What’s At Stake in the Democratic Primaries: Beating Trump
There is only one person running who can beat Donald Trump, and that is the Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. All hands need to be on deck, and that means choosing the one candidate who can turn things around.
The primary season is the time to consider not only what kind of president will defeat Donald Trump but also what kind of country we envision. The primary campaign season needs to be about inclusiveness and diversity over unity, the very message that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez conveyed at the November 8, 2019 rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The rally, which drew 2400 people at Iowa Western Community College, was the largest of any candidate in Iowa to date for the 2020 election.
There is a reason for that enthusiasm. Bernie Sanders has a movement around him, and that movement in turn comes from a profound sense of hope for a world of peace and justice. As Bob Dylan sang during the most tumultuous generational upheaval in US history, “Come gather ‘round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown.” Now, once again, “The Times They Are A-Changin.’” This is the time to heed Dylan’s call, no matter that it’s well over half a century later.
If other candidates are truly interested in forestalling or curing the atrocious human rights injustices that Trump has already wrought — and will continue to wreak — on the border and elsewhere, they should support Sanders. Why? because he is the only one up there with the wherewithal and movement behind him to actually implement democracy in the USA.
Bernie Sanders is the only candidate running who has a litmus test for Supreme Court judges of upholding Roe V. Wade. Women’s rights are human rights, and on this there can be no turning back. And, we certainly do not need more homophobia, Islamophobia and antisemitism that have been exacerbated under Trump. Under Trump’s watch, there has been an increase in antisemitic synagogue attacks and anti-black racist acts of violence. There have been atrocities against the immigrant population, and horrific killings of transgender women, especially women of color.
Yes, many problems began much earlier in US history, but they have increased under Trump, and set the groundwork for his mendacious, hateful rhetoric and acts. By sharp contrast, Sanders’ campaign and his plan for the USA is all about inclusiveness and diversity.
This is precisely why the US needs Bernie Sanders in order to change course.
USA in Transition
The lives of many people — young people, but also those of color, the elderly, and many others — have been abysmal for decades. People want out from this misery. They need an economy that works for all, rather than just the one percent. People seek a system of justice — not endless punishment — especially when those made to suffer are overwhelmingly black and brown people, or immigrants especially those of color.
The people aspire to authentic national greatness, not jingoist posturing. For this, attention will have to be given to social and cultural infrastructure, the environment and education.
Bernie Sanders is not just a democratic socialist running for president — He represents a political revolution that will transform the nation into one of beauty, equality and kindness, a true example to the world —As a champion of the Green New Deal, Sanders has long recognized that environmental justice is the greatest challenge facing humanity, and there is more.
Why Bernie Sanders is a game-changer
Bernie Sanders stands out from the rest because,
- He has stood his ground on civil rights for well over half a century. He fought racism when, as a student at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s, he was part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Chairman of UC’s CORE (Congress for Racial Equality).
- Bernie Sanders has stood up for the LGBTQ community since 1983, which included Burlington’s first ever Gay Rights Parade. In the 1990s, Sanders, as US Representative, voted, along with only 81 members of Congress, against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
- Senator Sanders stands unique among all the other candidates in having a mass movement behind him. His choice of co-chairs, from former Ohio State Senator and CNN commentator Nina Turner and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín-Cruz, denotes his abiding commitment to diversity.
Bernie Sanders’ program is not just a political platform — It is a movement for social, economic, cultural and racial justice. This includes equal rights for those with disabilities, as well as Native Americans and others who have been historically marginalized. Sanders is proposing a democratic-socialist governance that honors all human beings, as well as the earth on which we live and must preserve for future generations. This will take a rethinking of our relationship to nature, to other living creatures, and to one another.
The stakes have never been higher.
If Donald Trump wins again, we will be faced with further anti-immigrant repression, more concentration camps on the border, racism and demonization of marginalized groups. Plus, another four — or more — years of the climate-change denier-in-chief would also hasten catastrophic events on human society warned about by our scientists.
People clamoring for “unity” when the primaries are still going on are missing the point — The mass media in the USA is powerful in its exhortations to go with those who promise to beat Trump armed only with the status quo.
But we need not drink the koolaid that it peddles. It’s not too late to create the shining democracy that we all deserve.