilege whether it’s political or racial.  If nothing is done, millions upon millions of people on the left will not vote for Hillary Clinton.


The first step in repairing this relationship is that Hillary Clinton and establishment liberal democrats need to admit openly that there is a major problem to the current system.  That the current system will not be the solution.  That Bernie Sanders really started us on a pathway that we have no choice but to follow; an alarm that was sounded for things to more aggressively come if we don’t step up to the plate now to deal with the issues.  The solutions are to go back to the basics of positive human interaction.  We need to invest in each other authentically and we need to listen to each other.  Electoral politics can be done authentically.  All of us on the left need to move one step farther to the left than we already are.  Moderates need to be liberals/Democrats, Democrats need to become progressives, progressives need to become revolutionaries, and we all need to work to undermine the whole world of the right.  Pertaining to the left and common people and the working and poor and minority classes, what works for everybody is what works for everybody.  Intersectionality needs to be a major emphasis.  We all need to support each other’s movements and absolutely become more involved in movement work as we are only as strong as them.  We need to lift up people who are responsible for social justice movements.  If we don’t do this and give our vote to the status quo, corporations win, militarization wins, racism wins, fascism wins.  We have to direct our efforts instead to people power and we have to do it instantly.  There are but a few months left for the Democratic Party to not be labeled as completely part of the problem.  The ball is in their court.








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