After Bernie

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.

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2 thoughts on “After Bernie

  1. I support Bernie’s platform, as far as it goes: rebuild infrastructure; cut fossil fuels and their carbon emissions; tax corporations; support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; single-payer health care instead of Obamacare; break up big banks & other Wall Street firms; make college affordable; end NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.; pay equality for women; raise the minimum wage; support trade unions and worker co-ops.

    This list comes from Bernie’s own website. As far as it goes, his platform is more or less compatible with the Green Party platform that I primarily support.

    There’s a big problem with Bernie’s platform. It is so limited that it cannot be said to be complete. It notably lacks any platform points on the subject of endless war, terrorism, the erosion of rights or funding the military – or the goals of the military, for that matter.

    Since Bernie has not seen fit to make any of these issues part of his stated platform, we have to assume that these issues are, at the very least, not as important to him. We might also further assume that on these issues, he has no significant disagreement with the way things are now. That last assumption might be going too far, but because he has no focus on terrorism and war, I don’t trust Bernie or his platform.

    It’s pretty clear that very few Democratic elected officeholders support Bernie’s platform, limited as it is. It’s damned clear that none of the big-money donors to the Democratic Party and its candidates support that platform. That’s why it’s my best guess that Bernie will not win the nomination of the Democratic Party.

    Art Myatt

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