Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president on April 12, 2015, a mind-numbing 1 year, 6 months, and 26 days ago. The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election has been one of the longest, most polarized and grueling election cycles ever, culminating in a melodramatic spectacle between neoliberal establishment candidate Hillary Clinton and the sexist, racist, nativist faux populist Donald Trump—whose popularity coincides with the rise of the far right in Western Europe.
The election cycle has not been without hope, nor followed the script of typical US elections. Political polarization in the U.S. has resurrected the specter of dissent and left-wing insurgence, giving power to underdog candidates like Bernie Sanders, a self-defined democratic socialist who is currently the most popular politician in the U.S, and third-party candidate Jill Stein.
2016 has been a notable year for struggle and organizing within social movements, from the continued power of Black Lives Matter organizing and the Movement for Black Lives platform, to the successful Verizon strike, the Fight for 15 movement, the nationwide Prison Strike, and the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests. We will need to continue all of this organizing to fight the incoming President, no matter who he or she is.
Here we collect the past year and a half of blog posts relating to the election.
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
This 1990 essay by long-time Vermont labor organizer and activist Ellen David Friedman examines Bernie Sanders' first decade in office and the wider context of independent and Rainbow Coalition electoral politics in the state. First published in The Year Left Vol. 4: Fire in the Hearth - The Radical Politics of Place in America, edited by Mike Davis, Steven Hiatt, Marie Kennedy, Susan Ruddick, and Michael Sprinker.
(Terry Bouricius and Bernie Sanders, 1983)
The electoral landscape in Vermont has seen some dramatic changes in recent years. These include the Democratic takeover of all branches of state government and the landslide re-election of prominent liberal US Senator Patrick Leahy in 1986. To the left, there have been the nationally unparalleled four-term mayoralty of socialist Bernie Sanders in Burlington, the succession of this seat of independent progressive Peter Clavelle in March 1989, and Sanders’s near-miss run for Vermont’s single US House seat in November 1988. There is also the surprising strength of Jesse Jackson's performance in 1984 and 1988 and the continuing activity of the Rainbow Coalition of Vermont (RCV) in supporting progressive legislative candidates. Both the mainstream and left press have found this transformation of the “rock-ribbed Republican” backwater state into a liberal/progressive bastion an interesting phenomenon.
Reflections on the Sanders campaign thus far by Ethan Earle, Project Manager for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC. First published at Rosalux-nyc.org
I was born in North Carolina, but my parents are from Vermont and I grew up taking long summer road trips up the east coast to visit our family in Burlington, the state’s largest city with just over 40,000 people. It was on one of these trips, sometime in the early 1990s, that I first learned about Bernie Sanders and his uniquely American brand of democratic socialism.