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!

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Yes, it’s back to the war mongering, globalist, neo-liberalism of the Obama era, assuming Biden becomes president. As the Socialist Jimmy Dore and so many others have pointed out, Obama was the reason Trump came to power.

As for Sanders, he should have had the courage and integrity to start his own party after being cheated by the Democrats i 2016. Perhaps he will do so now, having been cheated by them once again.

The interviewee does not know how to pronounce ‘Quixote’, but never mind. If he thinks AOC will make a good president he is beyond all reason.

I do agree that Trump did a great deal to ‘lose’ the election in the first debate, especially given the early- and mail-in voting factor. However, the fact is that the election was stolen via a combination of outright fraud, ballot harvesting and MSM and Big Tech censorship.

I don’t believe that Biden will do anything for American workers via more protectionism and border controls etc. He is owned by the Chinese and the globalists. According to Megyn Kelly – an independent source – Trump created 500K manufacturing jobs while Obama destroyed 200K manufacturing jobs. All the jobs that Trump created or brought back will now be destroyed, but the Dems won’t care because they hate the working classes, just as Labour in the UK despises the working classes.

Tom Griffiths
Tom Griffiths
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s always amusing to see such venom when conservative white people think elections may have been rigged, and not in their favour.

Proportionately, what anger would you consider appropriate for the genuine and large-scale disenfranchisement of African Americans and other minorities over 120+ years, and 60 election cycles?

Jack Daniels
Jack Daniels
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

Conservative black people have the same venom, but hey if you believe that you can win the argument by shouting white white, you have another thing coming..
https://youtu.be/FhSy-6VqIww

ralph bell
ralph bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

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

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

What disenfranchisement? None in the last several decades as black voter turnout amply demonstrates. It’s always amusing to watch the left resort to fantasies and talking points, with a dash of ad hominem, when someone disagrees with their dogma.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Unfortunately, fantasies and conspiracy theories have not been a monopoly of any segment of the population anywhere. However, I must point out that Biden and company are not ‘the Left’. As for Sanders and his fans, they were variously motivated, but most are no more radical than the New Deal and other social democratic / welfarist projects, to wit: keep the world safe for capitalism by paying off the poor and dissident, as opposed to the right-wing solution of suppressing them by force and fraud.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

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.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

What does Africa have to do with the US, exactly? Persons of African descent have been here since the 17th century and are ancestrally more ‘American’ than most of those of European descent. We have had weird customs of ranking people socially according to skin color which are problematical, but that’s an American problem, not an African one.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

African, Asian, Latin American. Look at how diverse the USA has become. Again. What country is more diverse? China? India? Brazil? South Africa? Europe is a mess trying to deal with its immigrants. Even after recent immigrations they are nowhere close to as diverse as the USA. The ugly, horribly oppressive, racist, mean, nasty, ugly USA just doesn’t look that bad when you step back and look at the world. Your view of it is so limited all you can see is the leftist propaganda in your own fantasy.

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Griffiths

What a surprise to see a white liberal shoehorn race into the discussion. Everyone knows they continue to promote and nurture racial hatred, and throw up every roadblock to economic advancement for blacks because it’s their only issue.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

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.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Actually, the polls, if you believe them, and we might as well, showed very steady support of about 30% for Biden throughout the very long nomination race. I find this very peculiar and improbable, but there it is. Maybe someone should investigate.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

From 30% to the highest vote total ever. Sure, makes total sense. There are a lot peculiar and improbable things that people want no part of investigating for some reason.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago

Lockdowns, mass arrests, forced vaccinations, Health passports with online vaccination status and testing updates, track and trace, no jobs, food supply disruptions, death, misery, poverty. The new global totalitarianism. China is actually looking good by comparison. “China looks to boost middle class as it wraps up Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty drive” is the headline in the SCMP

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
1 year ago

Classic delusional Left wing academic, with a fixation on FDR. The unions do not represent the US working class; they represent union barons and public service parasites. Union-bankrolled democratic parties have not only bankrupted states and cities like California and New York with utterly unaffordable pension liabilities, but are destroying or driving away the small business tax base in California, and the corporate tax base in NYC, which are needed to bail them out. The upper percentiles of US working classes have seen steady growth in real wages: the lowest percentiles, largely populated by massive influxes of unskilled immigrants, are what lowers the average. To suggest that US voters in any numbers would get behind the sort of policies which McDonnell, Milne, etc were demanding here, and the ‘Squad’ is calling for in the US, is beyond parody. Freddy let him off very lightly.