Tuesday, March 01, 2016
What main limitations do you see in Sanders’ campaign?
"The Sanders’ campaign, of course, is easily disparaged as one-dimensional: his foreign policy positions, for example, are disappointingly unclear and in many respects little different from Clinton’s. His specific economic reforms are also less radical than they seem. Breaking up the Big Banks, for example, is the Progressivism of La Follette and George Norris (great 1930s liberal Republicans) redux; socialists would propose instead to nationalize them as public utilities. He would tax the superwealthy at the same levels as LBJ but less than Eisenhower. Moreover, he has carefully sidestepped traditional left demands for reductions in military spending and abolition of the surveillance state. And his employment strategy (the right to a decent job was the cornerstone of FDR’s program) is timid and unoriginal: all recent Democrats have routinely and without conviction advocated job creation through infrastructure investment. Hardly a remedy for permanent stagflation.
Despite this, Sanders provides the partial template – even if cobbled together from New Deal era policies – for a politics that corresponds both to the equal-opportunity values and survival-economic needs of the new majority. The missing link, apart from a genuinely progressive foreign policy critique, is obviously his reluctance to acknowledge the structural persistence of racism beyond the catastrophe of mass incarceration. The resegregation of public education and the fiscal destruction of non-white majority cities are two giant issues crying out to be addressed. Young people trust Sanders to defend Dreamers and their parents, but it is unlikely that his campaign will produce a policy even remotely as radical as Pope Frances’s insistence on the priority of human rights over national sovereignty. But no matter, old granite face has accomplished far more than anyone would have conceived possible and its up to the movement, embryonic in the campaign, to take up the long game of coordinating labor organizing, rights campaigns and electoral insurgency." — Mike Davis