I have a few more thoughts on “Left Organizing within the Sanders Campaign.” There is motion. There are crowds. The crowd, of course, is made up of individuals with different motives, resources, understandings and many other unique attributes. The Brownian trope applies. Individuals are moving, bumping into people and into ideas. Sanders supplies his talking points. As I said earlier, I am glad that he is inserting these social democratic (not socialist as he himself admits ) ideas into the crowd. Except for the experienced Democratic Party (left liberal) adherents and adherents of other political trends, members of the crowd are people less invested in politics, certainly less invested year round. We know something about this crowd from a recent Guardian YOUGOV poll.
Potential Bernie Sanders voters break down this way by age: 69% are from 18-44, 35%are from 45-60+. So his potential voters are clumped in the younger population. In the same poll, likely Sanders voters broke this way ideologically: 36% liberal, 18% moderate, 17 % conservative. So, a lot of pretty young people, clearly w/o social democratic politics.
What does a left organizer do? By left in this arena, I mean anyone from social democrat out. As I tried to get at in my earlier thoughts on the Sanders campaign for us, we must join in. To stand aside is to say we have enough people with us on our side. We are ready to take over. The great mass of Americans understands and is organized into a mighty movement. A dream. A fantasy. For now. Where there are crowds in motion, whether at a rally or at a small house party or a District meeting, we must be there. Or give up this motion to the centrists who, you can be sure will be there.
We go. We join or join in. We work putting up lawn signs or peopling a lit table at a supermarket. We talk about what we believe. If Sanders doesn’t understand Chavez, we explain. If Sanders wants to tax the hell out of the rich we cheer. If Sanders ‘campaign people send down dicta(talking points) we send back up, our corrections and/or additions that we will use to produce local lit. It’s a day by day experiment. When to go along to get along. When to challenge. When to just go out for a beer. When to bring around a list of community run projects and try actively to get folks to sign us. Every day is new. Every conglomerate of people is different waiting for our input. Can you find people farther along and form a grouplet within the crowd? Maybe, maybe it is a good idea. Maybe it might not be. On this level-tactics, practice/thoughtful experiment has to be in the lead. Strategy is clear. Add to the leftness of the crowd by active organizing from within. And this strategy is valid whether or not Sanders wins, loses and turns asks his people to go with Hillary or he runs as an independent. We are where we need to be doing the organizing that always needs doing. Bert Garskof