Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Friday, September 04, 2015

Watching the Political Gate Keepers


Almost daily on Fazebook or various email lists I am witnessing some 'peaceniks' go to great lengths to defend Bernie Sanders and attack those who dare utter a questioning word about the candidate's positions on military and foreign policy.

Today on one email list a Washington DC-based staffer for a group called 'Just Foreign Policy' hit back at an activist who raised a question about Sanders with this comment:  "Is the purpose of this list to shill for Jill Stein and the ultra-left retard faction?"

After several folks challenged that comment (particularly the tone) the staffer responded with this:

But some of the noise on the left against Sanders is coming from ultra-left fantasyland - a place of dishonesty, manipulation, deceit, and abuse - and it's important to call that out. 

Israel-Palestine is a great example of this. There is a faction of people who are trashing Sanders for "supporting Israeli militarism" because he hasn't opposed U.S. military aid to Israel. 

That's an ultra-left fantasyland position. Sanders isn't running as the candidate of the ISO or the SWP or the Workers' World Party. He's running for the Democratic nomination for President. To trash him for not taking the positions that the Trotskyite groups are taking is to fundamentally attack the political engagement of people in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
My interpretation of these comments is that they are intended to red bait anyone who dares challenge one of the Democrat candidates on foreign policy.  We are accused of being purists and not practical.  It's a strategy we see played out across the nation every election cycle to keep people in their boxes - afraid to challenge the mainstream political system to end its global imperial domination project.

And it works - loads of liberals get in line and reflexively take pot shots at anyone that dares question Democratic Party candidates about our bases overseas, endless war, NATO on steroids, expensive weapons systems, military aid to Israel, Pentagon environmental impacts, or the enormously obscene Pentagon budget.  You are told to stop being so issue selfish, demanding, and are accused of 'hurting' their favorite candidate.  Just wait until after Sanders gets elected, then we can talk about peace, we are told.

The message is be satisfied when the candidate says they support an audit of the Pentagon and would use drones more wisely.  It's called an 'enlightened' imperial war machine.

When you track some of these Washington-based groups back to their funding trail and their party allegiances what you usually find are links to the rotting soul of the Democratic Party.  The party sends these gate keepers out during election time to herd the sheep and chase away any "retarded lefty" wolves who might infect the flock with such lofty and unrealistic notions like peace and disarmament.

You can be sure that there is a direct link between the level of nastiness from the gatekeepers and the fact that they are losing sway with the majority of the rank-and-file within the most active elements of the progressive movements.  Folks out in the hustings are slowly figuring out who works for who these days. 

I saw a similar scene in South Korea where any activist that dares to question the US military bases in their country, their own government's level of military spending, and dares call for reunification of Korea is usually accused of being an agent of North Korea.  Organizations are attacked and activists put in jail for those 'crimes'.

It's an insult to the truth and the idea of democracy. It's fascism.

I still take election campaigns seriously.  If you are going to run for office then you'd better get ready to field the tough questions from the retarded Trotskyites in the audience.  We all have a right to think for ourselves and to speak up.  It's called human rights.

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