- Jul 28, 2000
- Eugene, OR
- Basic Beliefs
'DemExit': virtual convention aims to create US leftwing alternative | US news | The Guardian
Democrats seem united on defeating Trump.The convention revives an evergreen debate on the left: whether to follow the likes of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and reform the Democratic party from within, or to conclude that it is irredeemably beholden to corporate interests and walk away to create something new.
The MPP, founded by a variety of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign staff, delegates and volunteers, embraces the latter approach. The party’s website has a page headlined “#DemExit” that declares: “Dear DNC: This is our Declaration of Independence from your Corporate Party.”
Although America prides itself on giving consumers freedom of choice over everything from television to ice cream, it does not boast the type of multiparty democracies seen in Europe and elsewhere. The MPP contends that the current duopoly will never deliver single-payer Medicare for All, higher education as a human right, a solution to the climate crisis or the dismantling of mass incarceration.
Others speaking at the People’s Convention, however, are reluctant to give up on the Democrats altogether. Nina Turner, a co-chair of Sanders’ primary campaign in 2020 and member of the Democratic national committee, said: “I support the movement and I am very clear that there are some progressives who want to ‘#DemExit’ but there are some progressives who believe, ‘It’s my party, I can cry if I want to and I’m going stay inside and push’.
“I support both of those forces because I think at the end of the day, even though they might be going down slightly different roads, they are parallel and the end point is the same. That’s why I’m speaking at this convention: that yearning that some have to form another party, and also I do recognise and support those who say that they’re gonna stay inside the Democratic party and give ’em hell and keep pushing them to the left. Both of those forces are needed. I consider those yin and yang.”
Turner, a former Ohio state senator, does not believe there will be a significant leftwing rebellion against Biden in this year’s election. “The majority of progressives, including ‘Berniecrats’, voted for Secretary Clinton in 2016 and I see that same thing happening in 2020. This will be more of a vote against President Donald J Trump for most progressives than it will be a vote for Vice-President Biden. It’s a binary choice.”
But if Biden is elected, the progressive movement will not give him an easy ride, she added. “We are a fire and the fire is burning and making it very clear that business as usual is not going to be accepted. We’ve got two dragons to slay as I see them for leftists, and that is to slay the dragon of neo-fascism and then slay the dragon of neo-liberalism.”