New Phenomenon in American Politics

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate for the American presidency, frustrated the hopes of his hardline supporters when he announced his withdrawal from the election, and called on his supporters to back his rival Hillary Clinton. They had hoped that he would remain in the battle until the end, continuing to draw attention to the relationship of his opponent with giant corporations. These expectations were mixed with aspirations to transform this election battle from a conflict between the Democratic and Republican Parties into a conflict between the interests of big money (Wall Street) and the representatives of the social classes on a limited income, and between right and left wing politics.

The American presidential elections have provoked wide interest in the world up until this point. There are a number of reasons for this interest; one of them is related to the role of Donald Trump — his odd behavior, arbitrary slogans and the fact that he is the antithesis of the best of what the Republican Party has achieved, regarding the direction it [historically] took toward of abolition of slavery and racial discrimination.

One of the reasons for the [global] interest is the possibility of victory for Hillary Clinton. The fact that she would be the first woman to enter the White House has special significance and comes after the term of Barack Obama, the first African-American president.

Last but not least, a big aspect of the interest in the elections was focused on Sanders and the meaning his struggle represents. He is the first presidential candidate, and possibly the first prominent American politician, to describe himself as a Democratic Socialist candidate. It is as if he wants to confirm that the era of McCarthyism in the United States has ended forever.

Just as we indicated above, the hardline supporters of Sanders and the sympathizers of the social revolution that he is igniting wanted the phenomenon of Bernie to remain ”pure” of any political bargaining. They wanted him to continue in a dual battle against the forces of the extreme right ,represented by Trump, and the center, represented by Hillary. However, he intends to ignore the desires of his militant supporters, thus avoiding splitting the opposition to Trump into two, which would easily guarantee his entry into the White House. Perhaps Sanders, in doing this, took into consideration the historical experience of Democrats in Europe. There, when the extreme right proceeded to rise at the expense of the centrist parties and political forces, most of the parties of the left were reluctant to cooperate with the liberal and centrist parties to combat them. Thus the left, and European society, paid dearly because of inadequate appraisal of the dangers [representatives of] the extreme right posed to humanity.

These dangers tower over the international arena through Donald Trump, firstly. Although some believe that Clinton poses the biggest threat to international security, Trump himself is not satisfied with this evaluation and insists that he is the most belligerent politician in the United States. This reality provides an incentive to build a wide international movement against the armed conflicts that are taking shape on the international scene. This includes the tensions and mutual threats between Washington and Beijing around the situation in the South China Sea, and the similar situation around the demarcation lines between Russia and its neighbors to the west and the south. In addition to all of these situations, another separate observation is the success of the extreme right in the referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union and the sweeping away of the democratic liberal party in the results of the elections in Japan. Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister, tends to lean toward confronting China militarily. All of this makes the possibility of Trump’s success in the American presidential elections an eventuality that is not unlikely if the American Democratic Party goes into the presidential elections divided between Bernie and Hillary.

Bernie’s support for Clinton will not lead to a guarantee of ultimate success for the Democrats in the presidential elections, just as her success does not mean a total guarantee that the prevailing tense international mood will be eased. But this support will allow for Sanders and his supporters to influence the Clinton administration and help move the United States away from the pursuit of adventurous policies like the war in Iraq, or, on a larger scale, put more focus on global security.

The role of Sanders in the new administration will have importance not only at a global level; it will also be important for the policies of the United States toward Arab issues, for which Sanders has sympathies, especially the issue of Palestine and the rights of Palestinians to a decent life. This matter is doubly important because the positions taken by Sanders reflect the views adhered to by young Americans. This characteristic [in Sanders] will provide these young people with political leadership that nurtures their ideas and positions on various international issues, among them the issue of Palestine. It will allow for the transformation of these ideas into decisions and policy changes, so they do not remain merely fleeting opinions or claims of the American political establishment that do not leave a tangible impact on American foreign policy.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply