“Which side are you on?” In many ways, this has been the core question posed thus far by he Democratic Presidential primary, which has become a battle between an emerging multiracial coalition fighting for a progressive agenda, and that of the “business as usual” Democratic establishment. Elizabeth Warren’s departure from the race, revealed today, offers an opportunity for her to either strongly answer that question with an endorsement of Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement she’s identified herself as being a part of, or to choose another path that makes the fight against the centrist wing more difficult and muddied. She just said at a press conference she won’t be making an endorsement today, but that means we need a Sanders endorsement first thing tomorrow.
Either Sanders or Joe Biden will face Trump in the fall. If Sanders, a democratic socialist, represents the potential future of the Democratic party — a progressive institution focused on the interests of working people — Biden represents what we need to leave in the past: an attachment to the status quo and putting the interests of Wall Street and corporations at the top of the agenda.
The left wing of the party may have better and more popular ideas than the center, but it has a lot to learn from the Biden camp. Immediately after Biden won the South Carolina primary, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed him. And then Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire who funded his own presidential campaign — and who promised to fund whichever Democrat got the nomination — endorsed Biden too. Other endorsements rolled in too from countless establishment Democrats who coalesced around Biden when consensus emerged that he was their candidate to stop Sanders and the working-class insurgency his campaign is building.
Since then, Biden has received fawning media coverage, all but declaring him the eventual nominee. Almost overnight, it appeared that a once-distant third or fourth place candidate was now the Democratic party frontrunner, thanks to the momentum caused by a single primary victory, and the decisions made by a few key political players. Wall Street signaled its satisfaction with this decision too, as healthcare stocks — which had tumbled to multi-year lows after Sanders’ victory in Nevada — rallied following both the South Carolina and Super Tuesday results.
Although Biden is the wrong candidate to unite behind, the establishment has the right idea. Splitting the progressive vote ultimately helps no one but our adversaries. Luckily, Warren’s agenda closely matches that of Sanders,’ with similar plans for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and an end to college debt. And while voters made it clear that they prefer Sanders’ “not me, us” to Warren’s “I have a plan for that,” their shared ideas are beloved by many. And yet, those ideas have been routinely rejected by the establishment wing of the Party — the wing that has almost unlimited resources, thanks to their billionaire donors.
That’s why it’s imperative for Warren to unite with Sanders and endorse him today. Encouraging her supporters to go all in, mobilizing her campaign resources and infrastructure, and helping to coalesce broader support around the Sanders campaign would be of great benefit to bolstering the movement for the fight ahead — which promises to only become more difficult and treacherous from here. We can expect an even more intense onslaught of corporate money, media airtime, and other dirty tricks from the Democratic establishment to undermine Sanders from here on out. Having a more unified contingent of progressive campaigns is our best hope for thwarting these attacks and taking on the corporate elite who run the Democratic Party.
Disclosure: The author of this piece has volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Views expressed are those of the writer. As a 501©3 nonprofit, In These Times does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
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