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The BAS Endorsement: Why You Should Vote for Bernie Sanders

Updated: Mar 02, 2020 09:24
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photo from Crooks & Liars

Primarily written by Sayre Piotrkowski with research and other input from, Colin O’Dell, Nico Simonian, Kristin Lawless, Cindy Martinez, and Stuart Schuffman.

The readers of this site range from anti-fascist anarchists who are wary of being involved in electoral politics at all, to other folks whose sole priority in the upcoming election is removing Trump from office. Regardless of where you fall along this spectrum, we submit that the clear choice in our upcoming primary is Bernie Sanders.

Though Sanders has emerged as the clear choice, other candidates are deserving of merit.

Senator Elizabeth Warren began this campaign as a legitimate progressive alternative to Bernie Sanders. For the first several months of the campaign it appeared that she was in lock-step with Bernie about the need for a national single-payer health care system, and her proposed ”CARE Act” rightfully treats the opioid epidemic as the public health emergency it is.

Julian Castro offered a police reform plan which appears to have been every bit as ambitious as Bernie’s.

In an early debate Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Marianne Williamson and, believe it or not, even Pete Buttigieg spoke frankly about the moral imperative of reparations for African Americans.

Andrew Yang’s campaign has had the effect of further mainstreaming the idea of Universal Basic Income, which should be considered by any candidate who seeks to combat poverty, automation, and outsourcing in a comprehensive and forward-looking manner.

Even billionaire Tom Steyer has taken the provocative step of stating that he would declare a national emergency on climate change on his first day in office.

These bold measures reflect a far more realistic view of our current state of affairs than we’ve seen from Democratic candidates in recent years. And yet, no rival candidate has put forth a platform that addresses the perilous place we find ourselves in as a nation, with the urgency, comprehensiveness, or honesty, that is offered by the Sanders campaign.

Furthermore, what sets Sanders apart from his rivals more than any policy prescription, is that just as it did four years ago, the Sanders candidacy offers voters a rare and precious opportunity — the chance to strengthen our Democracy by simply casting a ballot.

Bernie’s success is intrinsically tied to the rejuvenation of a politically coherent American left. He is, for some, the face, and for others, the product of a burgeoning popular movement with roots that reach back to Occupy Wall Street. This movement has grown to encompass teachers striking for smaller class sizes and better pay, as well as the insurgent campaigns of people like Chesa Boudin, Jovanka Beckles, Rashida Talib, Pamela Price, Tiffany Caban, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. This movement has within it the potential to become a legitimate counter to the corporate domination of our politics.

Because there are no bundlers, mega-donors, or media conglomerates providing a tailwind for his campaign, every step forward Bernie Sanders takes testifies the decreasing ability of the American elite to contort or subvert the will of the people. A Sanders victory will say to the Democratic Party that it cannot be both a party of corporate interests and human interests; that telling the truth can be more powerful than carefully triangulating your message; and that it takes more than not being a bigot, sexist, or homophobe to labor on behalf of the people.

Why Not Warren?

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Senator Elizabeth Warren is the clear second choice in this election. While their foreign policy positions clearly differ, domestically Warren and Sanders appear to share many of the same goals. However, there have been moments throughout her campaign that have raised some alarming concerns:

It would appear that Warren is willing to compromise some of her most commonly-stated core values in order to remain competitive in this contest. This is a shame and it places the Senator from Massachutes in stark contrast with Bernie. Faced his own difficult primary in 2016, one in which the DNC and major corporate media outlets colluded with his opponent, Sanders never made compromises of this sort.

Why Not Bloomberg?

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s presence in this race is an insult to our intelligence. He holds numerous positions that should be disqualifying in a Democratic party primary election:

This list could be much longer. The fact is that only on its most extreme positions like guns and climate denial does Bloomberg part with the modern Republican party. He has no place in this race and his candidacy should not be given serious consideration. 

Why Not A Centrist?

Photo by Gage Skidmore

If you are planning to vote for Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, or Amy Klobuchar, it is likely because you are convinced that a centrist who can appeal to some Republican voters is most likely to win the general election.

Let’s say that happens and in November we elect someone like Joe Biden, who last year told a room full of donors that nothing would fundamentally change if he is elected. In this scenario, we will have put a Democrat in office who is not an overt racist or sexist, who respects the rule of law, and is able to restore the United States to a place of respect in the world. If our next President does all these things but does not take sufficient measures to combat our climate emergency, to reduce the price of health care, and to address record inequality, we will still be a country where people die for lack of access to the most basic of necessities, and scores of climate refugees will wait at our borders. What then would stop another opportunistic fascist from repeating the Trump playbook?

This is why we must remain dedicated to a positive vision that is about more than just stopping Trump. Not only for the obvious moral reasons, but also as a safeguard against the election of the next Trump-like figure.

What About Electability?

Photo from Vox Media

It is a frightening fact that even the most favorable general election polling shows very tight races in most swing states regardless of who the Democratic nominee is. More frightening is that this polling does not account for voter suppression efforts, which appear have already begun in Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Ohio.

The 2020 Democratic Party nominee will need massive voter turnout to overwhelm these anti-democratic tactics. It may be hard to glean from corporate political coverage but according to the most recent polling data Bernie Sanders is the candidate most likely to make this happen.

A Democratic Party that was truly dedicated to defeating Donald Trump above all else, would be rallying around any candidate with that resume. Whether your priority in this next election is defeating Donald Trump, installing a true progressive in the White House, providing relief to our most vulnerable citizens, or taking back the Democratic Party from corporate elites, the choice is clear: you should vote for Bernie Sanders

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BAS Editorial Team

BAS Editorial Team

We're the editorial team who get together to do the Broke-Ass Stuart voter guides.