Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bernie's Plan B: Run As An Independent

Watching the Democratic primaries, it seems unlikely that Bernie will receive the nomination to be the Party's candidate in November's presidential election.  Not that he isn't a worthy candidate and not because he couldn't win the election.  Simply put, his politics do not hold favor with the elite who run the party and its financial supporters. 

Essentially, mainstream democrats are quite comfortable with the status quo.  It has served them well, allowing them to accumulate wealth, educate their children, and have access to quality health care when it is needed.  That these societal benefits are not extended to everyone is a cause for concern, but not a sufficient cause to begin making qualitative changes to the American political economy, namely raising taxes on the wealthy, reducing military expenditures, and enacting effective regulation of the environment and financial markets.

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For heaven's sake, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Yet, that's exactly what Bernie intends to do if elected.  He intends to create a much more egalitarian American society, where all Americans, regardless of their race, sex, age, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation have a fair chance of attaining the good life.  Presently, the good life in America is more or less reserved for the members of an exclusive club, largely determined by birth, but certainly by income, which is why the wealthy liberal elites of the Democratic Party don't want him to become President.  Bernie would tear down the systemic barriers that prevent the vast majority of Americans from joining the ranks of those who enjoy the so-called American Dream, and in the process raise taxes at the expense of the top 10% of revenue earners in the US.  It's one thing to administer social programs for the disadvantaged; it's quite another to reduce the wealth gap between the classes.  Hillary's supporters will have none of the latter.

Which raises the question why is Bernie seeking the nomination of a political party that, for the most part, does not support his political views?  His support is largely with independents and with the under 30 age group who have yet to identify with either of the mainstream political parties.  Bernie is a progressive, and the Democrats haven't supported a progressive since Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s.  In fact, the Democrats have put into place a primary process which includes super delegates who are chosen by the party to vote in order to prevent a grass roots candidate like from Bernie from winning the nomination.  So much for democracy.

So, don't be surprized that at the end of the day of the Democratic National Convention, Bernie falls just short of winning the nomination.  What comes next could be historic!

Bernie should run as an independent candidate.  He has all the momentum.  Thousands attend his rallies.  He has the capacity to raise the millions necessary to run the electoral campaign, and he occupies the moral high ground.  His policies speak to the masses.  He represents their interests. 

Moreover, the mainstream Republicans are in disarray.  They will not support the demagogue, Donald Trump.  Most likely, they will field their own candidate, which will throw the presidential election wide open.  A multi-candidate election is an election that Bernie could win because he has sufficient strength to garner the necessary votes in many of the key states to obtain their electoral college votes, which are the votes the actually elect the President of the United States.

Even if he doesn't win the election, he would re-animate the progressive movement in the United States and give the American people the political vehicle they need to represent their interests in a political system in which their plight is largely ignored.

Voting for Hillary is voting for the lesser of two evils, but why is this the choice?  The two party political system has been used for centuries in Anglo-American countries that use it to divide and rule the population in the interest of the monied classes.  If ever there were a moment in which the majority of Americans need to break out of this political system, the moment is now.

So, here's hoping that Bernie becomes the next President of the United States, preferably as an independent progressive. 

1 comment:

  1. America has first-past-the-post, so a split in the center-left vote would put Trump in the White House.

    The US and Canada would be served better with some kind of electoral reform (ranked ballot voting or proportional representation) and two center-left parties.

    That way there could be a Bernie Sanders party and a Hillary Clinton party. The votes would be distributed among the two parties (without vote splitting benefiting the Republicans.) And the people would decide which center-left vision they like best.

    This is why electoral reform is so important in Canada. With even simply ranked ballot voting, there will be two center-left parties (NDP and Liberal) and two right-leaning parties (Red Tory and Reform.)

    Right now, the Liberals have to split the 40% conservative vote to win a 40% false majority, leaving the 60% center-left without real representation in government. This enables government of, by and for the establishment. Which is why the establishment media is so fiercely opposed to voting system reform.

    BTW, of all 181 democratic countries, 74% have reformed their voting systems. That puts Canada and the UK deep down in third-world territory.


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