With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Somebody help me here. What's up with the 'Let-Trump-Win' strategy?

As readers of this blog know, I am a Sanders supporter and have been among the loudest critics of Hillary Clinton and the regular Democratic Party for many years, especially around education reform issues.

I supported Fanny Lou Hamer's Mississippi Freedom Democrats when they tried to get seated at the '64 and '68 conventions. I was one of the thousands in the streets at the 1968 Convention when we faced a "police riot" and turned Chicago and Mayor Daley's Democratic machine upside down protesting the war and racism. The Democrats were definitely the war party back then and the party of racial segregation in the South. Hubert Humphrey was their candidate -- not ours.

Some say our protests handed the election to Nixon. I doubt it. But I'll own part of it.

So why am I having such a hard time understanding some of my die-hard lefty/progressive friends in Philly? (Long sentence coming. Hold your breath). 

1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago
Why would you go into the Democratic Party behind Bernie Sanders' highly successful and dynamic campaign in the first place, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of young activists around key issues (Fight For 15), win significant battles (not all) with DNC regulars in the Platform Committee (including on the education plank), super-delegates, force the removal of the DNC chair, cheer ecstatically the speeches of the party stalwarts (Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker), and then announce to the press that, despite Bernie's endorsement, you are not going to support the party's candidates vs. Trump/Pence?

Clearest articulation of the let-Trump-win strategy is perpetual Green Party candidate Jill Stein
I hope Dr. Stein can explain the connection between a victory for a neo-fascist Trump regime and the establishment of people power behind the White Green Party. I can't see it.

One friend on Twitter argued that they couldn't trust Hillary to follow through on what has been called "the most progressive platform in party history."

They're right. As the polls clearly show, HRC is not trustworthy. But politics is not a spectator sport. No matter who wins the election, the struggle continues after November. You've gone in and shaped a platform worth defending, despite its lackings (no courage within the party to even mention the plight of the Palestinians).

So tell me why not carry the struggle through?


  1. You are right. It is crazy talk to suggest electing Trump will advance a progressive agenda. This tired old ultra-leftist view that you need to increase pain on the working class to get them to rise up is crap, and usually advanced by children of the wealthy who will never suffer the consequences of their misguided actions. We need to elect Hillary and continue fighting for the progressive agenda that Bernie and his followers have advanced.

  2. Mike, your argument is strong. But the devil is in the details. How do we campaign for HRC and keep the Bernie Revolution strong? The fact is we are stronger than Trump or HRC as a movement but fell short by treachery in the GOTV movement. I personally will Get Out The Vote campaign for HRC only if I am allowed to say to the the potential voters I am a die hard Bernie supporter who strongly opposes Trump Fascism, but supports the progressive measures of the Dem Platform--and that I am not a HRC supporter. I would invite them to support our revolution even while HRC is President. Mike, we both fought for a revolution in past lives and know its no picnic. And I believe this is a chance to win a non-violent "Revolution" with a movement. We don't have to apologize to HRC if we tell voters the truth--She sux but she needs our movement and to support our programs if she wants to defeat Trump. She's not movement--she's our fascist blocker--if she wins. You say keep struggling no matter who wins and I agree. We must not lose our momentum to the GOTV movement, which suppresses public movement activities like rallies, marches, public support event, etc. to phone calling and door knocking. I know because I was the #1 phone caller and canvasser in the state of AZ and did all the public movement events sponsored by movement people too. I am the foot soldier of revolution, and that's what we need to keep our movement alive. Dust off those OL(d) notebooks Chariman Mike and help build and lead the new "Revolution. Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

    1. It wasn't the DNC's treachery that cost Bernie the nomination (although it helped). It was the fact that Hillary pulled 95% of the black vote throughout the South and in northern cities. I believe that will be Trump's downfall as well... And yes, I'm still daring to struggle and daring to win but not the chairman of anything. So just call me Mike.

  3. Bernie threw in the towel too soon and settled for too little. By endorsing Hillary before the Convention began, he cut the legs off his own movement. Bernie should have waited until all delegate votes were counted Tues. night before endorsing H. That would have put more pressure on H and her crew to make genuine progressive concessions on the Platform and in the Rules Committee. Once Bernie came out for H, there was no leverage for him and his movement. H got what she very badly needed, a sterling full-throated endorsement from Bernie who urged his folks not to demonstrate and also urged voting for H. Bernie gave away too much too early and left his 1900 delegates and his movement adrift.

    1. Ira,
      You mean you support the endorsement but by making it a few days early he "cut the legs off" the movement? I don't agree. In fact, you seem to contradict yourself in your second comment (reposted from FB). Also, I thought Sanders' people won the fight in the rules committee. Am I wrong? Plus sent the head of the DNC packing. They certainly won some important battles on the platform. Maybe not a r-r-r-revolution but still.

  4. Lots of anger and sadness along with determination to keep going in a volatile mix impossible to predict. Bernie is now touting a new org he calls Our Revolution to keep the action going. Not clear what that will be but some consolidation of progressive Bernie folks absolutely needed to keep pressure on Pres. Hillary once she takes office Jan. 20.

  5. Jerry, You know you're getting old when you mistake a Democratic Party political campaign for a "revolution".

  6. I understand Jill Stein's sentiment and somewhat feel the same way. As long as we Democrats allow the DNC to run marginal candidates they will continue to offer us neoliberals. Let Trump get in and allow all of us a taste of the hate for 4 years and then bring us another Bernie Sanders. I don't know if I'll even vote for a president this coming election. I may fill out the rest of the ballot and leave the presidential box blank.

  7. You continue the revolution by running for office and supporting candidates that share Bernie's ideas. You honor Bernie by changing the composition of Congress so that the next Progressive candidate can get things done. It will be much easier to accomplish this under Hillary Clinton than it will under Donald Trump. At the same time you'll be protecting people of color, the elderly, the disabled, our veterans, and our natural resources.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.