The Sanders movement has done a great job in changing the national conversations on wealth, power, race and foreign policy. “Socialism” is no longer a word to hide from and progressive alternatives are being debated everywhere. For the first time in many years we have a real electoral option and the opportunity to make a case for change before the American people. The field is full of genuinely progressive candidates like Dave McTeague who can help carry a people-before-profits program through if they can win support from workers, young people, people of color and women.
Even if Sanders and other good candidates lose, there will be no going back from this historic moment. A stronger foundation now exists for winning a higher minimum wage and workers’ rights, rent control, equal rights for all and defeating racism and sexism, real immigration reform, a peoples’ budget and money for healthcare and education and not for wars and occupations. We support these goals and work for them every day.
Still, the political campaigns remain weak on foreign policy, racism and sexism, trade policy and immigration. Sanders and the candidates running with him need a firm push from the people in these areas. Real internationalism needs to replace foreign policies driven by short-term American interests and trade deals. White, male and heterosexual privilege needs to be defeated. The door needs to be opened to women, youth and people of color in every area. Strikes and worker resistance to corporate power need to be encouraged and supported. The passions which built the Occupy movement, the civil rights and womens’ movements, the environmental movement, the immigrant rights movement, gay liberation and union organizing need to be continuously reignited and every politician must be held accountable for their relationship to these movements.
Social change takes time and effort. We win when we organize and fight back.