2020 Presidential Election Debate

Against the Current

December 3, 2019

The September-October and November-December 2019 issues of Against the Current carry a debate on the 2020 U.S. presidential election with articles advocating support for Bernie Sanders, support for the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins, and “anybody but Trump.”

What the Sanders’ Campaign Opens by Dianne Feeley argues:

Bernie Sanders’ campaign of four years ago put socialism on the U.S. political agenda for the first time in generations. He’s on the trail again, explaining what a “democratic socialist” vision means, beginning with building mass movements and supporting unions and union organizing…

Although it doesn’t confront, let alone solve, the huge problem that we don’t have a party run by working people and in our interests, nonetheless Bernie’s campaign reveals a positive alternative to corporate domination. That insight will flourish, of course, only if millions find their voices in the struggles for justice.

Howie Hawkins for President and Which Green New Deal? by Howie Hawkins argue:

We have conceived of a campaign with two basic goals: to advance an ecosocialist program and to build the Green Party.

We are emphasizing three life and death issues an ecosocialist program must address: The Climate Crisis… Growing Inequality… The New Nuclear Arms Race…

We are making the case in the new socialist movement for independent working-class political action — so the socialist movement has its own oppositional voice and identity. We are arguing that socialism means democratic social ownership of the major means of production, rather than merely progressive social reforms that precariously depend on taxing the capitalist economy.

Viewpoint: Defeating Trump by Dave Jette argues:

Dianne Feeley’s viewpoint in ATC 202 (September-October 2019) “What Sanders’ Campaign Opens,” very well describes the possibilities that Bernie Sanders’ pursuit of the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination opens up for socialists. I agree with this presentation, but I think that it incorrectly omits the critical need to defeat Donald Trump next year even if we have to actively support a more mainstream Democrat for this purpose.

There are two basic reasons for what may be for some a shocking proposition: first, Trump is systematically, and with considerable success, bringing about fascism in our country; and second, he is destroying whatever defenses we presently have to help avoid the climate change which will be catastrophic for the whole world.

These perspectives will be tested over the coming year. We invite discussion.

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