Bernie Sanders does not have to become president in order to win. Just by getting in the ring, he has already scored a major victory for the American working class. His campaign is blazing a new trail to the left in the American political system. In the coming years, we will probably see the development of a Democratic Socialist Party in the U.S.
Win or lose, his campaign will lay the foundation for a new American left. His candidacy has opened the door to socialism in the U.S. The debate about America’s economic future will no longer be a debate between the center and the right. Finally, the real left will be heard.
The people who will be galvanized by the Sanders campaign have no reason to consider socialism a dirty word. We have witnessed in our lifetime the epic, miserable failure of unrestrained capital. We can see the devastation global capital is inflicting on the environment. Our generation has trillions in student loan debt. We have no health care. Our wages are stagnant. We feel these truths to be self-evident.
The steel door that capital bolted shut on the working class, locking socialism away from the debate, has been blown off its hinges by Bernie Sanders, allowing socialism in America to finally breath again.
There is a real possibility now for a sustained assault on capital. For too long, radicals have felt completely shut out of the mainstream debate. For too long, we have felt apathetic about the political process in this country because we were relegated to the fringes of society. We had to Occupy in order to be heard. We were totally shut out of the system. All we could do was occupy, protest, or riot.
Now we have the ultimate, mainstream option available: Taking over the White House.
It’s only been a few days since Sanders announced his candidacy, but already, the left is beginning to realize how hugely significant a moment this is for American politics. You can hear the first rumblings of an enormous grassroots movement developing. One hundred seventy-five thousand people have already signed up to volunteer for the Sanders campaign.
Hillary Clinton is not a foregone conclusion in 2016, any more than she was in 2008. She can be beat, again. She is not entitled to the presidency. And neither is Jeb Bush.
Americans do not necessarily want to hand over the future of this country to another Bush or another Clinton. We do have the ability to chart a different path. We are capable of another revolution in America: a socialist revolution.