Jun 20, 2016
Following the primaries in mid-June, Bernie Sanders met with President Obama. A couple of days later, Sanders announced that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders stopped just short of formally endorsing his opponent, Hillary Clinton. But everyone knows what Sanders meant when he said: “The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly.” Sanders was positioning himself to deliver the support to the Democrats of millions of voters and activists who had voted for him in the primaries.
Sanders had campaigned as an “independent” and “socialist.” This allowed him to appeal to millions of voters and activists who blame both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, for the growing inequality and the destructive quagmires and wars that the U.S. military is involved in throughout the world. But throughout the primaries, Sanders reinforced the illusion that the Democratic Party could be changed, that the wars and growing inequality were just “mistakes” that the Democrats could correct.
Now that he is ending his campaign, Sanders is promising to supposedly push Clinton and the Democratic Party in a “leftward” direction. Sanders even mentioned that he had met with Clinton earlier in the week to begin to bridge their differences.
Strip away the rhetoric and Sanders’ own record shows that he is no different than Clinton or the rest of the Democratic Party. As a U.S. Congressman and Senator, Sanders faithfully supported the same agenda as Clinton. He voted to finance the same wars, including against Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. He supported the same corporate bailouts and tax cuts to big business, under the guise of “stimulating” the economy. And he voted for Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill in 1994, that boosted the growth of the repressive state apparatus in order to fill the already overcrowded federal and state prison system with millions more, hitting the black workers and poor especially hard.
No, Sanders is just another bourgeois politician, who carried out a populist campaign in order to try to get millions of fed-up voters and activists to support the Democrats one more time, that is, to support the very party that has worked hand in hand with the Republicans to carry out the same policies that attack working people in the interests of the capitalist class.