The problem for the left is not primarily to win people over to its policies, but to convince people the policies are worth fighting for.
If the Left is to succeed where past generations have failed, it can’t allow sectarian organizations to operate as “parties within a party.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Trump supporters breach the Capitol on January 6. I was visiting my mom and we were getting ready for dinner when I received frantic texts from comrades from Mexico City. “What is going in the US? I just saw the videos from the Capitol”. I assumed it was some Proud Boys getting violent as usual but when I turned on the TV and watched thousands of Trump supporters outside the Capitol and an armed stand-off inside, I knew this was different. As we commented on the chaos over dinner, my grandmother, who is blind, began to tense up, she was getting worried, we were talking about civil war, Donald Trump and running away to Mexico. I tried to reassure them that things would be OK, and that this would be resolved appropriately, but deep down, I wasn’t—I’m not—so sure.
While Joe Biden has been making it unmistakably clear that he’s nobody’s socialist tool, the American socialist movement—most of whose adherents will be voting for Biden—has continued to expand. The Democratic Socialists of America (to which I’ve belonged since the Neolithic Age) now has more than 70,000 members and has launched a campaign to raise that number to 100,000. At its current rate of growth, its membership rolls may well surpass that of the Debs-era Socialist Party, which claimed 118,000 dues-payers at its early-20th-century zenith.
There’s a very interesting split on the left right now between groups that have everything to lose but completely different theories on how to protect themselves.As Jenna Johnson, Matt Viser, and Chelsea Janes report in the Washington Post and Maya Gay editorializes in the New York Times, black voters in the South feel a sense of urgency about defeating Donald Trump because they see his reelection as a direct threat to everything they accomplished in the Civil Rights Era and since. On the flip side are the multiracial millennials who make up the Democratic Socialists of America crowd. As Tim Alberta writes for Politico Magazine, they’re rooting hard for Bernie Sanders to win the presidency, but their focus is more on local organizing and the long haul. On the whole, they no longer expect one person or one election to solve the problems they face. They’re not committed to voting against Donald Trump and generally see no reason to support Joe Biden.