The following statement was released by Gloria La Riva, the 2016 presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Our campaign stands with those in the Bernie Sanders campaign movement who are fighting for the realization of a progressive program in this country. Towards this end, Sanders appointed a number of prominent intellectual/activists to the Democratic Party Platform Committee, including Cornel West, Bill McKibben and James Zogby.
It is important to understand that the Democratic Party platform is a non-binding document. Once the platform is adopted, the presidential nominee is not required to campaign on the platform nor work to implement the platform. Nevertheless, it represents the stated values of the party for the purpose of public consumption during an election year.
Despite the fact that the platform is non-binding on the nominee, and is essentially a list of empty promises, the Hillary Clinton-appointed members of the Platform Committee worked hard to vote down a number of key progressive proposals introduced by Sanders supporters.
Among the proposals rejected were the following:
- Condemning the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Calling for a carbon tax
- A moratorium on fracking
- Indexing a $15/hr minimum wage to the cost of living
- A single-payer Medicare-for-All plan
- A more balanced position on Palestine/Israel, including using the term ‘occupation’
The Democratic Party Platform Committee’s rejection of these key demands, ratified by millions of Sanders’ supporters in the primaries, confirms the reactionary nature of this party, and Clinton’s real intent if she becomes president.
I salute Cornel West who refused to vote on this travesty of a platform on moral grounds and faced boos and other disrespect while doing so.
The platform process in the Democratic Party is not over, and near two thousand Sanders delegates appear ready to fight for these planks at the convention in Philadelphia. Our members will be there in Philadelphia with the thousands of progressive and revolutionary people gathering inside and outside the convention.
This process is a demonstration of the utter bankruptcy of the Democratic Party as a vehicle for real social change. Only the people organized and fighting together can truly make history. I urge Sanders’ supporters to not only vote socialist but to get involved with our socialist campaign.