DSA logo

Bernie
Organizing Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Democratic Socialists of America proudly endorses Bernie Sanders for president.

For five decades, Bernie Sanders has fought for the well-being of ordinary working people against the interests of the elite few. We are inspired by his platform, including Medicare for All, tuition-free public college, a Green New Deal, and dozens of other ambitious proposals that promise to redistribute wealth and power to the working class.

We believe that Bernie Sanders, by focusing on the material issues that the majority of Americans face and uniting us around a common enemy in the ruling elite, has the greatest potential of any Democratic Party primary candidate to beat Donald Trump.

We also believe that a Bernie Sanders presidency is our best shot at fighting economic inequality, bigotry, war, and climate destruction. And while many of the reforms he proposes do not themselves constitute socialism, we believe that they will both raise the expectations and consciousness of the working class and materially put working people on better footing for future fights against the millionaires and billionaires.

Bernie is running to win, and we want to help him succeed. In the process, we want to continue to build a diverse and vibrant movement for democratic socialism in the United States — one that will outlast any single campaign or presidency.

We know that Bernie can’t do this alone. If he wins, it will demonstrate that he has majority support among the American people, but he will still be isolated in the state itself. The halls of power are crowded with politicians, from both major parties, who are beholden to corporate interests. In order to push his ambitious agenda through a hostile legislature and preserve major gains from erosion or reversal, Bernie will need mass movements of people outside the state, fighting and organizing to create their own grassroots political pressure, which can compete with the pressures exerted by industry bosses and financial elites.

Bernie understands that challenging the corporate status quo requires the activation of millions of people. That’s why he actively highlights the work of local activists, draws attention to the struggles of workers on the ground, and has chosen the campaign slogan “Not Me, Us.”

“The truth is that the powers that be,” said Bernie earlier this year on the campaign trail, “they are so powerful, they have so much money, that no one person, not the best president in the world, can take them on alone. The only way we transform America is when millions of people together stand up and fight back.”

It’s in recognition of the need for mass movements that the Democratic Socialists of America chooses to run an independent Bernie campaign.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t hold the key to building a more egalitarian and democratic world — we do. What Bernie does have is an unprecedented platform, which he uses to condemn capitalist greed and social division, promote working-class resistance and unity, and inform and excite millions of people about the promise of democratic socialism.

Our campaign works to share Bernie’s platform and message with ordinary working people, connecting its ideas and proposals to a broader analysis of capitalism’s shortcomings, and convincing people that there is a year-round, indeed a lifelong socialist movement they can join.

That socialist movement focuses on fights small and large, local and national, electoral and non-electoral. It has the potential to reawaken class politics in the United States, and to set working people on the path to both radical and durable transformation. A mass working-class political movement is the only thing that can eliminate inequality and secure true democracy, and building it is our number one priority.

Join us as we try to get Bernie elected president. And join us, also, as we build a movement that’s bigger than any single election — a mass socialist movement that will fight to the end for the many, not the few.