The Revolution Will Continue Regardless Of Who Is In The White House.
To both parties, Bernie Sanders is an existential threat.
Bernie Sanders has always been an independent member of Congress. But for the office of president, he is running as a Democrat. This makes sense for several reasons. First, the two major parties have an effective lock on the election for president. Second, by virtue of their hold on mass media, the two major parties refuse to give candidates of any other parties or independents the airtime and ink they need to become a viable contender in the race for president. Third, the two major parties already have the infrastructure required to make an effective run for president. From that perspective, it makes sense for Bernie to run as a Democrat.
I believe that the Democratic and Republican Parties face an existential threat from Bernie Sanders. Imagine for a moment that Bernie actually won the nomination and then went on to win the general election. Four years later, Bernie could do something that no other president has been willing to do: He could run as an incumbent and independent candidate for president.
This is a fantasy, I know. But there is a huge can of worms that both parties wish to avoid if such a series of events were to play out. If Bernie were to run as an incumbent president, and as an independent candidate, he could normalize third party and independent candidates for presidential elections. That could wake up the electorate in ways that our two dominant political parties very much wish to avoid.
As President, Sanders could call out the duopoly on the Commission Presidential Debates and press them to lower the barrier to entry to the presidential debates. He could give a meaningful voice to voters who believe that their voice doesn’t matter. He could use the platform, the bully pulpit of the White House, to give life to issues that matter to independent and third-party voters. He could give the Federal Election Commission real teeth to enforce the laws intended to reform campaign financing to get big money out of politics — without any concern for the donor class. He could do all that because Bernie Sanders doesn’t depend on the Donor Class to win his elections.
A Sanders administration and presidency could be an independent voter’s dream. I would love to see a non-partisan president. I would love to see a president who operates on policy rather than party identity and affiliation. I would love to see a president put good public policy before the party. And I would love to see a president who will put the American people before any political party. That’s what I see in Bernie Sanders.
I have the sense that the two dominant parties see what I see in Bernie Sanders, but to them, those ideals are an existential threat to their power. With Bernie, the Democrats and Republicans could be forced to explain why partisanship is important or even relevant to how America works. Fans of the Federalist Papers may recall that the Framers warned us about political parties and that they wrote the Founding documents in a manner that was agnostic about partisanship. I suspect that they would be disappointed in the system we live in today.
With the passing of each presidential election, the candidates we are given a choice to vote for amount to the lesser of two evils every time. Trump, Hillary and now Joe Biden are arguably some of the worst presidential candidates I have ever seen. There is a reason why we have been treated to a parade of terrible candidates every 4 years. They all seem to have one thing in the back of their minds: The Donor Class.
To put this in perspective, I offer the following video for your review, featuring Harvard Professor, Larry Lessig:
That video was made in 2015, and in it, Lessig demonstrates the power of the Donor Class, a tiny cabal of the top 0.02% of Americans. Lessig demonstrates the power of the 2 stage system where a “committee” of wealthy donors chooses the nominee in the “money primary”, and the rest of us vote for the people the wealthy have nominated. Lessig also draws similarities between us and China and shows that the Chinese copied our system for their rule of Hong Kong. Lessig demonstrates that 99.98% of Americans labor under a political disease called, “Tweedism”.
If you’re wondering how we got here, deep in the middle of a pandemic with virtually no tests, shortages of protective equipment (with generous donations of same from foreign entrepreneurs like Jack Ma), a frozen economy headed for a depression, a president who demonstrates his ignorance of COVID-19 every day and a health insurance and health care industry completely unprepared for the pandemic, look no further than the Donor Class. Let us not forget that Trump and his family are members of the Donor Class. They got us here.
I watched the primaries and saw how the fortunes of a disconnected and aloof candidate in the person of Joe Biden turned from a floundering campaign to “frontrunner” with very little campaign effort in the states where the primaries were held. I watched how the few remaining candidates dropped out just before the first Super Tuesday and endorsed Joe Biden. Biden must have made some great bribes — I mean promises — to get that kind of response from former adversaries.
The primaries aren’t over yet. there are still 27 states to vote yet. The urgent calls for Sanders to drop out are indicative of the desperation boiling away in the DNC. Biden’s arrogant refusal to debate Sanders again is further evidence of that desperation. The Presumptive Nominee has 1217 delegates to Sanders’ 914, in a race to 1991. There is still a slim chance that Sanders could win. And Biden is already talking VP picks.
But there is a better chance that Sanders can give a speech on the floor of the convention and reinforce his victory on the policy debate. I have noted that some Biden apologists will offer a consolation prize by reminding us that Sanders has helped to make Biden’s platform more progressive than any other Democratic candidate for president in history. Long before the primaries are even over.
I have been watching Biden in his videos from his home, from stump speeches to softball interviews with a fawning press. God, they can’t wait to get this over with, can they? I have seen Biden lost, confused, rescued by his wife and unable to improvise when there is a slight delay with the teleprompter. Biden at times had trouble forming complete sentences and ideas, forgotten what office he’s running for, and rattled off incomplete platitudes, all from the comfort of his own home.
Meanwhile, Sanders continues to hold virtual meetings, with lengthy and detailed discussions of policy for coronavirus relief and has been fundraising for coronavirus relief efforts. When he interviews, he’s coherent, expresses complete ideas without changing the subject and is lucid at all times. Sanders has a dedicated team that can run a smooth virtual meeting, despite the technical challenges that often present themselves with such events.
All of this concerted effort to defeat Sanders and get him to drop out so early smacks of desperation on the part of Democratic leadership and their friends in the Donor Class. And to see so much effort expected during a national health crisis only increases the urgency to keep Sanders in the race until the end, until the last vote count on the virtual Democratic convention floor. Their nightmare is to see Sanders elected as president, register as Independent, and run a non-partisan White House. Just how bad could that be?
I urge Bernie Sanders to stay in the race until the end of the convention. I urge Bernie Sanders to keep his message loud and strong. And I urge Bernie Sanders to keep up the fight we wanted to see from the beginning, where he promotes durable solutions designed to help all Americans.