Progressive Democrats Reveal Radical Platform: ‘Biden a Doorway, Not a Destination’

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A recently revealed policy charter developed by left-wing activist groups and intended for implementation by a Biden administration calls for guaranteed housing, raising the minimum wage, public ownership stakes in all corporations receiving bailouts, universal healthcare, expanded unemployment insurance for illegal immigrants, defunding police, and repairing “historic harms” while ending “systemic racism.” Progressive members of Congress, including the far-left “Squad,” have pledged to use the charter as a “legislative blueprint” to achieve what they have long desired to.

Titled the “People’s Charter,” the new initiative provides a radical “roadmap” of progressive ambitions, claiming it can “heal the wounds from the pandemic, the economic depression, and a history of racism.” The charter has put into writing a list of legislative demands by far-left groups that are currently mobilizing millions of voters on behalf of the Biden-Harris ticket in order to achieve tangible victories and shift the Democratic party further to the left.   

With only weeks until elections, the charter was launched by the left-wing, Soros-backed Working Families Party (WFP), a highly influential coalition of labor unions and progressive activist groups, which claims hundreds of thousands of members. The organization calls itself “a progressive grassroots political party” which seeks to “transform America.”

Describing the need to defeat President Trump, WFP stated that, “If we take back the White House we can go on offense and demand Democrats take bold action starting in January 2021.” 

National Director of WFP Maurice Mitchell, having initially endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, plans to use the new charter,  which “presents what a governing agenda for the nation must entail,” as a means to garner support from the far left-wing base to go out and vote Biden.

“We’ve always said that electing Joe Biden was a doorway, not a destination,” said Mitchell. “The People’s Charter is that destination.” 

Promising to “fight like hell” to achieve their “new vision,” Mitchell detailed his strategy.

“The ascendant left is making a truce with Joe Biden, so we can win,” he said, adding that the path to drive big change entails fighting “to generate record turnout to dump Donald Trump” and then become “the biggest thorn in President Biden’s side.”

The agenda’s likelihood of coming to fruition under a Biden administration is rising, as many powerful people and groups sign on.

Several Congress members, joined by the four far-left freshman congresswomen (known as the “Squad”) Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, have already expressed support.

Planning to adopt the charter’s policies and carry out its vision under a Biden administration, Reps. Ro Khanna, Jesús “Chuy” García, Nydia Velázquez, and Bonnie Watson Coleman also joined as signatories along with a number of congressional candidates and over 40 progressive state and local officials.  

Referring to the charter as “the legislative blueprint for what progressives in the House will push during a Biden-Harris Administration,” Khanna (D-CA) told Fox News of his eagerness and excitement in bringing it to life and garnering even more support in the House.

“The aim is a clear agenda that progressives in the House will advance,” Khanna stated. “We will push for Medicare-for-all during the pandemic. We will push for the creation of millions of good jobs in communities left behind. And we will advance a bold vision to tackle climate change and have a liveable planet, which is the aspiration of the Green New Deal.”

Khanna has high expectations in advancing the charter legislatively. 

“I expect at least 80 to 100 House Democrats will support the basic principles and agenda,” he said. 

Recalling that the Democratic presidential nominee has discussed “the crisis that Roosevelt faced” as well as a desire “to have a new New Deal for the 21st century,” Khanna told Politico that he hoped for Biden to persist, stating his belief that Biden “can become a New Deal 2.0 president.” 

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) stated that “now we begin” the work of achieving the ideals of the platform by “evicting” the president from the White House, electing Joe Biden in his place, and affirming “a mandate to rebuild a nation.” 

Pressley made clear that the real work begins after elections.

“Organizing won’t stop on November 3rd,” she said. “Remember this is the door not the destination and we are just getting started.”

Stating the need to “create a new normal,” Tlaib (D-MI) stated. “I cannot wait to transform our country.”

“The vision laid out in the People’s Charter is exactly why we’re going to beat Donald Trump in November,” Omar (D-MN) said in a statement. “Organizing people around the promise of something better – that’s how we’ll win. And when we do, we’ll be ready to fulfill that promise.”

The charter is broken up into five sections, each describing a vision aligning with familiar socialist policies.

The first speaks of repairing “historic harms” and ending “systemic racism” and calls for shifting resources “away from policing, jails and detention centers, endless wars and agencies that separate families” and into “schools, housing, healthcare and jobs” instead, in order for “all people – especially Black and brown people, immigrants, and Indigenous people,” to thrive.

It also details eliminating “restrictive local zoning rules that keep housing and schools segregated by race and class,” while calling for aid for black families, and other people of color harmed by “redlining” in buying homes.

The second section calls for expanded unemployment insurance and ensuring its availability for all, “regardless of immigration status,” until jobs return. It also bans evictions, foreclosures or utility shut-offs while calling to cancel all rent and suspend debt payments “during the current pandemic.”

In addition to “direct federal funding to states and cities to prevent layoffs and cuts to schools, hospitals, and other public services when we need them most,” school reopenings are to be delayed “until the virus subsides” and care is to be provided for the most vulnerable “especially the homeless, migrants, people with disabilities, trans people, and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.”

The third section calls for putting “16 million people to work immediately” through programs such as “modernizing and retrofitting millions of homes and buildings” and “protecting and restoring forest and wetlands.” It also calls for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour everywhere.

The fourth section calls for making healthcare “free and universal” as well as guaranteeing “universal child care” and “home and community based services for everyone, including mental health care.“ 

It also calls for providing “affordable housing for all,” cancelling student debt, and taxing “the giant corporations who don’t pay their share” as well as “the wealth of the billionaires.”

The last section calls for investing now to make various systems resilient to “future crises like climate change,” while transitioning away from fossil fuels.

“Instead of subsidizing and bailing out oil and gas companies,” it reads, “buy them out” to further the transition “towards regenerative energy sources,” creating green jobs in the process.

Additionally, public banks are to be created to make needed investments “whenever private markets fail to.”

It also calls to “emphasize cooperation and diplomacy over competition” in foreign dealings.

Excitement surrounding the new charter and its potential for major changes to the fabric of America was apparent from the atmosphere of the charter’s launch event.

“I can’t tell you how fired up I am to be a part of this amazing movement and this squad that continues to grow,” said Jamaal Bowman, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 16th congressional district. “And I cannot wait till November 3rd to vote this bum out of the White House, flip the Senate and make sure the Republican party does not recover for at least a generation so that we could build a nation that is beautiful and magnificent and diverse and nuanced.”

Speaking of the struggles of the brown, black, indigenous and immigrant communities, Rep. Jesus Garcia (D-IL) stated that “time’s up” and stressed the need for the charter, which will lead to “bold and intersectional solutions that bring justice and equity to our communities.” 

Garcia expressed support for the charter’s “reimagining of the mass criminalization and deportation machines,” while referring to the current immigrant system as both “outdated” and “inhumane.” 

Speaking of the need to “end local coordination with law enforcement” and “respect women’s bodies,” Garcia also addressed the issue of housing, which the charter calls for providing for all. 

“It’s about damn time that we recognize that housing is a basic human right, period,” he said.

Garcia admitted that “some think our ideas are radical,” but stressed that the current system is even more so. He also insisted that he was “ready to fight to transform our country in every way.” 

Democratic nominee for Missouri’s 1st congressional district Cori Bush stated that the vision embodied in the charter will take work “between now and Election Day” and will subsequently “go on the offensive and win the People’s Charter in Congress and state houses and in localities all across the country.” 

Claiming that we are “writing the next chapter in our civil rights history right now,” Bush called for funds for police to be diverted to “violence prevention programs” instead, stating that the “real problem” is that police “are killing black and brown people with impunity in this country and doing it disproportionately and we’re tired of it and we say no more.” 

Bush also elaborated on the plan to replace Trump with Biden, setting the stage for the charter’s adoption. 

Replacing Trump “is absolutely central and critical to what we want to accomplish together and the world that we want to build,” she stated, claiming that Biden and Harris are “partners who will come to the table.”

In a call to viewers to join the WFP in order that they have “the infrastructure and the momentum” needed, Bush said, “You need to join this movement [and] be a part of this infrastructure and this momentum to press for these critical policy changes.” 

The new charter was also embraced by Kayla Reed, a lead organizer of the radical Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) which openly seeks no less than a revolution to topple the U.S. capitalist system and its replacement with a socialist-style government replete with universal income, collective ownership, and the redistribution of wealth. 

The charter “sets a clear vision for our communities, what we need, and what we deserve” and “does not shy away from the need to address white supremacy and racialized violence head on,” Reed said. 

Prior to heading the WFP, Mitchell worked with M4BL and currently they operate a joint “Justice Fund” that supports local candidates aligned with the movements goals, which are “nothing less than the remaking of the current U.S. political system in order to create a real democracy where Black people and all people can effectively exercise full political power.”

Other charter signatories include numerous Soros-backed activist groups such as Demos, MoveOn, SEIU, and the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPDA), a network with over 50 local partners in 32 states that receives the bulk of its funding from left-wing billionaire George Soros. 

CPDA, which helped draft the charter, received $80 million dollars in 2017 to lead a massive anti-Trump network to, mainly, mobilize new voters in the upcoming election. The group is currently leading a massive get-out-the-vote effort in seven swing states and claims it will mobilize over four million voters. 

Despite Biden declaring he “is the Democratic Party” during the first presidential debate, in an attempt to distance himself from more progressive wing demands, he has reiterated many times over the past year his desire to “fundamentally transform America,” echoing the rhetoric of the demands of the People’s Charter and its policy agenda as well as the progressive members of Congress who pledge to use the charter as a legislative blueprint. 

Biden has also echoed the charter’s premise this past May when he called the coronavirus an “incredible opportunity to not just dig out of this crisis, but to fundamentally transform the country.” 

Biden is viewed by many progressive groups as the ticket to making their radical agenda — supported by dozens of Congress members and radical left-wing groups — a reality. 

Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that, if elected, Biden has promised to be “the most progressive president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

President Trump has repeatedly called Biden a “puppet” controlled by the radical left to advance the “socialist” agenda of Bernie Sanders and the “Squad,” warning that they will utilize a potential Biden win to transform America in disastrous ways.

“They want to demolish our heritage so that they can impose their new oppressive regime in its place,” said the president. 

As the far-left garners more and more support for its charter, such transformations seem just over the horizon in the event of a Biden win.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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