Revolution Now: 10 Reasons Why Activists Should Support Bernie Sanders
Revolution Now: 10 Reasons Why Activists Should Support Bernie Sanders
By Justin Akers /

1. On Sanders’ Decision to Run as a Democrat

Sanders is running in the Democratic Party primaries for practical reasons. As a Democrat, he  can easily get on the ballot in every state, and he will be in all the debates. He’s not fulfilling some lifelong goal of joining the Democratic Party. He’s still an independent socialist.

There is no need to focus excessively on the fact that he’s running as a Democrat. It’s unfortunate that he has to run as a Democrat in order to run an effective campaign, but there is no viable third party route to the Presidency at this time.

Similarly, we needn’t make too much of the fact that Bernie caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate. Karl Marx would caucus with the Democrats if he were in the Senate. It’s just practical politics.

2. On the Need for Left-Wing Alternatives to the Democratic Party

There is no doubt that the Democratic Party is a big-business party. There is no doubt that we need to do the painstaking work of building left-wing alternatives to the Democratic Party.

But, much as we might need to build left-wing alternative parties, we have to face reality. The President is an important figure. Faced with a presidential election, we can either sit it out, or vote. If we vote, we should vote for the candidate who shares our ideals. For me, Bernie Sanders is that candidate. It’s not particularly important to me whether he runs as an Independent or a Democratic or a Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High candidate.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that if we had a strong, viable Democratic Socialist Party, Sanders would be a member.

3. On the Fact that He Can Win

Sanders could win the election. It is entirely possible. He will be an effective voice against inequality during the campaign, and should he become President, he will be the most powerful activist on the planet.

There have been plenty of supposedly long-shot candidates who went on to win the Presidency.

4. On the Evolving Nature of Political Parties and the Possibility of Transcending Party-Affiliation

Yes, the Democratic Party in 2015 is a corporate party.

First though, it bears repeating: Sanders is not really a Democrat. He is running as a Democrat for practical reasons.

But, let’s just imagine for a moment that he was a converted, born-again Democrat. So what? The Democratic Party’s sordid history does not necessarily mean that every individual within the Party is thereby rendered ineffective and worthless.

Presidents often end up transcending their party affiliation. Sometimes history forces a President to rise above the gritty mechanics of party politics.

Parties also dramatically change character over time - look at the Democratic and Republican parties in 1860, compared to the present day, for example.

Again, we need not be overly concerned about Sanders’ pragmatic party affiliation. The Democratic Party is not going to trap all of us activists in its sinister snares.

5. On Revolution from Within

We need to start thinking about a revolution from within. We can use the political processes that have been bequeathed to us to our advantage. Instead of spending decades doing the slow and painstaking work of building left-wing alternative parties, we could work toward achieving a political revolution in the near future. Revolutions are a much swifter way to effect radical change.

It may be a waste of activists’ time and energy to spend decades building tiny, left-wing alternative parties only to see a socialist city councilor get elected in a left-leaning city here and there. Instead, we need to start thinking like revolutionaries.

Patience is not the strongest virtue of revolutionaries. We the 99% may just want our political revolution now. Not decades from now.

6. On Spending Precious Activist Time and Energy Campaigning for Sanders

Why should activists spend their time and energy campaigning for Bernie Sanders? Is it because we are naive youngsters who don’t know any better? Is it because we are ignorant of the Democratic Party’s sordid history? Is it because we don’t know the tawdry tale of what happened to Jessie Jackson’s and Dennis Kucinich’s supporters? How can we spend the next year campaigning for Sanders, when we should be spending that year quietly doing the slower, more painstaking, more important, more politically correct work of movement-building outside of the two-party system?

Our answer: we are going to campaign for Sanders because we believe he is a revolutionary candidate. The Sanders campaign has the potential to help facilitate a political revolution in this country.

Whatever expedites a political revolution will be worthy of our time and energy.
We’re thinking like Thomas Paine now. We’re moving beyond niche movement building, we want more than a few socialists on city councils. What we desire is to take back the country from the billionaires immediately.

We want our country back now. Not in 30 years.

7. On Immediate Independence from the Billionaire Class

Tell the revolutionaries in 1776 that what they need is to do slow and painstaking work to achieve independence from Britain gradually. Tell the slaves, and the abolitionists that what they need is to do slow and painstaking work to gradually end slavery.

No. What the American colonists needed in 1776, what the slaves needed in 1860, and what we need now, is a revolution - an American revolution, achieved through democratic processes, that brings about political independence from the billionaire class immediately.

8. On Bernie in the Here and Now

Right now, there is a shortage of viable left-wing alternatives to the Democratic Party. When such alternative parties exist, I’ll be happy to join. In the meantime, Bernie Sanders exists in the here and now, and he is calling for a political revolution here and now, and I will campaign for him and vote for him in the here and now. We don’t have time to wait for alternatives.

9. On Thinking in Revolutionary Terms

The prospect of a Sanders victory is not far-fetched if you think like a revolutionary. If the people want revolution, if the masses rise up and vote against inequality, then revolution is possible and a Sanders victory is obvious.

These days, a revolution in America is an imminent possibility.

10. On Bastille Day

The current political situation, because of the unprecedented inequality that exists in this nation, is volatile. As such, it is impossible to predict what might happen in the 2016 election.

The situation calls for big ideas and big solutions. Now is not the time to talk about the nuts and bolts of movement building and the slow and painstaking work of building alternatives to the two-party system.

To call for slow-motion movement building right now is like standing outside of the Bastille on July 14,1789, and telling the revolutionaries in the crowd that what they really need to do is to slowly, painstakingly build a new political party that will represent their interests.

No. What they needed to do on July 14th, 1789 was storm the Bastille.

Likewise: what we need to do in 2016 is storm our Bastille.



4.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 12,827 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,564 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 7,670 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 5,246 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 5,141 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 3,049 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 2,652 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 2,349 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 2,131 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,797 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 1,769 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 1,597 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,570 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 1,539 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
Men Loving Men
Bianca Vivion · 1,186 views today · When my father was seven he and his best friend Phil cut their index fingers open and placed them together to create a “blood pact” that they would always be brothers. To this...
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 739 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 619 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 612 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 573 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
Writers Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein Talk About Journalism and Activism
27 min · 474 views today · Author, Activist and Former California State Senator Tom Hayden talks in depth with the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, about the state of the fourth...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Revolution Now: 10 Reasons Why Activists Should Support Bernie Sanders