Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Joe Biden is a disappointing but predictable outcome of an insurgent left-wing campaign conducted within the auspices of the Democratic Party. Bernie’s candidacy was a once-in-a-lifetime, near-perfect alignment of factors that turned the unthinkable into the immediately possible.
However, even with so many aspects of the campaign working in our favor—Bernie’s relatively consistent record and skeleton-free closet, a weak pool of other candidates, the increasingly broad popularity of left-wing policies—the Democratic Party machinery not only outmatched us, but is now attempting to co-opt our movement.
The fact that Bernie managed to get so far within a party apparatus so transparently and fiercely opposed to his candidacy speaks to the potential of a re-energized working class movement. At the same time, the fact that this energy was nonetheless defeated proves that social-democratic change, much less socialist transformation, will never happen from within the “nicer” party of capital.
Feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde once said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” The US left has tested this thesis in the most favorable conditions we will ever see and found it to be correct. We must refuse to become the master’s tools, and must instead build our own. Realignment of the Democratic Party is over; with his endorsement of Biden, Bernie is as well.
The work isn’t over - it’s only beginning. We need a party of our own.