There is a large group of Americans who don't have a political party to represent them ... and they are being forced into voting for the "lesser of two evils" — voting out of fear, rather than from inspiration. Bernie Sanders is their only hope, and it may be their only chance in their lifetime. Some of them have already waited a lifetime for someone like Bernie Sanders to come along, and they don't have time to wait or build on another new movement. This was the time and place for them. And younger voters may not see another candidate like Bernie Sanders for generations to come — when they are far too old to have a future to believe in anymore. It might be now or never — Bernie or Bust.
- Please sign this petition: "Bernie: Run through November, outside the Democratic Party if needed!" http://movement4bernie.org/run-all-the-way
- Read: The (un) Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% (by Seattle City Council Woman Kshama Sawant on April 21, 2016)
Here's what Bernie can bring to the convention in July (my short list). The more delegates he has, the greater the power of his persuasion to force the Democratic Party to endorse these points in the Democratic party's platform — to once again make the Democrats the "party of the working-class".
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 and indexing it to inflation.
- Raise the cap for Social Security to $250,000 (expand benefits, no chained-CPI).
- Tax capital gains at the same rate as regular wages.
- Tax corporate profits at a minimum "effective" tax rate of 25% (many pay $0).
- Impose a tariff on American-made goods manufactured overseas (Apple, Nike, etc).
- Make corporate inversions illegal.
- Force the repatriation of overseas profits for taxation.
- End all corporate subsidtities for oil, gas and nuclear companies.
- End farm and dairy subsidtities.
- Impose a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 50-1.
- Medicare for All.
- Crack down on Big Parma's price gouging and repeal abusive patent laws.
- Repeal Bill Clinton's NAFTA and PNTR with China (and kill the TPP).
- Repeal Bill Clinton's Communications Act limiting free political speech.
- Repeal Bill Clinton's Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (and break up the big banks).
- All bank executives will be prosecuted if engaged in any type of fraud.
- Overturn Citizens United (and have publicly financed elections).
- Enact a federal voter registration law that allows same day registration and voting.
- Enact a paid federal Holiday for voting.
- Enact a life-time ban on members of Congress from working as lobbyists.
FiveThirtyEight.Com notes that, in 2008, the Democrats had the largest voter turnout and the largest increase in voter turnout when Barack Obama had ran and easily won the general election. They write: "The Democratic primary turnout was high because it was a very competitive contest. People turn out to vote when they think their vote may make a difference."
But that's only if they are allowed to vote. Many people are not allowed to vote in the primary races unless they are either a "registered" Democrat or a "registered" Republican — not to mention, far fewer voters turn out for primary elections than they do for general elections.
After Bernie Sanders' recent loss to Hillary Clinton in New York's Democratic primary, the media and political pundits (again, as usual) are writing off Bernie Sanders' chances of winning the nomination. Many are implying that Sanders should drop out and "unify the party".
The biggest problem with that plea is, many of those voters aren't even traditional Democrats — and they aren't voting for a "Democrat" per se — they are voting for Bernie Sanders.
So they don't owe their vote or allegiance to any one candidate or any one party. The owe no loyalty to anyone. Not to the Republicans, to the Democrats or even to Bernie Sanders (Berniecrats). So they aren't obligated to "unify" and support Hillary Clinton. But her staunch surrogates and those in the media don't seem to understand this, or they just don't want to publicly admit it.
Should Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination, and if that were to happen and Bernie Sanders chose NOT run as an Independent in the general election, he could ask his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, but under no circumstances many never will.
Cable news has been recently reporting (almost 24/7) that it was a "BIG" win for Hillary in her own home state of New York. But they failed to mention that, not only did Bernie Sanders win more votes in New York than Barack Obama did in 2008, but Bernie also won more votes than both Donald Trump and John Kasich combined.
And Bernie had also lost New York by a narrower margin than Obama did in 2008 against Hillary Clinton. Of course the media, by not reporting these little tidbits, is attempting to kill voter enthusiasm for Bernie's campaign ahead of the upcoming primary elections — and by doing so, attempting to influence voter sentiment. (It's become so obvious, that even a caveman would notice.)
It should be noted that, if you monitor the 3 major cables news channels (Fox News, CNN and MSNBC) like I continually do all day long, any reasonable and objective person can easily determine that the mainstream and conservative media has been very biased against Senator Bernie Sanders since the very first day he entered the presidential race.
MSNBC has been especially biased, because being owned by Comcast — one of the "Big 6" media corporations (that controls 90% of the media market) — they want Hillary to be the next president. Comcast donated money to Hillary Clinton's campaign and Comcast executive vice president David Cohen hosted a $2,700-a-plate fundraiser for her.
MSNBC always has "panels" packed with pro-Hillary pundits to criticize and question Sanders' campaign. When they interview Sanders or his surrogates, they are a lot more combative and pointed with them than they have been with Hillary Clinton. Richard Wolffe, the vice president and executive editor of MSNBC.com, is always writing very scathing articles about Senator Sanders. Most recently in a post titled Clinton triumphs; Sanders slumps. Now the real contest can begin:
"Like the Monty Python parrot, the Bernie Sanders campaign is no more. It has ceased to be. Its metabolic processes are now history. It’s kicked the bucket and shuffled off its mortal coil. Winning never really mattered to Bernie Sanders. The exercise of power was never the point, even if it became a self-delusional diversion along the way. Like all good Cold War-era socialists, Sanders was far more interested in critiquing the system than running it. Sanders claimed in recent days that New York’s closed primary – where only Democrats could vote – was itself undermining democracy. This is the kind of thing you say if you haven’t lived your life as a Democrat. Sanders has traditionally counted himself as an independent, with an alignment – but not an identification – with the Democratic party. That history does not bode well for those who argue he should tone things down for the good of the party. In contrast, Clinton started her victory speech by reaching out to her opponent’s voters. “To all the people who support Senator Sanders, I believe there’s much more than unites us than divides us,” she said. It’s past time for Clinton and the Democratic party to turn towards the general election. They have an unexpected and historic opportunity to turn a victory into a rout."
Does that sound like fair and balanced and objective reporting to you? It sounds like a conflict of interest to most reasonable people. So it's no wonder that Sanders has also been critical of the corporate media. (FYI: The media has been very quiet about the TPP trade deal, and Hillary Clinton was once a very strong advocate of that trade agreement that Obama desperately wants. Bernie Sanders has always been strongly against it. And it was Bill Clinton that passed the Telecommunication Act in 1996 that limited free political speech because of copyright claims by the media. But I digress...)
Hillary Clinton has been mostly making her "big wins" with registered Democrats — and her biggest wins have been in the South — not with millions of independents who were locked out from voting in the Democratic primaries. It's been mostly traditional Democrats who have been giving Hillary Clinton most of her wins, and so, it's not a very accurate representation of overall voter sentiment.
President Obama first campaigned in 2008 as a "progressive" candidate (quoting Theodore Roosevelt and FDR in his speeches), and is probably one reason why he won the Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton in 2008 — that, and winning the African-American vote (but unlike like Hillary, winning mostly in the South with those who are not only Black, but mostly registered as Democrats, and are not independents).
But by 2012, President Obama had moved to the right on most of his economic policies (such as the TPP trade deal). That was one reason why Bernie Sanders thought Obama should have been primaried in 2012 — a point that Hillary Clinton has often used as an attack against Sanders in the debates, to make him look "anti-Obama" to the Black voters (In 2008, while running against Obama, Hillary miscalculated and played the race card in the opposite direction, and lost the primary.)
When Senator Elizabeth Warren had finally made it perfectly clear in 2015
that she would NOT be running for President (despite a growing movement to
recruit her as a more "progressive" Democratic candidate), it was only
then that Senator Bernie Sanders had decided to run — but not to be President,
but to move Hillary Clinton (who was following in Obama's "moderate"
footsteps) more to the left. So Sanders had to run as a "Democrat" —
and to also be included in the Democratic primary debates.
At first the Democratic party and the DNC were cooperative, until they realized how popular Sanders' populist message was becoming. And when Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane saw the huge crowds showing up at their rallies, they too began to realize how strong the support was for their campaign, and they began running to actually win the Democratic nomination.
Moving Hillary to the left was Bernie Sanders' "plan A". Running to
win the Democratic primary was his "plan B". But with the Democratic
Party's stubborn resistance to Sanders and his movement (yes, it's a real
movement), and the lack of support he has received from the superdelegates, and
the false claims the Clinton campaign has been using in their negative campaign,
and all the biased media reports (who support Clinton), it has made Sanders
campaign an uphill battle all the way (At first, the media ignored him
completely, and the Democratic party had only been politely condescending.)
Now, after Sanders' recent loss in New York, the media and the political pundits are talking about "unifying the party" and trying to get Bernie to "tone down" his campaign and to stop making "attacks" against Hillary Clinton so she won't be "damaged" in the general election — and so she can "pivot" to Donald Trump instead of always having to "defend herself" against Bernie Sanders' "negative campaigning".
In other words, the establishment Democratic party (the pro-corporate and anti-working-class party) are frustrated and upset that Bernie Sanders is doing so well — and the political insiders are angry that Sanders is threatening Clinton's presumptive "coronation" to become the Democratic nominee — and they would all like to see him drop out of the race, instead of continuing to run in the remaining states that have not yet voted — rather than taking his fight all the way to the Democratic convention in July. As Bernie had said, "They're nervous".
If I could tell Bernie Sanders ANYTHING, it would be this:
"Continue the good fight; don't listen to the media; keep doing what you're doing; take your campaign all the way to June 14th until the very last voted is counted in Washington D.C.; and if you can't overcome the odds and the voting rules (like closed primaries and superdelegates — party rules that are stacked against you), and if you still don't have enough votes/delegates by July at the Democratic convention, and you eventually lose the Democratic nomination, then your best course of action would be to move to "plan C" and run as an independent in the general election campaign. And here's why..."
Pew Research Confirms: The Electorate is Ripe for Bernie Sanders
- 39% identify as independents
- 32% as Democrats
- 23% as Republicans
- 48% of independents identify as Democrats or lean Democratic
- 39% of independents identify as Republicans or lean Republican
This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling. And most independents, (when allowed to vote) chose Bernie Sanders — more so than Clinton and Trump combined.
Bernie Sanders is in the right time and place in American history for independents. He has been an independent all his life. He is the longest serving independent in Congress. As a co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he is also the only real "progressive" running for President.
In many states independents have been locked out from voting in the Democratic primary, giving Hillary Clinton a distinct advantage, especially among African-American voters, because most are registered Democrats (not Republicans or independents); and that's the main reason why Clinton did so well in the South, giving her a huge early lead in the primary — that, and the early endorsements from superdelegates, who mostly backed Clinton long before anyone had even voted in Iowa — and are party loyalists who will expect political favors if Clinton is elected. Sanders, on the other hand, will only be in debt to his voters.
The Democratic Party doesn't want Bernie Sanders racking up any more popular votes; they don't want him to have a voice at the DNC convention in July; they don't want him going to California — the biggest delegate prize of all 50 states — and Independents registered as “no party preference” can vote in the California primary — and that's why the Clintons, the Democrats and the media wants Bernie Sanders out NOW!
The Democratic party wants to disenfranchise all those who have already voted for Bernie Sanders, and all those who have yet to vote for him. This is the same party that supposedly wants to encourage more people to vote . . . except when it threatens their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton. (In 2008 it was Obama, and superdelegates swung his way).
When Hillary Clinton was running for the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Senator Barack Obama, on March 28th of that year Bill Clinton said, "I didn’t get enough votes to be nominated until June the 2nd, 1992." That was because, it was only then did Bill Clinton win the California primary, (which Hillary won in 2008, but she still lost the primary to Obama).
Back in 1992 Bill Clinton, after winning California and the nomination, he also ended up winning the general election when an independent was also in the race:
- Bill Clinton (Democrat) 44,909,806 votes (43.0%)
- George H. W. Bush (Republican) 39,104,550 votes (37.4%)
- Ross Perot (Independent) 19,743,821 votes (18.9%)
In terms of the popular votes, the billionaire Ross Perot won more than any other 3rd party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election. Perot had used his own money to advertise extensively, and was the only third-party candidate ever allowed into the nationally televised presidential debates with both major party candidates. Speaking about NAFTA, Ross Perot described its effect on American jobs as causing a "giant sucking sound".
Perot was ahead in the polls for a period of almost two months — a feat not
accomplished by an independent candidate in almost 100 years. But he ended up
losing much of his support when he temporarily withdrew from the election on
July 16. Perot stated the reason was, he had received threats that digitally
altered photographs (compromising photos of his daughter) would be released by
the Bush campaign to sabotage his daughter's wedding — and he wanted to spare
her from the embarrassment. But he later declared himself a candidate again on
October 1 (but by then it was too late to regain any momentum.)
FYI: Before the 1992 election, Ross Perot had founded Perot Systems in 1988. Years later Perot Systems was bought by Dell for $3.9 billion in 2009. With an estimated net worth of about $4.1 billion in 2015, Ross Perot is now ranked by Forbes as the 129th-richest person in the United States.
Run, Bernie, Run! — as an Independent in the general election. There are more independents today than there were in 1992. Sanders' campaign is much more enthusiastic than Ross Perot's ever was. The voters are more aware on the circumstances now because of the internet (there was no widespread use of the internet back in 1992). People are far more informed and much more disgusted with the political status quo in Washington. Since the Great Recession, the economy hasn't done very well, and people want real change, not empty campaign slogans and false promises. They want big and bold ideas that only Bernie Sanders can bring to the table. Not another 8 years of Obama with Hillary Clinton. Besides, the Clintons have already had the White House for 8 years.
Bernie Sanders doesn't need a detailed plan. Obama never had any detailed plans, and he had less experience in 2008 than Bernie Sanders has in 2016. And Obama (who endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Senate in 2006), was elected twice to be our President. Let's elect Bernie to the White House.
Hillary-2008 might have said eight years ago, had she not already been planning a Hillary-2016 — demand the following of Democratic primaries going forward:
- Abolition of super-delegates.
- Abolition of closed primaries.
- Abolition of super-PACs.
- Abolition of regulations prohibiting same-day party registration.
- Abolition of inconveniently timed primary debates.
- Abolition of artificially limited debate schedules.
- Abolition of shady “joint fundraising” efforts like those of the DNC and HVF.
- Abolition of caucuses (assuming no more closed primaries, either).
- Abolition of a set (rather than rotating) state primary schedule.