“The Leftist Movement Going Forward”
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Here’s somethings I want my fellow Leftists to think about as we win this election and going forward into 2021, this is not intended to be a repudiation, it’s a celebration. This conversation is only relevant because of how strong and frankly likely our victory has become. Also this is just food for thought, something to think about, not a list of demands so without further ado: 1.) Agency Capture. 2.) Stop asking “is X a part of the movement” and start asking “are they useful to the movement” Starting with Agency Capture; this is a technique we have seen the Republicans employ for the last 40 years to great effect. Putting your people in the position(s) to do the most impact for their respective ideology. This sounds obvious but there’s a huge vacuum of discussion on this point, at least from the threads I see. It’s not just who Bernie picks for a running mate it’s also who he leaves in charge of the CIA. Now, some comrades may take umbrage with that framing because they don’t want there to be a CIA in the first place, know that I agree with you. However Bernie is not a god, the Senate is comprised of Right leaning Democrats and Republicans almost entirely, they aren’t going to let us start axing every problematic agency in the government. Hence the need for Agency Capture. Rather than dismantling the CIA, we need to put someone in charge of it who will metaphorically run it into the ground. One suggestion I’ve floated is leaving that position to Cornel West, as an example. Now he might be more inclined to a cabinet position who can say, but this is how we need to approach this problem. Take the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Liz Warren's signature achievement during the financial crisis. Mick Mulvaney argued for years that the CFPB was a “sick, sad joke” and cosponsored bills to remove and dismantle it to no avail because Obama. So when Republicans took control of the government what did they do? Put him in charge and here was the result. He retooled the agency into a cog of the corporate power structure. Horrifying from a progressive point of view but very effective at accomplishing the agenda Mulvaney serves. This must become our strategy as well; dismantle where possible such as with ICE but where it’s not possible we crash them from within. We should make our choices for the Agencies publicly and loudly in the coming days leading up to Iowa so we have a full list of agency head options - options that we can ask Bernie in interviews to consider. The more frequent we ask the more mainstream and likely this list of options will be heeded when Bernie takes the oath. Up till now policy is what candidates have talked about but there is a whole host of issues we can fix without having to consult our depressingly corrupt legislators. Which brings me to point 2: Stop asking “is X a part of the movement” and start asking “are they useful to the movement”. This is something we’ve been doing for a while already but on a more instinctive level, I haven’t seen the thought process laid out so explicitly so I’ll explain: We’re the Left, at our core we want justice for everyone. Our guiding light is basically ‘Do to Others as you would have them do to You’ or ‘be excellent to one another’ and so on. To accomplish this does require us to overcome entrenched private capital power and government power. Neither of those things can be accomplished instantly, they take time. Bernie is the first step forward in a long time on that process but this vision is not something everyone shares. Which brings me to Ro Kahanna, who recently tweeted how stoked he was to sit down with Tony Blair. Tony Blair is a War Criminal Neoliberal who aided and abetted the Bush administration in their illegal invasion of Iraq. The Bush Administration, who are also War Criminals, are still walking free and enjoying the plutocrats lifestyle today which is a problem we need to rectify all its own. Back to Ro, this sit down is angering for obvious reasons if you have any kind of Left politics. Ro is not a socialist of any stripe, he is more akin to the Liz Warren side of the party which if you view him through that lens you see the resemblance i.e. Liz Warren's “talks” with Hillary Clinton. Now I want to stress something here: If you called Ro out for this, good. Do it because that was a gross picture and a poor move on his part. If you think we should cancel him however, that is where I object and the point of this diatribe comes in. He is *useful* to us even though he does not agree with us. He’s one of the key architects of the Yemen War Powers Resolution, despite Trumps veto this is what being antiwar looks like (more on that in a moment). Ro is not a socialist, he occupies the farthest Left you can realistically go under a capitalist ideological mind set so I wouldn’t vote for him were he running against Bernie but he’s not. He’s underneath Bernie's umbrella, meaning even if Ro does not reflect our movement we can apply him to situations and positions where he advances our goals. This should be our mentality after Bernie wins the nomination, making Ro Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense would be good ideas, making him Secretary of Commerce would in my opinion be a bad idea. He is the representative for Silicon Valley so I’d be wary of putting him in positions related to that conflict of interest. Turning him loose to return to the Congress would put him in the running for Speaker which I’m also against, I want to avoid any ‘compassionate capitalism’ rhetoric when it comes time to tax the billionaire class out of existence, though there are pros and cons there as well given his experience as a competent legislator even in this dismal congress. Tulsi Gabbard conversely is not useful to our movement. Her antiwar rhetoric is very selective and really only covers regime change wars not the war on terror or our drone shadow wars, she is not useful to our underlying goal. She panders to the Right with her rhetoric about border security and consequently has a following among people like Meghan McCain and Ann Coulter, who are best described as xenophobic white women of privilege. This is someone we should cancel, in my view, because she’s not on our side nor is she even useful to our goals. So that’s my pitch, we should begin drawing up the ideal people for jobs in the government that suit our ideological goals, without necessarily pigeonholing ourselves to strictly Leftists.