Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Democratic Presidential Candidate, speaks to thousands of supporters during a rally at the Boston Common on Saturday, February 29, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Democratic Presidential Candidate, speaks to thousands of supporters during a rally at the Boston Common on Saturday, February 29, 2020 in Boston, MA. (Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

'In a Dark Time, the Eye Begins to See': The 2020 Bernie Campaign Represents a Fight That Must Continue

Corporate media and corporate Democrats want the Bernie 2020 campaign—and the grassroots energy behind it—to melt away. That's not going to happen.

Norman Solomon

“In a dark time,” poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “the eye begins to see.”

No matter who wins the Democratic presidential nomination, many millions of people will refuse to unsee what has become all too clear. On the verge of spring 2020, we can see what we’re up against:

•A crowing media establishment, eager to relegate the Bernie Sanders campaign to the political margins.

•A gloating Democratic Party establishment, glad to rally around Potemkin candidate Joe Biden and extol his carefully crafted façade.

•Overall, interlocking systems based on greed and corporate power instead of shared resources and genuine democracy.

On Tuesday night, there was no mistaking the smug joy of studio pundits and Democratic Party operatives on networks like AT&T-owned CNN and Comcast-owned MSNBC. Meanwhile, the New York Times rushed into print yet another all-out attack piece masquerading as a “news” article about Sanders.

Dominant media have routinely slanted coverage to make Sanders look bad, often bypassing context and skewing facts. It was just another day at the office last week when the Times front-paged a flagrant smear of Sanders as a supposed propaganda tool of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. A former U.S. ambassador to Moscow quickly denounced the story as a “distortion of history.”

Such regular deceptions from a range of corporate media shouldn’t surprise us, but they should never cease to outrage us. The same is true of the rampant corporate sleaziness in the upper reaches of the Democratic National Committee.

Corporate media and corporate Democrats want the Bernie 2020 campaign—and the grassroots energy behind it—to melt away. That’s not going to happen.

Movements that have been propelling the Sanders campaign are here for the long haul—as determined to keep fighting for social justice as top corporate executives are determined to keep collecting huge paychecks. (And that’s saying something.)

The chances of Bernie winning the nomination have sharply diminished, but it’s still possible. And no matter what: movements for basic social change and democracy will vitally persist with long-term struggles to wrest power out of the hands of oligarchs and their functionaries.

Candidates who rushed to endorse Biden after his big victory in South Carolina—Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker—each personify, in their own way, what’s so corrosive about standard-issue Democratic Party leaders. Their backgrounds and personalities vary widely, but they share a political space of opportunism and ultra-coziness with corporate power. (Meanwhile, during the crucial aftermath of her withdrawal from the race after Super Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren shed new light on her political character when she decided not to endorse Sanders.)

The antidote to anti-democratic poisons has nothing to do with cynicism, passivity or defeatism. The solutions will come from realism, activism and ongoing insistence that a better world is possible—if we’re willing to keep fighting for it.

 

 

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo