Socialist Alternative’s twisted “Bernie tactic”
volume 37
issue 2
April 2016

Socialist Alternative is walking the well-traveled path of opportunism in supporting Bernie Sanders — a Democratic Party senator impersonating a “revolutionary” socialist. Their rare criticism of Sanders is presented within a supportive framework developed by the national leadership. Basically, they advise him on what he should say or do to get elected and are loyal fellow travelers. Bernie, for his part, ignores every overture.

The problem with SA’s “Bernie Tactic” is that they are for Bernie and against (sort of) the capitalist party he clings to. They say they will not register voters as Democrats, but members should take part in caucuses if they can and vote for Bernie in primaries where being a registered Democrat is not required. Apparently they are under the illusion that the road to an independent working class party is through, or at least beside, the Democrats. Some in their own membership are calling this magical thinking.

SA is hungry to traverse the territory between being a small propaganda group and “one with influence” and the Bernie Tactic is supposed to be smart politics. It is not. It’s criminal to confuse and/or deceive voters about the true nature of the anti-worker, pro-war Democratic Party. It’s a tactic that always fails to radicalize anyone.

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