Is Bernie’s ‘Political Revolution’ the Real Thing or a Pathetic Joke?
If the Green Party were to offer its presidential nomination to Sanders (it would involve their own candidate, probably Jill Stein, stepping aside or perhaps accepting a vice-presidential spot on her party’s ticket, Sanders would be able to make a credible run against the massively unpopular Clinton and against whoever ends up being the Republican candidate for president. If the GOP steals the nomination from Donald Trump, and he makes good on a threat to run as an independent, which is very possible too, all the better -- then there’d be a four-way election and Sanders, as the most popular figure among the current pathetic crop of candidates, would have a reasonable shot at winning a plurality and maybe even a majority of votes in the general election.
What would the Greens get out of such a deal? Major party status overnight! Something that might well carry over into the next off-year and even the next presidential election and on into the future.
A Green Party campaign by Sanders would be great for Sanders and his revolution too. The Greens could hold out for a commitment by Sanders to rein in the military, cutting its budget and its global footprint -- a move that most Americans would support, but something he has avoided making in his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination.
Sanders will have to be pushed to make such a momentous decision -- both to keep hitting candidate Clinton as being unqualified because of her unseemly pursuit of corporate backing, her craven support for job-killing trade deals, and her penchant for war-mongering around the globe, and to run against her if she manages to steal the Democratic nomination in July. That is the job now facing his enthusiastic backers. At mass rallies, they should demand it: No endorsement of Hillary Clinton! In private, they should press him to begin discussions with the Green Party, whose members should also press party leaders to consider the idea of backing Sanders as the party’s candidate this year. There’s really no downside for Sanders. He won his last election to the senate from Vermont by a landslide in 2012, and taking a stand like this would only boost his reputation in his home state if he wants to run again in 2018.
There will not be another opportunity like this for the left in years, if ever. Sanders has clearly struck a nerve with an angry and frustrated American public. If he doesn’t falter and doesn’t cave in to Clinton and the Democratic Party leadership, his vaunted political revolution could become a real thing. If he does falter, it will prove to have been nothing but smoke and mirrors.