Drown Sanders and Strangle Self-determination: What the Rich Will Do to Stay in Power
The corporate Democrats are flooding the presidential race with professional servants of the rich to drown Sanders and his loyal base of support.
“The Black left, will have to challenge the monopoly on wealth and power held by the white capitalist oligarchs.”
Texas House Democrat Beto O’Rourke is the latest to enter the Democratic Party primary. O’Rourke is the young white knight of the oligarchic capitalist class. His losing bid to Ted Cruz in the 2018 election garnered significant attention from the corporate media. O’Rourke represents one of two main pillars for preserving the rule of the rich in this period of terminal capitalist crisis. The rich are attempting to drown Bernie Sanders while maintaining their ongoing effort to strangle the self-determination of the oppressed at home and abroad.
The first pillar, flooding the presidential race, is evidenced by the host of candidates that have decided to challenge Sanders in the primary. O’Rourke is but one of many who seek to undermine the popularity and appeal of the Sanders campaign with the Democratic Party base. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar offer their own flavor of ruling class appeal. Klobucher has pledged to oppose policies that Democratic Party voters have polled to favor in large majorities such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Early favorite Kamala Harris has a political record akin to that of Hillary Clinton when it comes to locking up Black Americans in prison and serving the interests of the Wall Street oligarchy. Cory Booker is to the right of Obama and his pockets are plenty full of cash from education privatizers, corporate pharmaceuticals, and AIPAC. For these reasons, Harris, Klobuchar, or Booker have been unable to break the widespread support of Sanders by his loyal followers.
“O’Rourke represents one of two main pillars for preserving the rule of the rich in this period of terminal capitalist crisis.”
This was to be expected, as Sanders remained the most popular politician in the country long after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) destroyed his 2016 primary campaign. Over the last four years, the Democratic Party has proven incapable of recovering from Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. Democratic Party elites have screamed “Russia did it” and have blamed everyone to the left of Hillary Clinton for her loss. Beto O’Rourke, who some donors have proclaimed “white Obama,” is the latest Democratic Party operative tasked with the assignment of weakening Bernie Sanders. The hope is that O’Rourke and maybe Biden enter early enough in the race to render Sanders even more vulnerable to the direct attacks from the DNC that are surely to come as the primaries move forward.
Beto O’Rourke personifies in a candidate what the corporate Democratic Party represents at this juncture of U.S. imperialism; that is, a Republican wolf in fox clothing. And like so many Democratic Party elites, O’Rourke says very little while ignoring his long record of service to the ultra-rich. O’Rourke’s credentials all but explain why the ruling class drools over the prospect of his nomination to the Democratic Party ticket in 2020. According to an analysis in The Guardian,
“Democratic Party elites have screamed ‘Russia did it’ and blamed everyone to the left of Hillary Clinton for her loss.”
Consumer, environmental, public health and civil rights organizations have cast legislation backed by O’Rourke as aiding big banks, undermining the fight against climate change and supporting Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. During the previous administration, Barack Obama’s White House issued statements slamming two GOP bills backed by the 46-year-old Democratic legislator.
This includes backing policies that weakened protections for home mortgage borrowers, sought to lift the ban on oil exports linked to environmentally costly fossil fuels, and eroded key aspects of the corporate-friendly Affordable Care Act (ACA) from the right,all to the chagrin of the Democratic Party.
Whether O’Rourke can truly challenge Sanders remains to be seen but his record and nine-million-dollar net worth certainly places him at odds with most Democratic voters. Eighty percent of Democrats want a Green New Deal. Even more than that want Medicare for All.More and more Democrats are weary of war, which explains why Tulsi Gabbard has been viciously attacked by the corporate media from the first day that she announced her campaign. Workers, poor people, and even much of what used to be considered the mythical “middle-class” are hungry for relief. The Democratic Party cannot reconcile its internal contradictions and has thus placed much of its focus on strangling the self-determination of nations abroad through military means.
“Tulsi Gabbard has been viciously attacked by the corporate media.”
The Democratic Party is the War Party, a position in the ruling class that it snatched from the White Man’s Republican Party for good after the election of Barack Obama. There is no room in the War Party for anti-war sentiments. Gabbard has been ruthlessly attacked at every turn by the corporate media and pressured repeatedly to adopt the language of the imperialists on the issue of Syria. The so-called “leftish” Democrats in Congress such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib have felt even more compelled to brandish their pro-war cards to the Democratic establishment on the issue of Syria. In a pair of tweets, both Omar and Talib, who have faced harsh and potentially career-ending threats from Zionist forces in Congress for their critiques of AIPAC and support for Venezuela, celebrated the “anniversary” of the U.S.-led proxy war in Syria. Omar and Talib labeled the U.S.-led war in Syria a “revolution”despite piles of evidence that the U.S., Israel, and its Gulf allies have provided ample financial and military support to the hundreds of thousands of foreign jihadist head choppers that have flooded the border since 2011.
The leftish Democrats’ inconsistent foreign policy reveals that the historic role of Social Democrats in the epoch of imperialism is to strangle self-determination and preserve the integrity of the existing order. Social Democrats clamor for reform but inevitably betray the downtrodden masses suffering from the worst excesses of imperialism. Their model of social change depends on it. Social democrats rely upon a narrow “bread and butter” mentality whereby anything goes so long as reform improves the condition of the fair skinned working classes without transforming the conditions that exploit the entire working-class. In times of war, social democrats have a long history of siding with the colonial power instead of the oppressed under the illusion that colonialism will forever pay them dividends.
“Eighty percent of Democrats want a Green New Deal and even more than that want Medicare for All.”
In the 20thcentury, social democrats denounced the Soviet Union and China as totalitarian regimes. Today, social democrats denounce Syria, the DPRK, and nations targeted by imperialism as “authoritarian dictatorships.” Ocasio-Cortez called Venezuela a “failed state” and a battle between “democracy” and “authoritarianism” but has refused to release a coherent statement opposing the U.S. coup plot to install Juan Guaido free of any democratic process. In this period of capitalist crisis, social democracy has become a radical tendency in the United States. New Deal politics, once “common sense” among at least a section of workers, are suddenly being labeled “socialist” or “democratic socialist.” The new radical chic of social democracy hasn’t helped Venezuela or Syria. Both nations have received little support from even the most leftist elements of the Democratic Party especially when compared to the hostility that Pelosi and her ilk have materialized into actual policy against the socialist nation.
The strategy for the ruling class in the next election cycle is clear. Sanders and the so-called social democratic elements in the party will be contained by the corporate Democratic apparatus, which comprises of the party’s entire infrastructure. Corporate war mongers such as Beto O’Rourke and Joe Biden will compete for the DNC’s blessing. All the while, Venezuela, Syria, and much of the planet will face the threat of U.S. warfare through the remaining months of Trump’s term and beyond. Even with Congresswoman Omar’s dignified stance against the coup attempt in Venezuela and AIPAC, her stance on Syria makes clear that the Arab nation still represents the line drawn by the ruling class that no Democrat is willing to cross. This means that war is always on the table and that the left, especially the Black left, will have to assist the increasingly impoverished masses in charting a course independent of the Democratic Party in order to truly challenge the monopoly on wealth and power held by the white capitalist oligarchs represented by the two-party state.
“The new radical chic of social democracy hasn’t helped Venezuela or Syria.”
The two primary political mechanisms for preserving the rule of the rich must thus be challenged with a political strategy of our own. Imperialism is the enemy of the people. Black people stand to benefit from Sanders’ proposals for healthcare, jobs, and a living wage but stand to lose when he and the rest of the leftish wing of the Democrats fail to stand up against the barbarism of the war machine. The corporate Democrats are desperately flooding the primary with the likes of Booker, Harris, O’Rourke and likely Biden to drown Sanders and his loyal base of support. However, the people of the world must be defended from all political tendencies that seek to reinforce their misery and thus the misery of the Black poor in the U.S. These ends can be achieved at the same time. But if we follow the words and deeds of the social democrats, then we would never know it.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the forthcoming book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing, Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 ). He can be reached at [email protected].
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