A Million Strong Army of Volunteers – Wasting on the Sidelines

Jimmy Dore put out a couple videos over the last couple of days that is, for lack of a better word, brutal. He goes completely off Bernie Sanders and other so called “progressives”, and just loses it. However, I can't say I blame him. And he's got many good points. The biggest of which, is Senator Sanders supposedly has a Million Strong Army of volunteers all across this country, and in a nut shell, they are doing nothing more than wasting away on the sidelines, actually doing really nothing.

If Bernie really does have a Million Strong Army of Volunteers, then he has failed this test of leadership, in this historical moment. For all the good he's done over the last 4 decades, it's all about to be wiped out in one fell swoop by his failure in this crisis to step up, make demands for the people, and then most importantly, back those demands with a display of real people power.

3 Emergency bills have been passed with Wall Street and big business making out like bandits stealing candy from children. It is nothing sort of giving away the store, the keys to the store and your bank account information. The vast transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% is the largest in history.

And all Bernie could muster is some showboating theatrics that barely addressed the 99%. Yeah, I know, if it wasn't for Bernie, it would not have gotten in the legislation. Yeah, fine, however, Jimmy Dore was correct, when he said Bernie and the other so called progressives could have “organized” a caucus and halted the legislation (massive give away to big business) until they gave us something realistic.

If I'm so smart, what should Bernie do?

Very simple, take the gloves off and come out swinging. Being the “opposition” candidate, means, you can't win the presidency by being “Mr. Nice Guy” to people who rather let you die, than have a conversation with you. Not everyone will like you, but more importantly you must “earn” their respect, and that doesn't happen by being nice. It happens by wielding power effectively.

First and foremost, fire anyone in his campaign that is not on board with any of his policies. He needs to clean house and get those fucking Center for American Progress careerist hacks out of his campaign. NOW.

You can not run an effective campaign, if you have careerist and moles planted through your campaign staff that are not on board with your vision and program of action. If they are not in it, to win it, then fire their ass! Of course Bernie needs to do that himself. Decide now, he's either in it to win it, or just fuck the hell off. We the America people do not need false hope at this point.

Now, think for a moment, did FDR look around the country and see what a hell hole this country was in, and all of a sudden decide, here's some legislation to help the American people. Nope, not at all. FDR had to be forced by strikes and social upheaval, to even begin to start introducing legislation to help the American people.

While everyone (a lot of people anyway) on twitter / social media is touting Bernie as this generation's FDR, well, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure Bernie's legislation is similar in nature, in that it addresses many of the problems facing this country, but, Bernie is no FDR.

The “comparisons” should stop after comparing legislation. FDR was a “capitalist” while Bernie calls himself a “democratic socialist”, which is after all, a capitalist, just with a heart for social safety nets. The “capitalist order”, ie the means of production, doesn't fundamentally change, only safety net programs are expanded and a few “rules” are put in place to keep capitalism from running of the rails again.

Activate – Organize – Mobilize

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will – Fredrick Douglas.

Bernie has run his campaign like a nice, meek little boy, “please sir, can I run for the presidency as a Democrat?”. Here's the real thing, Bernie hasn't made any demands.

If you have a Million Strong Army of Volunteers and you are not using them to advance your campaign, then what, the fuck, are they doing? Tweeting, txting, phone banking? Trying to “be nice” to people who would rather see you die from lack of medical care, because you can't afford it? Sure I understand one catches more flies with sugar, but what the fuck do we want with flies? We have enough “maggots” already, MK!

Right now, Bernie should be delegating authority to “leaders” to “activate, organize and mobilize” his Million Strong Army of volunteers to form direct action teams that will lead protests all across this country. While at the same time Bernie needs to “organize” the so called progressives in both the house and the senate, and stage a walk out, in coordination with street protests by his Million Strong Army of volunteers.

Bernie needs to "demand" that legislation needs to address the needs of the 99% or else. But Bernie doesn't have an "or else" threat to back up his demand. That is the problem! Unless he recognizes his "army of volunteers" can be that "threat" to #ShutItDown, ie the economy, he will continue to fail and unless the American people rise up, were fucking toast.

You see, demands with no power, will fail every time, full stop. – The Ranting Rooster


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13 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

if folks wait till this pandemic has settled down TPTB will tell workers to screw themselves. This is the moment where the least appreciated workers have power. Too bad Bernie does not make those sorts of calls. I really don't think he was after the presidency, just wanted to plant his ideas...which do seem to have sprouted.

Nice rant. Jimmy's rants have been strong of late.

16 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I watched the Stoller segment with Dore, and Dore asked what Bernie could have done. He said Bernie could have organized progressives to stop the bailout and split it into two bills. Stoller thought Bernie could get Senate progressives to back the stoppage, with House progressives supporting Sander's actions. Stoller has some cred on this as he worked in the Senate.

Dore did expose Sanders as politically inept and impotent. Sanders sold himself as dangerous to the establishment and putting together a "revolution". He certainly did not live up to his own self billing.

Bernie popularized progressive policies which Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer will not act on and probably in 4 years will be forgotten by the media and democratic base and their leaders. If any of Bernie's solutions are to happen, it will be up to Trump acting in the face of a massive crisis.

12 users have voted.
Roy Blakeley's picture

@MrWebster he might have gotten half a dozen Senators to vote against this monstrosity. Big deal. Stoller and Dore are delusional. They don't understand political power, and the like to imagine that Bernie has more power than he really has. He has run a bad campaign, been outflanked by the corporate Dems and has little leverage. What is his million person volunteer army supposed to do now? Send angry text messages, hold mass demonstrations and give each other COVID-19? If the left want political power, we have to do like the right did decades ago. We have to figure out a strategy to take over positions of power and we have to implement it. The Democratic Party is the biggest obstacle, granted, in the left taking power, but self-delusion is not helpful.

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@Roy Blakeley He could have grabbed headlines and free airtime if he had just tried. He had absolutely nothing to lose, and a lot of attention to gain for just fighting and damn trying.
It wasn't that he couldn't do it because...
It is that he drew no attention to trying, showing himself as a person who cares.
The is no delusion at all about the notoriety you get from looking good losing. People admire the person that goes up against the Great Odds.
When you cave, you do not look good to anyone.

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CB's picture

just a fluffer for the DNC. His job is to excite the proles to get them fired up enough to vote. He was never intended to be the main act.

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that is just brutal.
and very clever.

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CB's picture

for her election and she, as well as the DNC, completely failed to acknowledge this fact. Her Heinous was I I I, Me Me ME ad nauseam for two years after.

We all witnessed Bernie's rallies time and time again all over the country, many times in places where Clinton refused to show her snout:

The DNC and Hillary cut him off at the kneecaps and we were left with this:

Bernie then capitulated and threw in his support for "same old, same old" who was anathema to his campaigned beliefs.

I don't know about you, but at that time I felt I got royally screwed and not in a nice way.

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TheOtherMaven's picture


HER will never change.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Raggedy Ann's picture

We are being controlled by the universe, thus the pandemic. No politician is going to change our society - only the universe can do this.

We are being given a gift of Covid-19 as a kind of purification, a clearing of the old order. It is linked to this jump in consciousness. The symptoms of the corona virus reflect how we've behaved with the earth (fever = fires raging in the world; confinement = we confine animals in zoos and in factory farming), which has consequences.

This is a period of quantum jumps in consciousness and we are much more powerful than we realize - our minds and emotions are powerful. Let's use that power to be the change we want to see, instead of worrying about Bernie and what he did or didn't do and what he should or shouldn't do. He's not in charge of diddly - WE are in charge.

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"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

people assume there are 2 types of support - lip service and full. There are 3 - the third is people who are willing to work for you but not suffer for you.
Many years ago when I was a taxi driver activist we were trying to stop San Francisco from issuing what would be a fatal fleet expansion. Long story short, the companies offered us a meter increase to offset the loss of income from the fleet expansion and a 1 year moratorium on increases in the daily "gate" fee. Our group had already decided to reject such an offer, but the person we chose to represent us misplaced his spine. He offered to let me replace him, but I chose not to. (bluntly, he was a medallion holder and I wasn't - he had a safety net and I didn't) Meanwhile the unrecognized "drivers' union" decided to take the meter increase. The result - the 1 year moratorium lasted 1 day, and ridership declined proportionately to the meter increase. (while the remaining fares were split among the additional drivers) It took a few years to make it official, but we died that day, because none of us had the moral courage to accept being vilified for turning down a meter hike.
Maybe this is the position Bernie sees. Maybe he thinks his army isn't ready to take to the streets and get shot for honest government. Maybe he knows he's not the man to inspire that kind of sacrifice. Maybe he's right.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Shahryar's picture

Just to see him go off on Tulsi.

7 users have voted.

to "Your Revolution".

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snoopydawg's picture

with the millions behind him I think it could grow legs.

They are dumping milk already to save the milk market.

John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath” describes a similar moment during the Great Depression, when people starved even as orchards of fruit were burned to make the food that remained more profitable: “Men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. … There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. … In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

What we know from history is that someone always shows up to harvest this level of ambient rage — but it can go in two directions. If people can be made “angry at the crime,” as Steinbeck wrote, there can be huge positive political changes. During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt and unions organized the anger and used it to create the New Deal and the largest middle class in history. In unluckier countries, like Germany, Italy and Japan, the political left failed. The fury was organized by fascists, and directed at innocents.
Mobilized anger at the healthcare industry terrified Congress into passing Medicare for All.
Mobilized anger created a sea change in U.S. culture. The taboo against being honest about the anguish and failure all humans experience was shattered. Suddenly Americans realized they were surrounded by suffering just like their own, and much of it was the fault of political choices, rather than them individually being losers.

We already had this person leading the helm:

The Democratic candidate’s quiet campaign refused to get exercised about much of anything. When the candidate was asked whether he or she would investigate Trump’s dilatory response to the coronavirus at the beginning of 2020, the Democrat said no, because “I know Donald loves this country and even out of office we’ll need his shoulder at the wheel to beat this thing.” What about prosecuting senators for insider trading? No, the candidate explained, because "when I’m president the country will all pull together.”


I'd be the Person, but I don't have millions of people ready to follow me. Guess who does?

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope