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Common Dreams - August 11, 2019

"If you can give money,give money. If you can volunteer, volunteer. If you can do the social media dance, do it. If you can clarify the discourse, clarify the damn discourse. Every increment matters."

We are living at an inflection point. 43% of us cannot afford the basics. 78% live paycheck to paycheck. UN scientists give us twelve years to get our climate act together. The neoliberal project that has dominated American political and economic structures since Reagan cannot deliver the basic human material needs and meaning to hold us together as a culture. It cannot deliver the domestic cohesion or international cooperation necessary to decrease our carbon impact with the seriousness required to avert global human catastrophe.

We either begin to create the democratic socialist structures that can deliver that necessary material dignity and solidarity, or new authoritarian structures will arise in their vacuum. While Trump does not represent the break from neoliberal norms that many claim, his nativist performance is a harbinger of a very real, authoritarian apocalyptic future. We either do this work now or there will be a wall with drones to mow down refugees fleeing from climate chaos and desertification. All of our current pluralist, performative concern for separated families will disappear into murderous necessity. Count on it.

My friends on the so-called Left understand this. We understand that at minimum we need Medicare For All, a federal jobs guarantee, a Green New Deal, free public college and trade schools, criminal justice reform, and unprecedented international cooperation on this planet or we are—to put it technically—fucked.

What we need to win those policies is an unprecedented discipline of purpose and action, beginning with the immediate presidential election cycle. We must begin by doing everything in our power to help Bernie Sanders win the nomination and presidency. There is only one Democratic Party contender currently who has the historic record and exhibits the ideological commitment and movement-building practice necessary to win the election and the following fight for policy.

Now, we must take the next step forward and guarantee every man, woman and child in our country basic economic rights — the right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.
We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights.— Sen. Bernie Sanders

If you can give money, give money. If you can volunteer, volunteer. If you can do the social media dance, do it. If you can clarify the discourse, clarify the damn discourse. Every increment matters.

Despite the wide array of DEM candidates, choice is an illusion for those who can afford to lose. Despite the widespread attempt to blur distinctions between Sanders and other performatively progressive candidates, those distinctions remain deep. They are differences in kind, not degree.

Sanders is building his campaign around a clear commitment to transformative universal policies that create the solidarity necessary to win them. The others are not. Sanders is using his campaign infrastructure and volunteers to create solidarity on the ground with workers and unions. The others are not. Sanders is coalescing the movement necessary to win the fight against powerful, monied interests. The others are not. None of the DEM candidates allegedly in Sanders’s lane exhibit even the most rudimentary understanding of the scale of this fight or the political power needed to win it. Sanders has made political revolution a mantra. ...
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