The coup in Bolivia and the Bernie Sanders campaign were in your thoughts this week. We share your letters for “Bolivia Coup is Rooted in White Racist Backlash,” “The End of Sanders, and Maybe the Beginning of a Mass Independent Left,” and “The Cognitive Dissonance of “Democratic Socialists”— Cults Die a Slow Death.”
In the radio segment “Bolivia Coup is Rooted in White Racist Backlash” Dr. Tathagatan Ravindran argues that the “coup has to do with the racist backlash against President Evo Morales and the whole process of indigenous revalorization and empowerment.”
Kweli Ngumu writes:
“Have you wondered why Colombia and Bolivia have been given a free pass on narco-trafficking by the global cop despite being the world's leading cocaine producers and distributors? Meanwhile, Venezuela is the latest and improbable target of this new witch hunting. Does Manuel Noriega of Panama ring a bell? America's gangster tactics never cease to amaze.”
In “The End of Sanders, and Maybe the Beginning of a Mass Independent Left” Glen Ford argues that Sanders blatant sheepdogging and the contradictions of US capitalism laid bare by Covid may lead to political unrest not seen since the 1960s.
Roger Hoffman writes:
“Well written. It's a harsh perspective, but not undeserved. As for ‘Sheepdog’...I've defended him against such accusations over the last 4 years; largely because it implies that he knowingly and willingly played that role, with expert deception in it. I don't really buy that.
“Instead, I see that he was the victim of his own guilelessness -- too willing to actually believe that the D's would give him a fair shot; and that he made a terrible decision (to run as a D in the 1st place) based on a reasonable but erroneous conclusion that as an Independent he could only increase the likelihood of a Trump (re)election.
“While that was not an unreasonable conclusion, I wish he'd been less timid and done it, because I firmly believe that he'd have beaten both Trump and Biden in a 3-way match.
No matter now. We can debate about his intentions or whether in the long run they even matter, given that effectively he is reduced to sheepdog again. That is tragic, for while reasonable and well-intentioned people can draw different conclusions about lesser-evilism, he has effectively lost much credibility with those who will not go there with him. It's a sad end and it could have been so much different.”
Marcia Erickson writes:
“I am a 70 year old white woman who has waited a LONG time for the party to show any inklings at all of leftist leanings. Though it is frustrating to hear what is being said about Bernie in Socialist press (he’s just not PURE enough) his rise in popularity gave me hope for the first time in about 40 years of disappointment in the DFL.
That hope was encouraged by the advancement of some of his ‘philosophy’ showing up in Democratic candidates agendas, and in the press’s inability to entirely ignore or stifle the ideas being advanced. 2016 was a huge wake-up call for me—-the grotesque manipulations of the party ( that prompted calls for the elimination of the electoral college) and its cowardly and desperate maligning of all ideas and candidates who challenged the corporate stranglehold on this perpetually illusory democracy.
The continued, renewed, and rabid recreation of those SAME tactics in 2020, the duplicity, the fear mongering, the intransigency, has pretty much sealed off any likelihood that I will tolerate holding my nose through, yet again, another election. And yet, as in all years past and for all the same reasons, I must do so again. Because the alternative is ....... unimaginable. Because there IS no alternative route.
“When I commiserated with an older sibling she demurred, ‘These things take time. The nation isn’t ready for such a change right now.’ I simply cannot imagine a better time. I cannot imagine how bad things HAVE to get before we acknowledge and ACT on the need for change. And WHAT has this party actually done to ADVANCE the causes of people of color? What has it DONE to actually EARN their loyalty? Shot down in the streets, shot down in the courts, shot down in the housing and banking markets, shot down in personnel offices , cheated out of jobs and wages commensurate with their skills and value as workers. Civil liberties further eroded. Regulations designed to protect us all from dirty food, dirty air, dirty water, totally disappeared. And NOW a full out assault on any means of making one’s opinion known to those obligated or ACT, talks of shutting down CONGRESS itself! Apparently it’s not enough that this regime has engaged in vigorously purging voter rolls, closing polling sites, blocking legislation on vote by mail, defunding the postal service to close off THAT avenue so that elections CANNOT EVEN HAPPEN and NEITHER can mass protests!
“If all THAT is not enough THIS CORPORATE DFL has handed us a presidential candidate who is absolutely the LEAST presidential of any of the fine candidates who graced that DFL debate stage: a war mongering, big bank loving, woman abusing, extortionist who bragged about doing to the Ukraine EXACTLY what Trump was impeached for.”
“The Cognitive Dissonance of “Democratic Socialists”— Cults Die a Slow Death” by Quetzal Cáceres critiques Democratic Socialists of America and Jacobin Magazine for absolving Bernie Sanders for his capitulation to the Washington establishment.
Dave Peterson writes:
“As Glen Ford aptly pointed out, this was the point in time where Bernie could have asserted himself forcefully and comprehensively. Instead, he chose the safe path. Sad. The measure of integrity is to take the heat and stand strong, particularly in times as scary as these. Better to live in infamy with solid credentials than to become a surrogate for Obiden! The struggle continues…”
Isaac Daniel writes:
“I blame him. Yet my support for the policies he once believed in continues. I will never follow anyone blindly. He sold out, he can go scratch.”
Doug Mann writes:
“The blame-anyone-other-than-Sanders crowd are, for the most part, devoted to a strategy of reforming / taking over the Democratic Party and not necessarily ‘cult’ followers of Sanders. Sanders played the inside game the way it is supposed to be played if the goal of the campaign is to unify the Party rather than to fight for the platform that made Sanders a contender for the nomination. One can push a social democratic platform only so far before the fight for it must be sacrificed at the alter of Party unity.”
Michael J. Germain writes:
“Sigh. Bernie did the best he could, given his point in life. Bernie in his forties and fifties was a different guy. It illustrates further how bankrupt the Democapitalists are. What I would like to know is an effective way to engage with local Greens. I have been actively involved in hard core style for 40 years, the local Greens are clueless about taking power. I ran for the state senate in a different life. I am considering doing so as a Green this year.”
The political crisis of our time continues to unfold. We must continue to work for ideas to help the people make sense of their frustrations and despair.
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