The Trump-Bernie Alliance: A Proposal

The Bernie movement was sold out by the DNC. The story is well known: Democratic leadership cynically exploited the massive progressive movement for votes and promptly denied its adherents any meaningful influence within the party. Hardly a single liberal democratic politician would hold office were it not for the compromising support of progressives, yet progressives are rewarded for their efforts in the DNC with marginalization and disenfranchisement. Every attempt by progressives to gain a foothold in the DNC is met with procedural obstruction and manipulation, and in doing so the mainstream DNC has sent a message loud and clear: We have the power over the party and we will suppress the progressive voice. Meanwhile, Trump supporters face a similar struggle within the GOP against anti-Trump neoconservatives such as Paul Ryan. As progressives seek a path forward to further their causes in this country, a compelling compromise presents itself to both sides: If progressives would help Trump supporters destroy the neoconservatives, then Trump supporters will help to ensure the progressive movement achieves power within the Democratic Party.

Certainly, there is good cause on both sides to be skeptical of such an alliance. Trump supporters fear the socialism touted by progressives who in turn fear the capitalism of the Trump supporters – this is the central difference between the two movements. Progressives will cite certain social justice concerns about Trump, but if Trump keeps true to his promises, the plight of minorities and diverse marginalized subcultures will be addressed and steps will be taken toward reconciliation and redress under Trump’s administration. Through a Trump/Bernie alliance, Bernie supporters can ensure their voice is heard by Trump and thereby help to prioritize and bring about such a reconciliation between oppressed minorities and society at large. But the central point of contention between Trump and Bernie is Capitalism vs Socialism. The reason this alliance would work is because Trump’s brand of protectionist capitalism is much closer to Bernie-style socialism than is the global capitalism of both the mainstream GOP and DNC, which is essentially identical and works against the interest of the American working class.

Because the leaders of the DNC and old GOP have nearly identical economic interests, look for collusion in the future between the two in obstruction of Trump’s populist policies which formed the basis of his platform. The DNC will once again call upon the progressives to obstruct the passage of any Trump policy regardless of whether said policy will benefit the American people. The DNC will thereby attempt to maintain the economic status quo by exploiting the progressives against Trump, all the while obstructing legislature that could actually move the country in a more progressive direction. And because Trump’s economic foreign policy will serve to progressivize our economic policy, the neoconservative GOP can be expected to rally in concert with the DNC against those polices. In Trump is a real opportunity to achieve the economic protectionism espoused by both Bernie and Trump and demanded by the working class for the last 40 years, but that opportunity could be lost if progressives continue to act in lockstep with the DNC against Trump.

Enter the compromise. Trump and Bernie supporters could strike a deal whereby progressives support Trump in his battle against old Republicans like Paul Ryan, and Trump supporters will in turn help the Bernie movement attain actual power within the DNC. In doing so, we will open a line of real dialogue between our two respective movements and achieve compromise that will actually move our country in a more progressive direction. This is the bridge that must be built to restore civil discourse within this country. If this doesn’t happen, the old oligarchic powers are much more likely to be successful in maintaining the economic status quo throughout the tenure of the Trump administration. We, Trump and Bernie supporters alike, must not let the old oligarchy use divide and conquer strategies to turn us into bitter enemies, especially when we share so much common ground. This proposed alliance is a pragmatic solution whereby progressives can achieve actual power within the DNC.

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