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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Sanders Campaign As Political Miseducation

Upgraded and adapted from the Moot to this recent post:
I can't help the fact that people who have not read my qualified case for Clinton attribute unqualified advocacy to me.
Sanders continues to claim voting in a party primary is a Revolution when it is not. He still claims he can accomplish extraordinarily more progressive outcomes than Obama did which he cannot. He continues to refuse to run as a Democrat in the Senate or support down-ticket Democratic congressional races and attacks the party as "Establishment" all the while trying to assume a position of leadership over it. And he is actively misleading his mostly neophyte supporters about the delegate math he faces and the unlikelihood that party superdelegates who resent all of this would ever switch to supporting him short of a Clinton catastrophe.

It is true that my pragmatic case for Clinton has assumed a more ethical dimension over time. Sanders has disappointed me enormously. I was pleased that the candidates demonstrated how far left mainstream Democratic party politics had moved in the aftermath of Occupy and BlackLivesMatter and expected Sanders to use his national campaign to educate a broader electorate about left policy questions. He has instead demonized his rival and made promises he cannot keep and provided few to no details about anything. I consider his campaign an actively mis-edcuational one at this point and a prompt for generational demoralization that will be costly to the radical ambitions of the left opened up by the ruins of neoliberalism.

I do not conflate Sanders and Trump, but emphasize that any political appeal to white working class voters in America in particular will structurally conduce to racist politics in general. That is a hard truth you may want to deny, but it is true nonetheless. The Sanders campaign is demonstrating this whether you like it or not -- and the Trump campaign, well, surreally more so. Part of the problem here is that so many people are still sensitive because even after generations of carefully making the point that it is not so, asserting that one is abetting structural racism is still misconstrued as an accusation that one is exhibiting racist animus. This leads Americans to waste a huge amount of time tending to white fragility whenever one attempts to address the actually real impacts of white supremacy on actually real people of color.
The Sanders campaign -- and especially Tad Devine -- has explicitly admitted its appeal is to "whiter" states and the results still overwhelmingly bear that out for anybody to see. In fact, these results have assured both Clinton's primary and eventual Presidential victories.
I do agree that it is easy for people who don't want to pay attention to the arguments I am making to misconstrue them. That is always true, and there is nothing I can do about it. Since Sanders is losing, will lose, and deserves to lose, it doesn't bother me much.

11 comments:

Elias Altvall said...

(I want to change to this one because I really do not want to be associated with a person who claims Clinton will be indicted)See after your last two comments I can't help feel like you misunderstood my point about race and Sanders vs Clinton which was more that it is not a simply as i feel you are trying to make it but that you are right in fact I said you were right all along which means your first comment was a waste of energy. Largely saying something we both agree on unless you happen to feel that I am racist for simply claiming that it is slightly more complicated than Clinton good because more poc color and Sanders bad because more whites. Again I want to stress I agree and always have with the point that Sanders campaign focusing on white working class as opposed to poc working clas is in the end harmful. The last comment is really weird coming from a person who has disagree with anyone previously arguing that it is ethical to vote for what one feel is the right candidate under the "correct" assumption that voting is not revolutionary and in fact just an act to help have a somewhat better ground to build a movement on.

To summurise the more I look into Sanders and his campaign and his history the less I want to vote for him but making the argument that Clinton is the more ethical choice seems for me rich considering her own history as well as her own campaign. She is hands down the pragmatic choice since you will avoid a 8 year rule by the GOP and at least most likely get better health care out of the deal.

But since my feel from these comments is that as long as someone disagree with you about Clinton you will continue to view them as somehow helping racism, I doubt it is useful to comment to you more about the american election and will comment next time I feel there is a subject in which simply disagreement on some subjects will not result in me being passive aggressively accused of racism because Clinton. See you next time!

Dale Carrico said...

I agree we mostly agree. I didn't dislike your comment, I was just riffing on it a bit. Hope I didn't offend you. Solidarity!

Elias Altvall said...

It is fine I just recently had a debate with a liberal here in Sweden where I was accused of racism because I critised the very weak government response to the immigrant situation in Sweden.(Our liberals are like rockerfeller republicans or just plain assholes) So it became a little weird when it looked like you hinted at it too.

Lorraine said...

Well, at least Dale speaks of neoliberalism as if it's a bad thing. Hopefully President Clinton won't throw those of her supporters who are anti-neoliberal under the bus as readily as Senator Clinton did.

Dale Carrico said...

I expect her administration to be -- at best! -- comparable to Obama's and so I expect, more than occasionally, she will. As I have said many times, I consider Clinton the better candidate with the better published policies, the more suitable temperament and command of the terrain, and with the ties to mobilize more actually-progressive coalitions to accomplish more actually-progressive outcomes. That doesn't mean I don't think I won't be complaining over and protesting her quite a lot of the time.

Elias Altvall said...

I have always found it weird how since the 80s people have decided that it is neoliberealism that is the problem rather than capitalism proper. I mean i am all in favor of improving welfare in the here and now but it does not distract me from understanding that welfare capitalism however friendly the face is still capitalism and pretty bad.

Dale Carrico said...

I think of neoliberalism as the name of one more awful chapter in the bloodstained book of capitalism.

Elias Altvall said...

Yeah I agree on that but I am starting feel like using that term obscures rather than highlights the misery of capitalism. Like it seems to suggest that if only we can make a social liberal order instead of neoliberal one everything would be fine.

Dale Carrico said...

It does seem that neoliberal replaced what writers used to mean by "late capitalism." From that standpoint, I agree with you that the new terminology doesn't really seem to be an improvement at all, but an obfuscation of political stakes. When we consider that the term neoliberal achieved currency at roughly the same time as neoconservative, then I think it is interesting to propose that actually neoliberal-neoconservative name a single system, the retreat of the mid-20C liberal-conservative spectrum into a neoliberal-neoconservative co-dependent corporate-militarism entirely located on the conservative end of that (already mostly bourgeois) spectrum.

Elias Altvall said...

I feel that many people have a warped image of the political spectrum and what makes one apart of one side and the other. I mean I have read articles written by american liberals that argue that Donald Trump many economic points are liberal when in fact just because one support trade protectionism and high tax does not mean that one has shifted from one political spectrum to the other. This is why I do not use the term neoliberalism to refer to the world order because fundamentally like you said it is a conservative ideology. It is much better to refer to the policies of neocons-neoliberals as exploitation and oppression like always from the bourgeois rather than obfuscate it and pretend like capitalism can be good. if any thing one look at the policies from many western nations in the post-war years to the 1970s should show how capitalism provides comfort and warmth only at the expense of obediance and conformity to some priveleged people.

Dale Carrico said...

I agree with you -- I would say that neoliberalism is the current mode of multinational extractive-industrial-consumer-financial capitalism and that neoconservatism is the current form of militarist-developmentalist colonialism/imperialism. I think it is crucial to grasp their interconnection: so called "global market forces" are peddled as spontaneous orders but are in fact contingent legal constructs backed by the threat and reality of military force. Corporate-Militarism is a co-dependent system -- every market is a militarism -- but by framing this right-wing system as neoliberal/neoconservative the relation is disavowed, plutocratic co-operation masquerades as a vestige of the prior liberal/conservative polarity (which was always vulnerable to this sort of ruse anyway).