What will it take to defeat Trump’s agenda and to win the progressive policies that Bernie Sanders campaigned for and millions of Americans support? With the 2018 mid-term elections looming, should working people continue the fight to reform the Democratic Party, or should we prepare the ground to create something new?
On September 8-10, Socialist Alternative, Draft Bernie, and the Progressive Independent Party will host the People’s Convergence Conference in Washington D.C., calling on Bernie Sanders to launch a “people’s party.”
The main event will be the Draft Bernie Town Hall, featuring Cornel West, Kshama Sawant, and Draft Bernie founder Nick Brana. Bernie Sanders has been invited to attend.
The Democratic establishment remains fiercely determined to defend its close ties to big business. In spite of massive support for single-payer health care, the Democrats’ “Better Deal” for the coming elections has kept this and other central issues off the table. Pelosi, Schumer and Co. prefer to risk further losses to the right wing, rather than accepting progressive policies that would endanger their corporate support.
The current struggle by Berniecrats to “take back” the Democratic party is a continuation of the fight for anti-corporate politics that Sanders’ waged last year. While there is no doubt that this is where the main energy is at present, in our view these efforts are highly unlikely to succeed. It is time for working people and activists to begin a serious discussion about a new major party, to draw up a balance sheet of recent efforts, to explore what a people’s party would look like, and to talk about strategies for our movement and what will be needed to defeat Trump and the right wing.
Draft Bernie will also use the opportunity to deliver its more than 45,000 petition signatures to Bernie Sanders’ office calling on him to launch a people’s party.