The heads of six progressive advocacy organizations—some that have endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, some backing Sen. Bernie Sanders, and others who have remained neutral thus far—issued a joint statement calling for unity among the two candidates and their supporters on Thursday morning, arguing that the largest beneficiaries of this week’s dust-up between the two campaigns are establishment Democrats, corporate defenders of the status quo, and ultimately President Donald Trump.
“For the sake of humanity and the planet, we need a tactical alliance between the Sanders and Warren campaigns. Defeating corporate Democrats and Donald Trump will require no less.”
—Norman Solomon, RootsAction
The statement (which can be read in full below) was signed by the heads of Democracy for America, Our Revolution, RootsAction.org, Sunrise Movement, Working Families Party, and Justice Democrats. It argues that the best chance for progressives in the United States to defeat Trump “does not lie with an establishment or corporate Democrat,” but rather with unified progressive front.
While Our Revolution, RootsAction, and Sunrise are all openly backing Sanders, the Working Families Party has officially endorsed Warren. Justice Democrats and Democracy for America, meanwhile, have yet to throw their support behind any of the 2020 primary candidates in the Democratic field. Despite the divergent approaches to the primary, the groups called for unity to ensure that Trump is defeated in November and that a truly transformative and progressive vision can take hold.
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According to the joint statement, “the surest way to defeat Trump is for the Democratic Party to nominate either Warren or Sanders, as these are the candidates best able to energize voters by providing a vision of a decent society and a fair economy. This vision is sorely needed, as is an administration that will implement far-reaching reforms toward a more just society.”
The groups backing either Warren or Sanders said the statement of unity “in no way signals the slightest decrease in that commitment,” but added that both the campaigns and their respective supporters will have to “find ways to cooperate” going forward.
“The crossfire amplified by the media is unhelpful and does not reflect the relationship between two Senate colleagues who broadly worked well together for most of the last year,” reads the statement. “We hope to build solidarity between delegates affiliated with these two candidates prior to the convention and will encourage the campaigns to work towards a unified convention strategy after the final primaries on June 2nd.”
In a column for Common Dreams on Thursday morning, Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org and a signatory to the joint statement, wrote: “For the sake of humanity and the planet, we need a tactical alliance between the Sanders and Warren campaigns. Defeating corporate Democrats and Donald Trump will require no less.”
“The surest way to defeat Trump is for the Democratic Party to nominate either Warren or Sanders, as these are the candidates best able to energize voters by providing a vision of a decent society and a fair economy. This vision is sorely needed, as is an administration that will implement far-reaching reforms toward a more just society.”
—Progressive Unity StatementThe joint statement by the six organizations coincides with a separate yet overlapping effort, called “Progressives Unite 2020,” which includes 18 organizations—some of whom also signed the unity statement. According to the project’s website:
“When progressives fight each other, the establishment wins,” Charles Chamberlain, the chairman for Democracy for America, said in a statement. “We saw it in 2004 when progressives took each other out and John Kerry slipped through to win Iowa and then went on to lose in November to a very unpopular Republican incumbent. We’re determined to not let that happen again.”
Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Our Revolution, which is part of the Progressives Unite 2020 coalition, said, “Our members are ready to elect Bernie Sanders as our next President, but we must be clear. 2020 is a must-win moment for the progressive movement. It is the best opportunity we have to transform our political system – and take power back from the corporate elites who seek to destroy our country and our climate. We know there are more of us than there are of them. And if we come together and organize, we will win 2020.”
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also made a pronounced call for a progressive truce between the two camps.
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