The electoral left went from the verge of victory to barely alive. How can we make it stop?
This is all fair and correct - particularly the second half talking about winning smaller local races and building power that way. If you're going the electoral route (or as part of a multi-front push), you do absolutely have to start local and small. Over time, those people then become the new body of the Dem party. Problem is, we don't seem to have time. But if we don't start somewhere, we'll be less well off and prepared when the next opportunity arises. 2020, Trump, Covid etc are all a massive opportunity for the left to be ushered into power, but there wasn't a base there that was built up over the last 20, 40, 60 years. We need to be ready next time. The future is bleak and only the left has a vision for that which doesn't end in mass death and suffering. The young people understand the situation because they're living it and seeing it first hand. Those ranks will only swell. But, to keep millions of disaffected from going fash or being tuned-out nihilists, you need to have an alternative that pushes for a just future that operates in the streets, workplaces, neighborhoods, and yes even in the "party" and elected offices. Bringing all these groups together, and all the fragmented de-centralized left groups that now exists IS possible. Assemble a platform (take Bernie's with some tweaks and amendments) that everyone thinks is at least good or a starting point and say this is what we are all for and pledge to support. Then let all those groups do their own things how they see fit. Don't dictate as a top-down org. It needs to be a coalition with autonomy for groups and individuals but shared vision. Everyone can take the path they see best fit to get there.
Sanders didn't win because of 'electability' he didn't win because the majority of dem voters don't like him. If he doesn't run, Biden doesn't run and we are not in this mess.
The left will be fine once the cult of personality surrounding "Bernie" goes away. The ideas are winning ideas, they poll well, the guy just can't deliver.
These are all great points but I think one big thing is missing: we must build the bench. You do mention primarying which is good, but what about actually winning against Republicans in areas that cannot always get an AOC? I'm uninterested in what the next presidential race looks like for the left right now; what are we doing to get progressives into state houses and city councils? It does not help to deny the reality of how difficult it is to get progressives in a red area - look what happened with Bernie and Warren's camps. The south, and black voters, rejected them.
And poll after poll has shown that progressive policies are popular - but people voted against BERNIE (and Liz for that matter), not his policies. We need to actually pay attention to purple and red areas and figure out what kind of progressives can win there, by running and winning small time races, before we can hope for a president that can do the same.
It's too late. If the damn virus came 3 months earlier it might have saved billions of lives; as is, it has locked in civilizational collapse. Either Trump wins and fails to fix the economy but manages to bail out big oil and fracking while the rest of the world can't act on climate change without Trump undermining them, or Biden wins and repeats Obama's playbook of failing to fix the economy while enriching his donors, he accomplishes nothing significant while totally discrediting the democrats on fixing the economy and hands the white house to someone who makes Trump look like a pussycat.
Either way the public will be pissed, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party times 100 with a government physically incapable of doing anything but handing trillions of dollars to the richest people in the country. We're already in failed state territory. The GOP is set on ensuring you can't sue your boss for murdering you with coronavirus, Trump wants to cut payroll taxes to encourage work even though 70% of unemployed people aren't getting any UI benefits, and Pelosi wants to bail out lobbyists. I'm literally counting the days until desperate hungry people decide who to blame and open fire. But knowing this country it will be whoever is the least responsible.
Very well done, Paul, but I don't think it's completely fair to say that Sanders has "disappeared" in the fight over the coronavirus aid bills, given that he almost single-handedly got the boosted unemployment benefits included in the bill and was extremely vocal about the corporate giveaways that he, as one Senator, was powerless to stop.
Agreed great piece. The frustrating thing for me as a dem primary voter is that those southern states DON'T MATTER in the general election. Who cares what south carolina dem voters want? Who cares about Jim Clyburn? He has no power via endorsement in the general election.That state is going to trump.
We should chose the primary candidate based on battlegound states, not southern states that are in Trumps' pocket. Sure, campaign there - appeal to all voters in all states...but don't pick your candidate based on a southern state!
If you are telling me, hey, Biden won Michigan and Ohio...okay. Fine, but wait until those battleground states primary before we anoint biden as a candidate.
But to basically wrap this up because he won big in SC and all the major news outlets being all like "WHOA HEY COMBACK KID - BIDEN WINS SC (A STATE FULL OF IGNORANT REDNECKS THAT WILL GO TO TRUMP ANYWAY) pisses me off.
Really enjoyed this piece, and I think your points are spot on.