The disastrous result of the 2016 presidential election overshadowed one of the only positive developments of the dispiriting campaign: the support a self-described socialist attracted in the Democratic primaries. For a brief moment, it seemed, the rhetoric of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, in challenging the coronation of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, injected a semblance of reality and raised expectations in an otherwise dreary election season involving two deeply unpopular candidates.1
Now, following the Electoral College’s selection of Donald Trump as president, it becomes more important to assess the arc of the Sanders campaign. That’s because many of the more than 13 million who voted for him in the Democratic primaries—and millions more who have made him the most popular politician in the United States2—may look to him for cues on how to oppose the reactionary Trump regime.
Given how the miserable election ended up, it’s difficult to remember that Trump wasn’t the only candidate who turned out thousands to huge rallies. In fact,
when Sanders packed more than 10,000 people into an arena in Madison, Wisconsin in June 2015, it was the biggest rally for any candidate during the primary season. Thousands responded to his indictment of the “billionaire class” and eagerly sought to join up with his self-styled “political revolution.” Yet the Democratic Party establishment succeeded in pushing the Sanders campaign out of contention.
To the Democrat leadership, the Sanders campaign was supposed to perform a service of energizing the people that Clinton couldn’t. He’d have his chance on the public stage, and then would move into the wings in favor of Clinton. The revelations from hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, released by WikiLeaks, demonstrated that the supposedly “neutral” DNC wired the process in favor of Clinton from the start. In fact, those revelations were so damning that they forced DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign during the Democratic convention in July. By then, the deed was done, and Clinton was assured the nomination.
Moreover, the chatter between Clinton advisers revealed in the WikiLeaks email drops showed them planning right-wing smears against Sanders. One of her advisers even likened Democratic base supporters of Sanders’s signature call for a $15.00 an hour minimum wage to the “Red Army.”3 Finally, WikiLeaks demonstrated that all of the criticisms that Sanders leveled against Clinton during the primaries—that she was in the pocket of the Wall Street banks, that her Democratic primary opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was opportunistic, and that party primaries were rigged against him, among others—were more correct than he even knew.4 The cynicism of the Democratic Party was starkly revealed in the WikiLeaks revelation that DNC leaders talked of “elevating” Trump—seen as “unpalatable to the majority” and therefore unelectable—months before he was chosen as the GOP candidate.5
And yet, by the time all of these revelations saw light—and long after they were useful as fodder in the Clinton-Sanders primary election contest—they disappeared from the national political conversation. Of course, the media obsession with “horserace” coverage of the Trump-Clinton contest partially explained this. But a more pertinent—and important—explanation was found in the fact that Sanders himself refused to make them an issue.
“The job of the progressive movement now is to look forward, not backward,” Sanders said in a statement to NBC News. “No matter what Secretary Clinton may have said years ago, behind closed doors, what’s important today is that millions of people stand up and demand that the Democratic Party implement the most progressive platform in the history of our country.”6
From “political revolution” to lesser evilism
During the Democratic primaries, Sanders gained support with segments of the “rising American electorate”7 for one main reason: he spoke directly to the realities of class inequality in the United States and raised the expectations of his supporters that something could be done about it. His appeals and policy positions fell under his call for a “political revolution.” This slogan was both savvy and telling. Savvy, in that it appealed to millions whom the political system had abandoned, and for whom the idea of a radical shakeup (or “revolution”) didn’t sound so bad. Telling, because the actual content of the Sanders political revolution amounted to reforming the Democratic Party, encouraging “progressives” to run for office as Democrats, and campaign finance reform to check the influence of “millionaires and billionaires” on the US electoral and government system.
Even though Sanders advocated a number of policy positions that are radical when compared to today’s neoliberalized and corrupted conventional wisdom, his campaign was actually quite conventional. It was, as were Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition campaigns of the 1980s before it, an electoral campaign waged inside one of the two main political parties of American capitalism. Campaign “insider” reports emerging near the end of the primary season noted that Sanders’s top command chose to spend much of its prodigious fundraising haul on expensive, old-school television ads rather than grassroots field organizing.8 If the Sanders campaign wasn’t willing (or able) to organize a “grassroots army” during its primary campaign, it’s unlikely that it will leave much of an infrastructure of activists behind.
Subsequent developments seemed to bear this out. When Sanders announced his continuing vehicle, Our Revolution, in August 2016, four key staffers quit in protest.9 They objected to Sanders’s choice of Jeff Weaver, his longtime campaign manager, as director of the organization. They also opposed its tax status. To them, this indicated that Our Revolution would be just another Democratic Party super PAC accepting unlimited and anonymous donations, and funneling them into Democratic Party electoral campaigns, rather than into grassroots organizing.
The announcement of Our Revolution followed a few weeks after Sanders rendered his greatest service to the Democratic Party. In the midst of its Philadelphia convention, when the first WikiLeaks revelations were exposing the DNC’s blatant favoritism toward Clinton, Sanders moved to quell a revolt of a minority of his pledged delegates on the convention floor. Some Sanders delegates chanted “no war” during a speech by former CIA director Leon Panetta, and a few hundred walked out of the convention. But Sanders stepped to his long-established role. Not only did he endorse Clinton, he actually moved to throw all of his delegates behind her nomination. This allowed Democratic leaders to tout unprecedented party unity, and saved Clinton the embarrassment of seeing how Sanders delegates really felt about her during the convention roll call vote. Sanders, having performed these “sheepdog” duties, received fulsome praise from Clintonite operatives who had, only a few months earlier, been calling Sanders and his supporters racist, sexist, “privileged” and the like.10
Television coverage of Sanders’s Clinton endorsement speech zoomed in on groups of young Sanders delegates shouting or weeping as Sanders threw his support behind someone who he had rightly criticized as one of the worst representatives of the corrupt bipartisan Washington establishment. And while one could sympathize with the sense of betrayal some young Sandernistas may have felt, Sanders and his closest advisers were hardly babes in the woods. They knew what they were getting into, and they knew what would be expected of them.
After the Democratic convention, Sanders served as a Clinton surrogate, one of whose main tasks was to dissuade his supporters from supporting the Green Party’s Jill Stein for president. “When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not the time for a protest vote,” Sanders told the Washington Post. “This is [the] time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.”11
In the long history of “insurgent” campaigns inside the Democratic Party—Eugene McCarthy’s run against Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1968, Jesse Jackson’s “Rainbow Coalition” runs in the 1980s, or Dennis Kucinich’s antiwar campaigns in the George W. Bush years—the challenger may win “hearts and minds” of the most committed Democratic partisans. But, in the end, they become loyal soldiers in helping to herd their supporters behind the establishment choice.
As it was in the past, so it was in 2016. Only this time, the “insurgent” was a self-described socialist and (formerly) political independent who animated millions—only to deliver them over to the candidate social-democratic scholar Adolph Reed Jr. dubbed a “lying, neoliberal warmonger.”12 Tragically, Sanders not only campaigned for Clinton, but also he promoted her as the standard-bearer of his platform.
Far from helping to popularize “progressive” issues in the general election, Sanders’s work to elect Clinton helped her to marginalize any commitments to them. For most of the general election campaign, Clinton tailored her appeals to “moderate” Republicans repelled by Trump’s vulgarity and worried that Trump’s election would damage the country’s image overseas. Needless to say, a strategy of wooing suburban Republicans didn’t foreground issues of class and racial inequality in the United States. So Sanders tagged along to assure Democratic “base” voters that Clinton really was committed to implementing “the most progressive Democratic platform in history.” The disconnect between the issues that most voters care about and the imperatives of down-and-dirty electioneering came into sharp relief in October in Colorado. Sanders appeared at two rallies on successive days—one with liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren to boost Clinton—and then at a separate rally to support a state initiative for single-payer health care that was opposed by Clinton, Warren, and the Democratic state governor.
The debate on the left
If Sanders’s trajectory could have been predicted more than a year ago, the ISR was among a surprising few self-declared left wing or socialist publications in doing so. The ISR, like many others, recognized the potential of Sanders’s campaign to inject a discussion of “socialism” into mainstream political debate. We identified with the millions of people who gravitated to Sanders as an alternative to the neoliberal status quo. But unlike many others on the left, from Jacobin to Socialist Alternative, to many leftists around the world, we consistently upheld a policy of political action independent of the capitalist parties. For that reason, Sanders’s run inside the Democratic Party was a nonstarter whose end, as described above, was entirely predictable from other similar attempts in the past.
An independent Sanders campaign could have laid the basis for, in the words of a statement issued by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the “growth of a democratic socialist movement that emphasizes the interconnectedness of all of the struggles and the structural character of the reforms needed to make real and lasting change” outside the confines of Democratic Party.13 But given the entire set-up of the campaign, including Sanders’s agreement to join the Democratic Party and to follow its rules, that’s not what happened. The National Nurses United-sponsored People’s Summit, held in Chicago in June 2016, brought together the main institutional forces— like specific unions and community organizations—which backed Sanders, to discuss next steps. Despite a lot of rhetoric about “revolution,” the confab’s main political conclusions were to support (however reluctantly) Clinton against Trump, and to promote “down-ballot” Democratic races. Green Party candidate Jill Stein asked to speak to the conference, but she was turned down.14
Now that the apparatus of Sanders and his supporters is fully invested in promoting progressive Democrats, this provides a radical-sounding rationale to oppose independent political action in the here and now. In These Times writer Kate Aronoff, writing “The Left Deserves Better than Jill Stein,” made the case for lesser-evil support for the Democrats complete with references to the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. Stein may have stood for any number of radical positions, Aronoff notes, but “[h]er candidacy distracts from the slow and hardly glamorous work that organizers and progressive electoral challengers alike are doing to change the rules of the game, day in and day out. In fetishizing the party’s position as outsiders, Stein also feeds into a dangerously limited view of what the Left is now capable of achieving.”15 The Left can achieve all of this because the Sanders campaign and “movement leaders” “increasingly see the Democratic Party and electoral fights as winnable terrain.”
And yet, Sanders lost, and the Democratic Party’s establishment politician won. This should at least raise the question of whether the Democratic Party really is “winnable terrain” for the Left. As the trove from WikiLeaks showed, not only did the Democratic establishment have no intention of allowing Sanders and “democratic socialism” to beat Clinton, they also make clear the party’s commitment to the capitalist status quo. Emails between Clinton’s top advisers and, even, between them and some Clinton-supporting labor leaders, showed that a Clinton administration would have had no intention of following through on any pro-labor pledges. Meanwhile, the Democrats are happy to rake in millions of dollars from unions and millions of person-hours in GOTV operations.16
If anything, the 2016 Sanders campaign should underscore, yet again, that the Democratic Party is not simply a “ballot line” that the Left can take over and use for its own purposes.17 The Democrats are one of the two mainstream parties that act to package, sell, and implement pro-business policies at all levels of the state. Capitalists have also set up institutions to shape the party program. They fund think tanks that generate policy positions for candidates to advocate. They also possess an army of lobbyists that encircles politicians, dangling promises of cash support in elections if the politician turns their proposals into laws. In 2016, Corporate America demonstrated a near unanimous support for Clinton.
For many on the left and social movements who have, for years, eschewed independent political action for an orientation on the Democratic Party, the Sanders campaign didn’t pose a quandary. But several organizations and individuals with long track records of independent political action abandoned those longstanding commitments under the pressure of the Sanders campaign. Veteran socialist and New Politics editor Dan La Botz was perhaps the most surprising supporter of Sanders on the socialist left. A longtime supporter of independent political action and former Socialist Party candidate for US Senate, La Botz became a prominent advocate for Sanders even in international circles.18 In New Politics, La Botz wrote that while planning to remain a registered Green, he would “work with the Sanders campaign in the primary period, hoping—like other Sanders supporters—that out of this experience we can build a new, stronger, left in America.” He argued that the Sanders campaign—inside the Democratic Party— “could contribute to the launching of a new period of social movements and upheavals with a higher level of political consciousness and if it does that, it will be a great contribution.”19
Socialist Alternative, the organization that made recent history when its member Kshama Sawant won a city council seat in Seattle, tried to negotiate the unnegotiable: organizing support for Sanders, while not encouraging them to join the Democratic Party. Accomplishing that feat would have required something approaching magic, given that the point of Sanders’s campaign was to register voters to vote for him in the Democratic primaries. Then, the organization held out the prospect that Sanders would run as an independent, and even offered tactical advice to him about how do it without throwing the election to Trump. Socialist Alternative’s approach was completely incoherent—as numerous debates revealed—and the organization abandoned it when Sanders conceded. Socialist Alternative immediately transitioned its “Movement4Bernie” into supporting the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and pretended that it didn’t try for a period to build support for a Democratic candidate.20
Pedro Fuentes and Tiago Madeira, leaders of a revolutionary current associated with radical parties such as the Party of Socialism and Liberty in Brazil and Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide) in Venezuela, raised support for Sanders to a crucial test for the international left:
In our opinion, we must support Sanders. For us, the debate in the US, with its specific characteristics, is similar to what we face in the rest of the world. Will Trotskyists, without losing sight of our strategy, intervene in events and real political movements—however contradictory they are—to contend for influence? Or, owing to these contradictions, or because these developments can’t be fit into our “program,” will we stay on the sidelines so that we can criticize them when they fail? That’s what’s at stake in the debate about whether to support Sanders. It’s more than a tactical issue. It’s a discussion about what political orientation we take to new political processes that, of course, aren’t “Trotskyist” or even sympathetic to Trotskyism. We are talking about building new organizations, new parties—democratically and loyally built—and respecting their leaders, even if we disagree with them. Having open debates about what’s the best strategy. This is hardly “entrism” or whatever other strategy small groups of Trotskyists can come up with to justify being part of the campaign.
Not understanding this condemns a group to isolation and propagandism. It will never become a “vanguard” if it refuses to take part in what exists. Neither will anyone listen to that supposed vanguard if it isn’t alongside others in that process. In Greece, would it have been possible to build the Left Platform with half of the central committee and possibly the majority of militants, from outside of Syriza?21
What can we say about these claims from the vantage point of one of the most dismal presidential elections in the modern political era?
First, phrases like “working with the Sanders campaign” or “interven[ing] in events and real political movements” project the image of a grassroots campaign where ordinary people came together to debate political issues and a chart a way forward. This, of course, is as far from the reality of US elections as is the idea that the Democratic Party has anything in common with the movement that built the original, radical Syriza in Greece. Even Sanders’s vaunted fundraising machine was largely an online phenomenon managed by the Democratic Party-connected Act Blue.22 Whatever Sanders organization existed in each state in the run-up to the primaries shut down the day after the election. The idea that the Sanders campaign as the Sanders campaign offered a unique political space for socialist intervention was not true.
Second, the idea that the Sanders campaign would provide a focus, and perhaps inspiration, of ongoing social movements, was also not borne out. Movements such as Black Lives Matter or the Native struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline have a logic of their own that exist independently of the elections. Sanders helped to give voice to some of their demands, but these movements did not run through Sanders’s (and certainly not Clinton’s!) campaign. And given that Our Revolution and the People’s Summit are largely focused on electoral activity, it’s hard to see what role they would play in future social movements.
Thirdly, the idea that one could only talk to and engage politically with Bernie supporters from inside the campaign was not borne out by experience. The International Socialist Organization, for example, was able quite easily to build well-attended meetings, attend Bernie rallies with our propaganda, and connect with the important, if vague, support for socialist ideas without entering the campaign or endorsing Sanders.
Finally, the idea that the participating in the Sanders campaign was some sort of litmus test determining whether a political organization is isolated or in the thick of the struggle, is simply silly. The socialist left in the US is small and its active members are involved in all sorts of struggles and campaigns. It is from these types of activities that a US left will grow and gain influence. In Marxist understanding, elections may be the “lowest form of politics.” But in the United States, where most elections are contests between two capitalist machines whose relationship to grassroots concerns is tangential at best, the bar is even lower. If the Left was able to call on support of a radical political party that championed the social movements, that would be a tremendous step forward for us. But the Democratic Party isn’t “our” party. And truth be told, Our Revolution isn’t really “ours” either. So the Left still has the task in front of it of building an independent political vehicle. And accomplishing that will require a left that must strike out on its own—rejecting calls to “keep hope alive” in a new and improved progressive Democratic Party.
To be sure, some of the comrades quoted above drew more radical conclusions as the dreary 2016 campaign dragged on. La Botz, for example, reverted to his pre-Democratic Party primary position of support for Stein, citing the example of US abolitionists’ support for the long-shot Liberty Party as a “vote for freedom and for the future.”23 And seventy-four prominent DSA members and Sanders supporters issued a statement entitled “The Left is Under No Obligation to Support Hillary Clinton,” making the case against the logic of lesser-evilism.24 The DSA 74 statement rejects the strategy of “realigning” the Democratic Party, while not calling for “an immediate and total break from voting for or supporting any Democratic candidate.” Yet the statement ultimately sets its sights on building political alternatives to the Democrats. Experience, combined with comradely debate, will help radicals find their way out, as the statement says, “of accepting and working within a system they despise.”
Where do we go from here?
We know that for the space of a few months in 2015 and 2016, the Sanders campaign gave a vocabulary to the sense among millions of people—many of them young—that a rigged political system upholds an inherently unfair capitalist system. It helped to make “socialism” not only respectable, but popular in a way that hasn’t been true for some time. The Sanders campaign built on, but didn’t create itself, movements such as 2011’s Occupy and the Fight for 15. And it connected with support for a number of reform demands, like free college, health care for all, and ending big money in politics. Salar Mohandesi, writing in Viewpoint, hypothesizes that a significant segment of Sanders supporters can be said to constitute a coherent reformist “social democratic current” that will attempt to win its goals through multiple electoral and nonelectoral struggles. Whether members of this current can be won to revolutionary socialism, or what the ISR would call “socialism from below” is another question:
If my hypothesis is correct, the far left cannot expect to swiftly absorb the Bernie voters into its ranks. They are not drifting elements, unattached to any program, politically amorphous, and therefore completely open to new ideas; a solid core of Bernie people have constituted their own coherent social democratic current. They will likely develop their own organizations, promote their own leaders, and advance their own social democratic ideas, which will likely replace the vague anarchism that used to dominate much of the wider left in the United States. In this sense, their trajectory may be similar to what happened in Spain, when the newly politicized social forces of the 2011-12 struggles went on to construct their own form of unity, which took one form as Podemos, rather than joining the existing revolutionary left.25
Mohandesi may be too categorical (or optimistic) in declaring Bernie supporters a coherent “social democratic current.” His analysis leaves open many possible developments, from winning “down-ballot” Democratic races, to building up the Green Party, to involvement in social movements like Black Lives Matter. And even he notes that it’s “just as possible that at a certain point the social democrats will grow demoralized and the current will completely dissipate.”
What’s clear, however, is that among a younger generation “socialism” is not a dirty word, and Sanders’s campaign helped in that regard. But underlying that was this generation’s experience of growing up under the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism. Whether the idea of socialism remains as the social democratic “socialism from above,” or whether thousands build organizations dedicated to “socialism from below,” depends on what socialists do today. Winning people to “socialism from below” means, among other things, winning them to the Marxist concept of socialism as “the self-emancipation of the working class,” to the primacy of struggle of the oppressed and exploited, and to political action independent of the capitalist parties. In that process, building social movements, building independent political parties, and supporting down-ballot Democrats are not co-equal strategies.
Movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter show that there is a growing group of young activists who are deciding for themselves what they will do in the face of these questions. They are looking not only for ideas to change the world, but also for organizations to embody that alternative. Socialists today need to think the same way: how we can build from the struggles of today the kind of political alternative to the current system that we need.
The Left’s challenge
We on the left are now faced with an absurd situation. The winning candidate, Trump—who won more than 2 million fewer votes than the loser Clinton—is set to launch an all-out offensive against women, immigrants, workers, unions, people of color, LGBTQ people, and just about every other broad constituency of the broad left in this country. And leading political figures, from President Obama to Clinton, are calling for the country to give Trump a chance. In November, even Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were making similar noises: wanting to work with Trump to make good on his promises to workers, while standing up to his bigotry. After denouncing Trump as an ignoramus, sexual predator, racist, and would-be dictator during the campaign, these politicians are approaching him as if he was some sort of statesman. This should illustrate once again that even the “best” Democrats can’t be trusted to lead any sort of effective opposition to the hard-right Trump agenda.
To confront that agenda, the Left will not need, in the first instance, a more clever or more grassroots electoral strategy. It will need mass class and social struggle to turn back Trump’s plans. A genuine mass party for the 99 percent can only emerge from those types of struggles, as the experience of the early-1900s Socialist Party or the 1930s Communist Party demonstrated.
The election result underscored the urgency and responsibility to build a radical left, as the Australian socialist Corey Oakley pointed out:
Fighting Trump means building a new left in the US that bases itself on opposition not just to the far right, but to the politics of the old establishment that gave his movement the oxygen it needed to flourish. Such a new movement is entirely possible—the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries proved there is an audience of millions for a politics that opposes the ruling elite while also standing in solidarity with immigrants, Muslims and others targeted by the faux radicalism of right wing populists like Trump.26
The electoral shock and the struggles to come will create an opening for thousands of people to draw radical conclusions about “what is to be done.” These fighters will be the constituent element of a new revolutionary left, a broad left, and the social and class struggle that can deliver on the aspirations that the Sanders campaign raised.
- Eliza Collins, “Poll: Clinton, Trump Most Unfavorable Candidates Ever,” USA Today, August 31, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/polit....
- Aaron Blake, “Bernie Sanders Just Might Be the Most Popular Politician in America,” Washington Post, September 19, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-....
- Zaid Jilani, “Center for American Progress Advised Clinton Team Against $15 Minimum Wage, Leaked Emails Show,” The Intercept, October 10, 2016, https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/cent....
- Luke Savage, “Why Bernie was Right,” Jacobin, October 21, 2016, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/berni....
- Michael Sainato, “WikiLeaks Reveals DNC Elevated Trump to Help Clinton,” Observer (London), October 10 2016, http://observer.com/2016/10/WikiLeaks-re....
- Alex Seitz-Wald, “Sanders Calls on Progressives to Look Past WikiLeaks,” NBC News, October 12, 2016, http://www.nbcnews.com/card/sanders-call....
- The term “Rising American electorate” has been used by various liberal organizations and writers to refer to unmarried women, people of color, and millennials, who, it is argued, can help turn elections if they can be convinced to register and vote in greater numbers.
- On this, see the indispensable report by Jasper Craven, “Once an Organizational Army, Team Sanders Now a Skeleton Crew,” Vermont Digger, May 16, 2016, http://vtdigger.org/2016/05/16/once-an-o....
- Edward-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti, “Bernie Sanders’ new group is already in turmoil,” Politico, August 23, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/be....
- For example, see James Hohmann, “The Daily 202: Five Reasons Bernie Sanders Lost Last Night’s Democratic Debate,” Washington Post, March 7, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2016/03/07/daily-202-five-reasons-bernie-sanders-lost-last-night-s-democratic-debate/56dcf1e6981b92a22d730a5d/.
- Chris Sánchez, “Don’t Vote for a Third Party Presidential Candidate in this Election,” Business Insider, September 17, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sa....
- Adolph Reed Jr., “Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It’s Important,” Common Dreams, August 18, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/0....
- The quote is from the DSA’s June 2016 statement, “Resistance Rising: Socialist Strategy in the Age of Political Revolution,” http://www.dsausa.org/resistance_rising_....
- Tyler Zimmer, “What Did People Want at the People’s Summit?” Socialist Worker, June 23, 2016, https://socialistworker.org/2016/06/23/w....
- Kate Aronoff, “The Left Deserves Better than Jill Stein,” In These Times, September 26, 2016, http://inthesetimes.com/features/lesser_....
- Micah Uetricht, “They Don’t Care About Us,” Jacobin, October 28, 2016, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/hilla....
- Although Benjamin Kunkel drew the opposite, and in my mind, wrong conclusion from the 2016 election: “If US radicals are to have anything to do with contests for national office under a system innocent of proportional representation, then occupying and redirecting the Democratic Party as far as possible looks more promising than launching a new party onto the margins of American politics.” In “Sweet ’16: Notes on the US Election,” Salvage, October 23, 2016, http://salvage.zone/in-print/sweet-16-no....
- See, for example, La Botz’s interview on the left-wing Spanish program La Klau, http://especiales.publico.es/publico-tv/....
- Dan La Botz, “Sanders for President: A Political Phenomenon that Challenges all Preconceptions,” New Politics, July 30, 2015, http://newpol.org/content/sanders-presid....
- See “Debating the Role of Socialists in Election 2016,” Socialist Worker, May 25, 2016; and Left Forum 2016, “Debate: The Left and the Sanders Campaign,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWYmjuzLfag.
- Pedro Fuentes and Tiago Madeira, “El avance de Bernie Sanders en las elecciones primarias del Partido Demócrata y la política de los revolucionarios,” Apporrea.org, August 21, 2015, http://www.aporrea.org/internacionales/a....
- Shane Goldmacher, “Bernie’s Legacy: One of the Most Valuable Donor Lists Ever,” Politico, June 6, 2016.
- Dan La Botz, “Who Would You Vote for in 1840? And Who Will You Vote for on Nov. 8?” New Politics, October 27, 2016, http://newpol.org/content/who-would-you-....
- The statement is published in In These Times, November 4, 2016, http://inthesetimes.com/features/dsa_cli....
- Salar Mohandesi, “What’s Left of Bernie’s Revolution?” Viewpoint, September 19, 2016, https://viewpointmag.com/2016/09/19/what....
- Corey Oakley, “The World Needs a Radical Left—and Now,” Red Flag, November 20, 2016, https://redflag.org.au/node/5589.