Bert Garskof :
Listen to Bernie, then take to the streets

Sanders can’t bring about his exciting progressive program without what he calls a revolution.

Bernie and capitalist

Bernie with member of the billionaire class. Image from

By Bert Garskof | The Rag Blog | January 18, 2016

It seems obvious to me that the programs espoused by Bernie Sanders, if implemented, would help ordinary people, hurt big banks, work toward significant re-distribution of income, divert resources to peaceful cooperation internationally, help the environment, hurt global warming, help renewables, and hurt big oil.

Hell, we get it. Not that he is a socialist or communist or anarchist. You don’t elect what would be my vision: anarchy/community/freedom/equality. That’s a different story and an exciting one, but Sanders is a legitimate Social Democratic, as people in Europe would name him. In America he is really a New Deal Democrat. Alone in the current set of options, his policy if adopted would really do some good.

But, brothers and sisters listen to Bernie. He says clearly that he will not be able to bring about this progressive program without what he calls a revolution. When he goes on to talk about his use of this exciting term, he means a mass movement like in the ’60s when millions of people played a significant role in helping to stop our murderous and cowardly war on Vietnam.

The women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the abolitionists, the eight-hour-day movement, the right to have a union, women’s suffrage. Each of these forced Congress to enact progress and presidents to use their power for good.

Let me be clear: change in the streets means laws in congress. Without the massings of millions of people, of thousands of demonstrations, of hundreds of occupations, without this upsurge of people’s righteous energy, Bernie is nothing — a cheerleader not a leader. It wouldn’t be his fault. It would be ours. Dig it. Do it.

[Retired professor of psychology at Quinnipiac University, Bert Garskof was a leader in SDS in the ‘60s. He has worked with Connecticut Greens, MDS, and many other groups, and has written social issue theater presentations for kids, including The Rosa Parks Story, that have toured nationally. He can be reached at]

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2 Responses to Bert Garskof :
Listen to Bernie, then take to the streets

  1. Dorien deLusignan says:

    I was once one of your students at Michigan State University. At that time, 60s and 70s I agreed and looked forward to the ideas you then and, apparently today, believe and espoused. Later I traveled a great part of the world and studied independently. I EXPERIENCED, so to speak. I realized that all that Socialism, Anarchy etc just does not work. Even the pacifism of our peace movement was way out of tune with reality. Domino theory regarding South East Asia became a reality. Pure Evil exists in this world and it / they are really out to destroy the rest of us. To survive, to succeed, a person or a country must be constantly prepared to defend ones family, ones lifestyle, ones life. The places of the world that chose or were forced into what you refer to as “my vision: anarchy/community/freedom/equality” laugh at America and ask us “Why are you trying so hard t o get into a lifestyle system that we are trying so hard to escape?” Dig it? I say bury it, it does not work. Too many, especially the young, think that Socialism / Communism just hasn’t been tried by the right people and that now “We are the right people.” Only God and the destruction of Evil will finally bring about the perfect lifestyle you dream of. Until then we must Preserve Ourselves and be kind to one another. Sincerely and looking forward to God’s Kingdom on Earth, Dorien deLusignan
    P.S.-Those classes of yours at MSU were a ball and very inspiring for the time, but time and learning continue to march on.

  2. Extremist2TheDHS says:

    “But, brothers and sisters listen to Bernie. He says clearly that he will not be able to bring about this progressive program without what he calls a revolution …”

    I am not laughing with you. I am laughing at you. With the benefit of 20/20 post DNC convention hindsight, it seems amusing now to review what was written during the campaign about Bernie the Bootlicker … now that he has sold out his “revolution” for some DNC love and Hillary hugs. This was your REVOLUTIONARY???

    While Rag Bloggers were writing about the change-maker, the visionary, the new Che, I wrote, in a comment on this site, that Sanders had the cajones of a snail. I wrote that based on actions he both took and avoided. I wish I had not written that comment, as its clear now, that it is an insult to male snails.

    I support a candidate that also came from obscurity, even more so than Sanders, but succeeded where Bernie the Bootlicker rolled over into the fetal position. A candidate who didnt go along to get along, didnt value party unity over doing and saying the right things. Didnt give a crap about party elitists, or donors or media pundits.

    It turns out that there was a revolutionary in 2016. One that transformed his party from the outside. One that fostered a revolution that brought millions of new voters into the fold. One that risked everything to succeed and remained steadfast to his vision in the face of tremendous opposition from the moneyed interests arrayed against him. One that displayed an iron will, an assertive, take charge, take no prisoners, approach to life and politics.

    Che would be proud of .. President Donald Trump!!

    Proud to be an Extremist2TheDHS

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