In the 2018 election cycle, a Marxist-led organization claiming more than 100,000 members in 50 states helped elect one U.S. senator, 10 members of Congress, and around 70 state, county, and municipal officials, as well as contributing to the victory of more than 20 left-wing state and county ballot measures.
Our Revolution, the vehicle organized in 2016 to carry on the Bernie Sanders movement, endorsed several hundred candidates and ballot measures. Most fell short of victory, but six new leftist members of Congress—including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—and a slew of socialist state representatives, county commissioners, and school board members have encouraged a U.S. left that had long been disillusioned with electoral politics.
Other beneficiaries of Our Revolution included incumbents Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).
Our Revolution’s goal is no less than the revolutionary transformation of the United States.
"Our Revolution will reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the 'political revolution.' Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change, and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families," states the Our Revolution website.
Our Revolution’s goal is socialism, and it has already made considerable progress in that direction.
A Front Group
Our Revolution is a front for the United States’ three most influential Marxist organizations: the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). Most Our Revolution-endorsed candidates are affiliated with one or more of these organizations.
Virginia DSA member and Our Revolution affiliate Emily Cone-Miller said plainly in a Facebook comment that “for the time being the strategy of DSA is to steal the ballot line from the Democratic establishment.”
In other words, take over the Democratic Party until such time as an openly socialist party is viable. Our Revolution is the main vehicle for this strategy.
At 55,000 members at the time of writing, America’s largest Marxist organization—the DSA—provides the bulk of Our Revolution leadership.
David Duhalde is the political director at Our Revolution and a former deputy director of the DSA. In a November 2017 interview with news website Truthout, Duhalde explained:
"I have been rather pleasantly surprised about how well the different post-Bernie formations have been doing and working together to keep this political revolution going. I want to give one great example, which is Our Revolution, [which] either locally or nationally endorsed all of our candidates that we endorsed nationally, as well. Not to mention tons of local races.
"We have a very good working relationship with Our Revolution. We often share information and talk about candidates. We, also, have this affiliation program where DSA chapters can be the local Our Revolution chapter, as well. That is to avoid unnecessary conflicts, duplication of efforts. So, our Knoxville chapter which helped elect two DSA members is, also, the Our Revolution chapter. That is a really great example of keeping this collaboration going."
Many of the Our Revolution chapters or affiliates are led by DSA members, who usually also work inside the Democratic Party. The following are a few examples:
There would be no Our Revolution without the DSA.
- In Connecticut, DSA comrade Dan Durso is Our Revolution director.
- Paul Glaze is a Metro Atlanta DSA member while serving on the executive committee for Our Revolution, Georgia.
- In Kansas, DSA member Rhonda Cox served as congressional candidate James Thompson's field director, and in the local Our Revolution leadership.
- In Nebraska, DSA leader Tom Tilden also leads Omaha Our Revolution while also serving as 2nd associate-chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party.
- In Oregon Lane County, Our Revolution is led by Matthew Osborn-Grosso of the University of Oregon Young Democratic Socialists.
- Our Revolution Texas Statewide Coordinator Chris Kutalik Cauthern is also both a DSA member and a Bexar County (San Antonio) Democratic Party activist.
Our Revolution is also used as a tool to recruit more DSA members.
In September 2016, Daniel Werst of the Trotsky-inspired revolutionary organization Socialist Worker wrote about a launch meeting for Our Revolution in New Orleans:
"On August 24, staff, volunteers and supporters from Sanders' campaign for the Democratic nomination organized local meetings across the U.S., inviting contacts and friends of friends from their mailing lists and activist networks to join this new political organization. Each meeting tuned in to watch a LiveStream broadcast of Bernie Sanders giving a speech to a small audience of supporters in Vermont about his goals for influencing politics after losing to and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.
"Before Sanders' speech, we had time for a few introductions, and [DSA member and Our Revolution contact for New Orleans] Aaron [Baczkowski], who was leading the meeting, asked for an informal poll: 'Who considers themselves a socialist?' A majority of the room raised our hands, including the speaker, who explained that he was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—and later that he was inviting people to join that organization as well as Our Revolution."
The much smaller CPUSA (approximately 5,000 members) also participates in Our Revolution.
In a Jan. 24, 2018, article on the CPUSA website titled "Survey says, CPUSA members want to be heard," Party Chairman John Bachtell wrote:
"Most members are involved in their communities and in a range of labor, social justice, environmental and peace organizations.
"Members were involved with Bernie Sanders campaign and are continuing their activism in Our Revolution, Swing Left, Indivisible, Working Families Party, statewide groups like the New Virginia Majority and local Democratic Party groups and 2018 electoral campaigns."
Additionally, the chairman of the Houston Communist Party, Bernard Sampson, also serves as a Democratic Party precinct chair and serves in the leadership of the Texas Gulf Coast branch of Our Revolution. In Arizona, Tempe School Board member and CPUSA supporter Patrick Morales is also active in the local Our Revolution and in the Democratic Party. The influential but highly secretive FRSO has an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 members. The FRSO controls the Memphis Tennessee Our Revolution affiliate Memphis for All. Working in conjunction with the Memphis branch of the DSA, Memphis for All ran several candidates on the Democratic ticket last election cycle. Their successes included Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer. The FRSO also is close to Our Revolution's Lancaster, Pennsylvania, affiliate Lancaster Stands Up, which narrowly missed electing leftist Jess King to Congress in 2018.
Lancaster Stands Up also works closely with Philadelphia Our Revolution affiliate Reclaim Philadelphia, which appears to be a joint DSA/FRSO project.
Founded in 2016, Reclaim Philadelphia has grown into an “organization with multiple issue based and electoral campaigns and task forces that are fueled by the engagement of over 300 dues paying members and hundreds of volunteers,” according to its website. Reclaim Philadelphia runs a “Democratic Party Transformation Taskforce.” They claim to have infiltrated hundreds of their people into the Democratic Party: "We recruited and supported over 200 committee people city wide to transform the broken political machine into an active system that engages voters and supports movement candidates." The group also backed four state representatives in 2018 and elected or re-elected all of them—including DSA member Elizabeth Fiedler and FRSO affiliate Chris Rabb. Reclaim Philadelphia is also very close to Philadelphia City Councilor Helen Gym, a long-time FRSO affiliate. Gym helped return Philadelphia to “sanctuary city” status and recently engineered a $15 minimum wage ordinance for the city, both Marxist policies in line with the DSA/CPUSA/FRSO.
Philadelphia’s ultra-radical District Attorney Larry Krasner also owes his position to Reclaim Philly.
According to the DSA’s Jacobin magazine: "Krasner, a self-described 'completely unelectable' defense attorney with a history of suing the city’s police department and representing Black Lives Matter and Occupy activists pro bono, became the city’s top prosecutor. With a campaign spearheaded by former Bernie Sanders volunteers and pledges to end to [sic] cash bail, the death penalty, and mass incarceration, he won by a three-to-one ratio, thanks largely to the votes of the city’s communities of color. 'This is what a movement looks like,' he told a crowd of supporters." That movement was spearheaded by the DSA, FRSO, and Reclaim Philadelphia. According to Krasner, Reclaim Philadelphia played a "key role" in his 2017 victory.
Our Revolution’s name is no joke. The organization has penetrated the Democratic Party in all 50 states. It is taking over local and state Democratic Committees and running candidates at all levels, while purging “moderates” who stand in the way. Our Revolution’s tactics represent a classic example of revolution through infiltration.
If current trends continue, Our Revolution will soon dominate the Democratic Party in some states and become a significant influence in most others.
Our Revolution is a networking tool for the DSA/CPUSA/FRSO alliance. It is a vehicle to either transform the Democratic Party into a completely socialist organization, or to form the nucleus of a new Marxist third party.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.