by UnHerd
Tuesday, 1
December 2020
Audio
07:00

Where next for the Bernie Sanders Left?

Freddie Sayers spoke to American historian Harvey Kaye to find out
by UnHerd

With less than two months two go until Joe Biden’s inauguration, the President-elect has been busy filling up cabinet posts with various Obama-era appointees. These appointments have been met with some criticism by those on the Left, who argue that — in the face of a global pandemic, a flagging economy and impending climate crisis — they are not nearly bold enough.

Freddie Sayers spoke to historian and sociologist of the Left Harvey Kaye, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, who has subsequently become more critical. As a professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, he lives in one of America’s most politically competitive states, offering a front row seat at the rise of Donald Trump. His warning in this interview is clear: that it was exactly the kind of neoliberal policies that Biden seems likely to return to that got the billionaire into power.

According to Professor Kaye, the only way for Biden to meet the challenges of today is by returning to the Rooseveltian tradition in the party. He argues that the last 45 years has seen a steady decline in the relationship between the Democrat Party and the American working class, which was perfectly encapsulated by the uninspiring cast of candidates in the Democratic primaries. Even Bernie Sanders drifted too close to the centre and should have done more to challenge his rivals on issues like free healthcare.

It’s not often that you hear the idea that Bernie Sanders was not radical enough, and it was interesting getting a new perspective from such a distinguished historian on the Left. We hope you agree!

Join the discussion


  • What’s next? More of the usual outrage that defines this group. The Dems again conveniently shoved Bernie aside, anointed a guy that no one in the party wanted, paired him with a running mate whom Dems themselves explicitly rejected during the primaries, and here we are.

  • it was even funnier to see the democrats reaction when they lost in 2016 and Trump won, they have never got over it.

  • In what country is their more diversity? In what country are minorities treated better? Is an “African” American better off in the USA or in Africa? What is the standard of living in Africa? This is just a fantasy in your mind.

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