Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and The Establishment Left
In any other country, Sanders and Warren may exist in separate political parties. Here, they contend for the nomination of the same party.
By Anuhya Bobba
Presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders has seen a surge in polls, specifically for important caucuses like Iowa and New Hampshire. However, his rise in popularity has been met with disdain from the establishment left. Former staffers of the Obama administration to the 2016 Clinton campaign continue to warn against a Sanders presidency instead vying for nominee Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Warren, on the other hand, has recently accused Sanders of sexism, citing a 2018 meeting where he allegedly remarked that a woman could not win the presidential election — an incident that Sanders has denied to be true.
Sanders’ record has been anti-sexist, and his campaign staffers have produced proof to showcase his historical and recorded support of present and future female politicians.
Nevertheless, the alleged remark loomed over the last Democratic presidential debate, reigniting an intricate history of “the left…eating its own and destroying itself.”
The left is fractured. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed to this reality, as she explained that “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party.”
The left, in the United States, includes the “establishment” — an inherently classist and racist institution. An aspect that has led to the fracture of the left is the desire to maintain or to protect the establishment, shared by one half and vehemently hated by the other half. In any other country, Sanders supporters and Warren supporters may also exist in separate political parties. In this country, they contend for the nomination of the same party.
Since the political party system cannot be fixed in the near future, then it is also important to reject the singular identity pushed in conversations of sexism. In a previous piece written for Wear Your Voice, I stated: “It comes to be reductive to view each candidate in the singular identity that they choose to highlight, in an effort to appeal to the forced white supremacist capitalist patriarchy absolution of individual identity to a monolithic group identity.” And this remains particularly true now.
Warren is a woman, yes. But, as a woman myself, I would rather see a president that is not another manifestation of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. I will not just vote for Senator “capitalist to my bones” Warren because she happens to offer descriptive representation. (I will vote for Warren, however, if she wins the nomination).
I also find more credible a nominee that has not falsely, knowingly identified as a Native American, in order to be accepted in academia and in employment. An article in the Fordham Law Review even named Elizabeth Warren as “Harvard Law School’s ‘first woman of color’”!
Vying for candidates like Warren or ruminating over the 2016 loss of Hillary Clinton is a safe space to exist within; it does little to overhaul the systemic violences that mark the United States and its political institutions.
Sanders, like any other nominee, will likely be another imperialist commander in chief if elected. But, I cannot deny that he represents a shift to the safety of the establishment, a safety that does not benefit nor protect BIPOC.
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