So Bernie Sanders is running to be the the 2016 Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. He will not succeed in this particular campaign, although he will bring many positions supported by the Green Party into the Democrats’ internal debate.
When he fails to gain the nomination, those who have enthusiastically supported his run will have a choice to make. Will they fold on the issues, and support the “mainstream” nominee? Will they just fold, and say, “To hell with it, I’m not voting in this election,” because the positions they support are not represented by the actual nominee? Or will they switch their support to the Green Party, because our party and our nominee for president will still stand for their positions on a range of important issues?
Well, some will go with the “practical” decision which has allowed to Democratic Party to retreat on progressive issues for decades, and some will simply quit participating in electoral politics altogether. Our job is to keep reminding the ones who are committed to the principles of social justice, grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom and non-violence that there will still be a way to work for and vote for these positions after Bernie is defeated within the Democratic Party.
We have to be very careful to distinguish between the Democratic Party establishment, which wants to contain all the grassroots, small-d democrats as votes for the nominees supported by the institutionalized corruption of big-money politics; and all those small-d democrats who are going to be very disappointed when Bernie is eliminated. The Democrats are striving to be our rulers. The democrats are looking for something entirely different, and the Green Party, once the nomination process is finished, might be just what they are looking for.
It just depends on how pissed off they are after getting bulldozed out of the way by the big-money nominee, whoever he or she is. Today’s Bernie supporters can become Green Party supporters next year. Let’s be sure they know we will welcome them, if they want to continue fighting for their positions after Bernie fails.