The 2016 American primaries and elections have attracted global attention for different reasons. Given the global, national and local history and unending practices of bigotry, xenophobia and fascism and how these have played themselves up in the American primaries, the global attention the primaries have attracted can be understood.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of Adeolu Demoyo and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.
This perhaps explains why there are three important tasks in the American 2016 elections. First, is the need to prevent a reversal of the democratic, economic and political gains the American people made under the regime of President Barack Obama. For example, even when figures generally fluctuate, the unemployment rate in the United States of America today is below six percent. And this is the joint work of the American people and the Democratic Party under President Obama.
This huge economic success is never acknowledged by the rightwing in American polity obviously because of who President Obama is, his political views and the rightwing bias against the Democratic Party. Yet fighting unemployment with everything he has, and with everything it takes so that food will be available every day on the tables of the most vulnerable in our society and reducing the unemployment rate to below six percent is a historic achievement for the masses of the American people in a turbulent global capitalist economy with high unemployment rates.
This also explains why the second important task is the prevention of the rise of an American fascism either in its nascent or matured form. Mr. Donald Trump, the front liner in the Republican Party and the forces he represent and which are propelling him present that possibility of a fascist take over of the United States of America. Some of Mr. Donald Trump’s views of human nature (especially women) in its diversity is a direct aggression against human nature, and who we are as human beings. Therefore Mr. Trump has no business being the president of any modern nation in the 21st century. This is one important goal no progressive must lose sight of.
The third task in the election is to prevent disunity in the Democratic Party and make sure there is a united front against any candidate the right wing Republican party presents. This is why Secretary Hillary Clinton’s success in the primaries of the Democratic Party in the last two weeks must be something to celebrate for all genuine democrats, first in America and all over the world, who are primed to stop the rise of an emergent fascism in America. That success was gained when the Empire state – New York State – roared back and re-ignited Secretary Clinton’s momentum in the Tuesday April 19 Democratic Party primaries.
Indeed, from all angles, the most important task for any progressive in the 2016 American elections is stopping the Republican Party and its most likely candidate, Mr. Donald Trump. Sadly, this is one fundamental fact Senator Bernie Sanders and the platforms he is using to run as an “Independent” candidate within the Democratic Party did not get or were slow in getting. Hence, the “internecine war” of attrition which “Comrade” Sanders and his “democratic socialist” groups unleashed on the Democratic Party is totally unnecessary and unfortunate.
However, it is gratifying to note that Bernie Sanders and his platforms are gradually getting it, though it is never too late for Sanders’ platforms to get a simple moral lesson about human beings and human society: that morally one does not pee into and poison the water and well from which one drinks or from which one hopes to drink.
That Senator Sanders and his group missed that all-important ethical point when they declared a virtual “civil war” that put everybody on the edge within the Democratic Party is one single reason progressives will wonder about the strategy and tactics of “Comrade” Sanders’ “revolution”. One ought not give the main opponent (the right wing) the ammunition to destroy a party on whose platform one is running. It got to a point that the attack of Sanders and his “socialist platforms” and those of the right wing Republicans, especially Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton and the democratic party, became indistinguishable.
Sanders’ platform called Hillary the “wall street whore”, and the rising fascist Donald Trump followed Sanders’ platform immediately and called her “crooked Hillary”. What is the difference? None! From an unacceptable and questionable sense of what the gender of a leader ought to be, some of Sanders’ platforms (the Bernie Bros) mocked Secretary Clinton’s gender, with Donald Trump following suit and negatively targeting Hillary Clinton’s physiology and gender! These are part of the critical issues many progressives have against Sanders and co. The 2016 election is a political activism that must be well primed and targeted at the primary opponent – the right wing in American polity. Hence, the defining factor ought to be the prevention of the take over of the American polity and the global polity by right wing forces with a fascist temperament.
And to do the job progressives need a broad coalition. While progressive politics and politicking will do the job, it becomes incapacitated when it takes the extreme binary tone (which is incapable of building, weaving and putting together a effective coalition of progressives against the powerful right wing forces), which Senator Sanders campaign took of late. A political binary tone and politics of “We Against Them”, which excludes the middle, will be a weak political (incapable of putting together a progressive coalition) force against the Republicans in the 2016 elections.
Undoubtedly, the issues which Senator Sanders’ platforms have raised are legitimate and must be addressed by the Democratic Party moving forward. Issues such as the corruption of the electoral process with money, access to education and health, environment, fair wages, etc. are legitimate and go to the heart of progressive and Democratic Party politics in America. But that Senator Sanders has not thought them through is obvious.
For example, the view that we should remove the influence of money from politics must be strongly supported but the problem is that Sanders and his “socialist platforms” focus on an aspect of the problem while they ignore the others. The main issues are the capitalist system and economy where bourgeois politicking is taking place, regardless of the source and the volume of the money. And the fact that Sanders’ “socialist platforms” which focus on the influence of money in politics outspent all “bourgeois forces” in the primaries – of both parties – illustrate this point. This is why it is an irony and a paradox that, for example, in the recently concluded primaries of the Democratic Party in New York State, Senator Bernie Sanders “socialist platforms” spent $5.6 million while Clinton spent $2.8 million.
If a comprehensive view of the negative effect of money in politics must be undertaken, the sheer volume of money and how it is dispensed to the media, the party and platform operators and apparat etc, alongside all its sources and the capitalist system, must be interrogated. To focus on one aspect while ignoring others, as Senator Sanders and his platforms do, can be problematic. Hence, the reason the position of Sanders and his ‘socialist platforms” on some issues (which are legitimate in their right, independent of who is raising them) can be limiting and sometimes self-serving.
Moving forward, the Democratic Party needs to be strengthened in order to effectively lead the country to prevent the right wing take over of the American polity. Rightwing forces (e.g. Donald Trump) whose views are antithetical to our nature as human persons is dangerous and must be stopped.
An effective coalition of all progressive and democratic traditions, forces and platforms in the American polity is what will do this. And Secretary Clinton is the leader that can do this.
The earlier the better for all true progressives and democrats to rally round Secretary Clinton in order to commence the real struggle against the right wing take over of the American polity and by extension prevent the right wing take over of the global polity.
Adeolu Ademoyo, firstname.lastname@example.org, is with the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.