Monday, February 15, 2016

Even Bernie Can't Fix What Ails America

My American son-in-law is a fierce supporter of Bernie Sanders. Like many young, educated Americans he sees Sanders as a "last chance"hope for reform. Chris Hedges doesn't see it their way.

No movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party. And the repeated failure of the American left to grasp the duplicitous game being played by the political elites has effectively neutered it as a political force. History, after all, should count for something.

The Democrats, like the Republicans, have no interest in genuine reform. They are wedded to corporate power. They are about appearance, not substance. They speak in the language of democracy, even liberal reform and populism, but doggedly block campaign finance reform and promote an array of policies, including new trade agreements, that disempower workers. They rig the elections, not only with money but also with so-called superdelegates—more than 700 delegates who are unbound among a total of more than 4,700 at the Democratic convention. Sanders may have received 60 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, but he came away with fewer of the state’s delegates than Clinton. This is a harbinger of the campaign to come.

The Democratic Party is a full partner in the corporate state. Yet Sanders, while critical of Hillary Clinton’s exorbitant speaking fees from firms such as Goldman Sachs, refuses to call out the party and—as Robert Scheer pointed out in a column in October—the Clintons for their role as handmaidens of Wall Street. For Sanders, it is a lie of omission, which is still a lie. And it is a lie that makes the Vermont senator complicit in the con game being played on the American electorate by the Democratic Party establishment.

Do Sanders’ supporters believe they can wrest power from the Democratic establishment and transform the party? Do they think the forces where real power lies—the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, corporations, the security and surveillance state—can be toppled by a Sanders campaign? Do they think the Democratic Party will allow itself to be ruled by democratic procedures? Do they not accept that with the destruction of organized labor and anti-war, civil rights and progressive movements—a destruction often orchestrated by security organs such as the FBI—the party has lurched so far to the right that it has remade itself into the old Republican Party?


VULT CULT said...

Short calling for open revolution, Sanders has to try.

That aside, if Clinton gets the nomination, we're definitely screwed. She along with all the other right-wing candidates in the Republican Party are definitely part of the establishment - the very thing that stands in the way of forward progress on a number of issues; tackling global warming being #1.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hedges is convinced that America is already in a pre-revolutionary state. He doesn't relish the idea given how revolutions generally go from bad to worse to horrible before they evolve into something stable. Unfortunately I believe he's right. Wish I didn't.