Socialist Worker

US—who will feel the After-Bern?

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2502

Sanders has achieved near-miraculous results for someone standing as a socialist

Sanders has achieved near-miraculous results for someone standing as a socialist. (Pic: Flickr/Michael Vadon)


It's the moment of truth for Bernie Sanders and his supporters in the United States.

It would take an extraordinary series of events to stop establishment candidate Hillary Clinton becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

One long shot is if Clinton is indicted on charges relating to her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

Sanders had some hopes of winning this week’s Democratic primary in Indiana. He says he will keep campaigning until the California primary on 7 June. But few believe he can succeed.

Sanders has achieved near-miraculous results for someone standing as a socialist.

Nine million people have voted for him so far. Hundreds of thousands of people have come to his rallies. Sanders has won 17 states and gained big majorities among people under 45 in nearly every state contest.

He has received 7.4 million individual campaign contributions, more than any candidate in presidential history at such a point.

He has been thwarted largely because of Clinton’s control of the party hierarchy.

The vast majority of unelected “superdelegates” will vote for her at the party convention, and most trade union leaders and black party officials promoted her.

And there is pressure to choose a “realistic” Democratic candidate to beat hard right potential Republican candidates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in November’s presidential vote.

But more importantly than the candidate is the birth of a movement.

Where will it go when Sanders cannot be the Democratic Party choice? Sanders has repeatedly stated that if he loses he will back Clinton.

Lure 

But many of his supporters say it’s “Bernie or bust”—that they will only vote Democrat if Sanders is the candidate. There are signs that Sanders is now trying to lure them back into the fold.

Recently he declared, “This campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform.”

Such a perspective is a slow-burn move towards endorsing Clinton.

The struggle for the platform—which will not bind Clinton—is the gateway drug to the full-on vote Clinton experience.

Sanders supporters must not go down this road.

As an extraordinary article in the New York Times recently pointed out, neither blustering Republican frontrunner has “demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has”.

It called her the “last true hawk left in the race”.

The Democratic Party is an unreformable pro-imperialist and pro-capitalist party.

A socialist alternative is necessary.


Bitter battle at Verizon

The Verizon strike, involving nearly

40,000 telecom workers across the US, is now in its third week—and increasingly bitter.

Last Sunday the company announced it was ending medical insurance for over 110,000 active and retired workers. It is also mobilising another 1,000 managers to scab on top of the 10,000 already in place.

But workers are unbowed. Their strike is beginning to bite, with failures of Verizon’s network mounting.

Scab trucks are pursued by strikers’ transport which seeks to persuade customers not to be served by strike-breakers.


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