Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

February 07, 2016

An Alien Non-Resident's Perspective on US Presidential contest THE SANDERS CAMPAIGN by A. Taylor, Sun. Feb. 07, 2016


It is important to recall now in the 2016 Hillary-Sanders Primary Contest that Barack Obama also came up from behind in 2008, an obscure senator on the margins whose campaign avoided using public campaign funds raising its money privately from individual donors via BarackObama.com. Sanders' campaign has real reasons for its ascendancy. Hillary Clinton in 2007-8 and 2015-16 had a huge weakness going into the primary that ought to be clear to pundits— Hillary had voted to authorize the Iraq war, a war the Democrat base hates. Sanders like Obama opposed the Iraq war and so like Obama had an advantage over Hillary Clinton. Likewise with the growth in US govt surveillance: Hillary was a great booster of The Patriot Act while Sanders opposed it. In many ways 2016 is a re-play of the distaste of the Democratic base with Hillary's neocon foreign policy. And since 2008 the Democratic party base has had a distaste for the Bailout of the Banks and Hi-Finance by Obama.
The Occupy Movement of the 99% versus the 1% has traction in the Democratic Party. Here again Hillary's profile is out of tune with the mood of the Democratic party base: Hillary voted to bail-out the banks, while in the Senate, Sanders in 2009 voted against the bailout. Hillary Clinton is joined at the hip to Wall Street while Sanders has always criticised its excesses and calls for reforms.
Note that Obama in office was either unable or unwilling to push a pro-peace and 'break-up-the-banks' agenda because of the shape and structure of deep state US Corporate domestic and foreign policy interests. It is one thing to run as a progressive populist highlighting Hillary's ties to the anti-people policy of the Corporate and corporate military industrial complex. It is an entirely different thing to actually possess the power as a mere elected American president to actually thwart the design, to prevail against the very warp and woof of established US domestic and foreign policies of finance Capital - the political economy of American imperialism.
Is it a "good thing" that populist candidates such as Obama 2008 and Sanders 2016 highlight the anti-people character of US foreign and domestic policies? It is a good thing. Is it enough in order to organise for fundamental change? No it is not.

The tougher deeper matter is whether the populist campaigning by these upstart populist senators (Obama from Illinois 2008/ Sanders from Vermont 2016) against what is characterised as the excesses of corporate America can actually reverse by a presidential election the basic direction and character of the domestic and foreign policy of the United States. I do not believe a populist progressive election victory by a left-leaning Democrat can effect fundamental change in the domestic and foreign policy of the United States.
I believe that only a mighty movement ready to face off with Monopoly Capital can possibly prevail against that established disorder called the United States of America.
And a people's movement with that level of revolutionary consciousness is not leading the Sanders Campaign of 2016. It comes down to this: Sanders believes in America as the strongest nation on earth, the strongest military presence on earth - and he has said so. Sanders for all his valid criticisms of what he views as the excesses of America doesn’t question why the United States has the right to dictate policy to the other nations of the earth. Sanders for all his valid questioning of US ruling-class Home and Foreign policies has always collaborated within the rotten system, collaborated with the Democratic Party. And thither he leads his flock.
Sanders' record lacks the candid denunciation of the American system's exploitation and oppression of Black America since its emergence as a racist capitalist reactionary independent state in 1776. If elected to the office of president of the United States would Bernie Sanders embody the class-power of the Movement necessary to actually fight the System and enact a peace and anti-Monopoly agenda against the class-interests of deep state US Corporate domestic and foreign policy interests?
Sanders has no intention to challenge the domestic and foreign global capitalist system. Nor by the wildest stretch of the imagination could he do so as a President of The United States of America. He believes he can maintain capitalist imperialist America as No. One in the world while making its reign beneficent. I think this is a folly.

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