This is a historic moment for the left-wing movement in the United States. Bernie Sanders is on the edge of winning the Democratic Party’s nomination. The genuinely leftist power behind the realistic possibility of a socialist elected president is undeniable. However, we must not lose sight of what our true end goal is. But electing Bernie Sanders, and electoralism generally, is not our end goal. It is only one of the first of many steps to achieving our broader, much more ambitious goals of fundamentally transforming our economy and government to serve the people and to unite the workers of the world through socialism, whether that be reform or revolution.
Now more than ever, our grassroots organizing will be incredibly essential. A genuine democratic socialist as president can be pushed much more easily than a Republican oligarch or any of the other status quo stooges. Sanders’ runs in 2016 and 2020 have inspired millions of Americans to become interested in left-wing ideologies, led to a massive spike in membership to the Democratic Socialists of America, and have begun to do vital organizing with often ignored and forgotten communities. Carrying over that enthusiasm and energy to left-wing movement based organizing efforts is vital so that we don’t lose momentum.
A Bernie Sanders presidency will be important to establish baseline social safety net policies, that will begin to liberate our population from suffering, and the leftist energy required to sustain and expand socialist movement building. But we must always remember that Bernie Sanders is not our savior. We are our own saviors. A socialist future is tangible if we fight for it and we must always take an active role in building the movement to achieve that. Never forget that.