If Biden Were to Win.

What happens to the leftist movement?

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Photo via Joe Biden on Instagram

We are months away from the Iowa Caucus. There are ten more debates left before the convention. There is still plenty of time for Biden’s polls to continue to sink, and for Bernie and/or Warren to take charge. However, in the meantime while I wait to see the polls in the aftermath of the Detroit debate, we have to start to consider the fact that Joe Biden’s numbers aren’t sinking as fast as they should be at this point in time. While I still see plenty of reasons to remain hopeful for a Sanders or Warren nomination, I think it’s time for leftists to at least prepare for the idea of Joe Biden winning the nomination, and what that should mean moving forward.

Of course, the primary concern for a Biden nomination is his vulnerability in an election against Trump. He has an almost guaranteed inability to turn out the vote of young people in the way that he’ll need to, which is an increasingly important priority for the Democratic Party if they want to achieve success. It’s growing more apparent with time that he has certainly aged, and may not be as sharp as he needs to be for the political climate he has stumbled back in to.

That being said, another definitive concern for me is what happens to the leftist movement that has begun to flourish over the past few years, thanks to Bernie Sanders and those he inspired? Will it continue, or fade? I’m worried that a large number of people will accept defeat, fall back, and continue on with their daily lives until an even worse version of Trump comes along four to eight years down the line (if Biden manages a victory), and the cycle inevitably continues. For the sake of our fragile republic and even the future of our species, that’s not a chance we should be willing to take.

If Biden wins the nomination, the pressure immediately must begin for him to pick a V.P. to the left of him.

We cannot accept another pick even comparable to Tim Kaine.

If the Democrats make the mistake once again of punching to the left, snubbing their base and essentially asking what we’ll do about it, then yes, there isn’t a shadow of a doubt that will be another four years of Trump. We have an obligation to keep that from happening in any way we can, and it must be made clear to Biden from the beginning that he has to accept the future of his political party if he wants any hope of success. Bernie or Warren can go out and support Biden if he wins, but I think they have an obligation to ensure that Biden will pick a V.P. they can comfortably tell his supporters to get behind. If Biden and corporate democrats haven’t learned anything from 2016, then Bernie and Warren have to show their base that at least they have.

I don’t have much faith in our politicians to learn from their mistakes on their own, but I do have faith in the ability of the people to organize, and using their collective power to force them to. It cannot be understated everything that the left has been able to achieve in just a few years alone. The Justice Democrats have become the face of the Democratic Party, and Medicare for All is now supported by a majority of Democrats in Congress. This sort of political pressure is proven to work, and we cannot lose sight of the fact that even if Joe Biden wins the nomination, we still have our voice. We can use that to get not just a leftist VP, but force a change of position on issues that matter, like climate change and healthcare.

It’s important to remember that if Joe Biden becomes the nominee and defeats Trump, all it could take is a midterm election for him to reconsider his position on everything from Medicare for All, to drastic action on climate change. The sustainability of a movement does not lie within the leaders, but rather what rises from the grassroots movements that they spark. We can force our politicians to become what we want them to be. The left has political pressure and clout that we haven’t had in decades, and that’s not going to go away if Joe Biden becomes the nominee. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that he needs us. We don’t need him.

If Joe Biden wins the fight can’t fade after a battle, because a war will still be left to be fought. No matter what we still have our voice, and we carry on.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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