It seems that a lot of life-time Democrats would now gladly leave the Democratic Party to join a new Progressive Party — and that goes without saying for most Independents and first-time voters as well — those who only voted in the Democratic Party's 2016 primary elections BECAUSE of Bernie Sanders.
From Robert Reich on his Facebook page (posted on June 12, 2016):
"Regardless of what Bernie decides to do over the next month, several of you have suggested that he establish a third party -- the New Progressive Party -- that would continue to build the movement to reclaim our democracy and economy from the moneyed interests. It would recruit and support Senate and House candidates for the 2018 midterms, and run a presidential candidate in 2020. It would be a membership organization based on small contributions -- and would continue to mobilize, organize, and energize the political revolution Bernie began. What do you think? . . . I'm sad to say America's two major parties have become little more than fundraising machines designed to attract big money. If we want to get big money out of our democracy and reclaim our economy, we may need a new party that reflects the will of the people rather than the pocketbooks of the wealthy."
Don't believe all the nonsense you hear on CNN or MSNBC. The Democrats are NOT "unifying". Only the establishment Democrats are unifying. Most of Bernie Sanders's supporters aren't voting for him because he's a typical Democrat — just the opposite — they're voting for him because of his stand on the issues. If they had wanted a typical "moderate" Democrat (a Republican Lite), they would have voted for Hillary Clinton.
Below is a list of comments from Robert Reich's readers when they replied to him at Facebook about the possibility of a viable 3rd party ...
Beth Santana - I believe it's time! I will not vote for Donald Trump or succumb to the pressure to vote for Hillary Clinton to keep Trump out. It's a manipulative game, and for me game over! If there is no other option, I'll vote for Jill Stein, knowing she won't win, but my vote will be with a conscience! Very disappointed in Elizabeth Warren's endorsement of Clinton.
Helen Krikorian Stockhorst - Our parties will not reform. A third party is needed for the working class; no fund-raising machines. Money is the problem with the two parties. They lost focus on what they were designed to do — represent the American People.
Coco Magallon - Let me make this clear for everyone: The Republicans and Democrats are done in this country. The time has come ... both parties have been completely exposed for what they truly are ... they are part of the establishment that has destroyed our democracy, decimated our abilities to vote, given us a country in which we cannot live without fear of one another, and aided in the destruction of viable journalism, which at one time, was our only source for fair news reporting. A new America will arise and new government to go with [a third party]. Mark my words, we Berners will not take this any longer. If Mr Sanders does not take his rightful place in the White House, we all will live to see the revolution this country is in dire need of.
Thomas Randolph Morrison - First of all, people who blame Nader for the “sin” of running against the oligarchs are idiots. In a race that close any number of factors can be blamed with equal validity. Nader had every right as an American to run. The people who voted for him had every right as Americans to vote their conscience. But when the establishment Democrats run a weak and uninspiring flawed candidate, that’s what they risk: losing. That is the lesson the Party should have learned, but obviously hasn’t. Debunked: The Myth That Ralph Nader Cost Al Gore the 2000 Election
* Editor's note: Comparing Ralph Nader to Bernie Sander is apples and oranges. Bernie received over 12 million votes in during the primary. Prior to the 2016 elections, he has won the most ever votes in a Democratic primary other than Hillary Clinton or Obama in 2008. Nader received less than 3 million votes in a general election when a lot more people had voted.
2004: John Kerry had 9,930,497 votes (who beat Vermont Gov. Howard Dean with 903,460 votes.)
2000: Al Gore had 10,885,814 votes (3rd party Ralph Nader had 2,882,995 votes in the general election.)
1996: Bill Clinton had 9,706,802 votes.
1992: Bill Clinton had 10,482,411 votes (3rd party Ross Perot had 19,743,821 votes in the general election).
1988: Michael Dukakis had 10,024,101 votes.
1984: Walter Mondale and Gary Hart each had 6 million+ votes.
1980: Jimmy Carter (who beat Ted Kennedy) had 10,043,016 votes.
1976: Jimmy Carter (who beat California Gov. Jerry Brown) had 6,971,770 votes.
1972: George McGovern had 4,053,451 votes and Hubert Humphrey had 4,121,372 votes.
1968: Eugene McCarthy had 2,914,933 votes and Robert Kennedy had 2,305,148 votes.
1964: Lyndon B. Johnson had 1,106,999 votes.
1960: John F. Kennedy had 1,847,259 votes.
Comments continued . . .
Fay Ubertini - Threatening #BernieorBust people into voting for that woman [Clinton] is not going to work! The DNC screwed up and continues to do so. There's a price to pay.
David Wedekemper - I feel that the Democratic party is now beyond saving. Corporate influence has taken too-deep a root in the party, and no insider is willing to do what's needed to get rid of it. I'd be 100% for Bernie leading a New Progressive Party.
Margaret Boelman - I do not want anything to do with the Democratic party. I believe Bernie would do well to establish a national New Progressive Party. The DNC has revealed their hand and only wants to scare people who aren't already with them into voting for Hillary. A New Party with new blood and honest progressive candidates is a wonderful idea and a great way to capitalize on the name recognition he now has connected to the positions he has always fought for.
Orey Smith - Absolutely, the country desperately needs a third party to break up the corporatist duopoly. Voting on social issues and for the "lesser of two evils" has run its course.
Ian Christmas - The time has come for a new party. Historically, the two party system breaks down when one of the party fails in their efforts. The Republicans and Democrats have both failed to embrace the reality of the public. The time has come for something new. If the votes are fully counted and he is not the nominee, then it is time to move beyond the corrupt system we have.
Fraz Tajammul - This seems to be the only logical way forward. It is futile to keep any hopes with Democratic party that is already beginning to act as if Bernie's movement never happened. With so much influence from Wall Street and the 1%, the Democratic party is part of the problem, not solution. There's never been a better time for a new Progressive Party in US.
Janet Carey - With all the DNC has done to stop Bernie, it seems they would rather destroy themselves than to shake themselves up. So, if the convention proves me correct (we will know much more about these things then) I would most DEFINITELY be behind a new Progressive Party.
Brittney Bishop - I'm done with the Democratic party. Build a progressive third party and have Bernie Sanders lead it, then count me in. I can't bring myself to vote for Hillary. I just can't.
Erik Apland - There is absolutely no point in pursuing an insurgent movement inside the Democratic party any longer. Bernie needed the party to get the exposure that only the affiliation with a major party can get. Anyone who thinks that the Dems can actually be changed into a useful party is fooling themselves, and needs to educate themselves in American political history. With the confusion and chaos of the Republicans, the Democrats are now THE party of corporations.
Steve Braithwaite - If you are a Bernie supporter you must NOT now get behind Hillary as you're being told to do. The Democratic party is not your party anymore and probably never was. The Democrats and the Republicans are just two sides of the same coin. We need a new coin and if it means four years of a Trump presidency, as bad as that would be, that is what has to happen. The only thing that Hillary has going for her is that she would be "the first female president" — and that is long overdue. However, the first female president should be someone of The People, and not another Washington elitist. Now I fully agree that America would be vastly better off with Clinton as president rather than Trump, but it still wouldn't be what it could and should be. That is why we, unfortunately, need Trump. Stopping Trump is short term thinking. We need a true political revolution, and to get to there we need to first sink a lot lower for the vast majority of people to wake up and see the problem we are in. Trump would do that for us. Hillary wouldn't. Trump would make a lot of people frantic for dramatic change. Hillary would leave people unhappy and grumbling but not upset enough to do anything real and consequential. Bernie is not just a political candidate, he's is a whole new political system. He has ignited a movement — and to turn our backs on him and support Hillary would be to throw in the towel and allow everything he has said and done to be forgotten. Remember this: Obama, the first African American president, would probably not have been elected if we had not just gone through eight horrendous years under George W. Bush. So imagine what wonderful possibilities lay ahead after we pick up the pieces of a Trump debacle.
[Editor's note: I wrote a post: If not Bernie, Trump. Also, Bernie Sanders was on a recent Sunday show and said Hillary Clinton can not lead a political revolution. Bernie can, and he can a lead a new political 3rd party.]
Kristy Smith - I would wholeheartedly put my effort, passions, and donations into this new [Progressive] party. I am sick and tired of business as usual in the now morally-corrupt Democratic Party. Let's fight!!!
Brett W. Hood - Count me in. I've never been a Democrat. I've always been anti-republican. I was enthusiastic about Obama. I don't regret my votes, but have been disappointed in the lack of Progressive push. Granted, he was blocked at every move, but I digress. Democrats are the Republicans of 30 years ago. The whole country has been moving to the right, with some social exceptions. A New Progressive Party is exactly what I have been wishing for. I'm with Bernie!
Melinda Schori - If Bernie doesn't get the nomination in July, Bernie can't ask me to throw my support behind HRC. That I will never do. This election cycle has been an eye opener — so screw this corrupt election between Trump and Hillary. Focus all our resources and energy on creating a New Progressive Party. We would certainly be willing to start pitching-in right away. We've already started donating to Bernie's congressional and senate choices. Tim Canova was our first.
Cilla Webster - I will abandon the Democratic Party I've belonged to for close to 40 years and become a member of a new Progressive Party in a heartbeat. This mantra I've been hearing FOREVER from the DNC, that "the only way to change things is to get people elected; and the only way to get people elected is to move to the right" no longer holds sway with me. In local elections, I've seen the DNC discard the more electable candidate in favor of the more centrist candidate of their choosing, time and time, again. Yes, they usually got elected. But once elected, they accomplished nothing.
Chaz Fitzer - Let's not fall for Hillary's "don't split the vote " tactic. Hillary is not much better than Trump. Both will support the corporate greed and social inequality that is holding back out country. Berniecrats, I think that we have more to gain from risking a Trump Presidency and starting a major third party that lays the foundation for real change in the future. Otherwise, the best we can expect is more tax cuts and subsidies getting into the hands of the rich, continued destruction of our environment, and more super pacs buying elections! We NEED a revolution! Real change takes time, possibly decades, so let's start now! If the DNC won't listen to us, we HAVE to start a third party to address our needs!
Lenny Turnquist - I am not falling victim to current "poll scare" tactics about Donald Trump. I do believe a 3d party is needed at this point, but it would be better served with Sanders making a run in November as well. When you count disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats, plus all the independents, he has an excellent chance. I cannot support the Democratic Party for another election. Their corruption will become even more ingrained.
Josh Niehues - [A Progressive Party] needs to happen so that the Democrats don't just absorb these progressive ideals and push them to the back. A third party would hopefully bring real issues to the stage and weaken the stranglehold corporations have on our government.
Jennifer Lombardi - I think it's long overdue, and smart people understand that we have to move forward in government the same way society does. The two party system no longer works for anyone but rich people and corporations. Democrats and republicans are basically the same thing now, with the most obvious difference being, there are far more religious conservatives and racists/bigots in the republican party that want to make their religion a top priority in government. A third party would be a welcome and dynamic change that our country desperately needs.
Lizzy Q Payne-Wardle - We need a new party! The Democrats have abandoned their liberals and progressives. They can keep their right of center policies and we'll form a strong left-wing party to challenge them. I'm leaving the Democratic Party, and so are millions of others.
Debi Tucker - I would love to see a third party with a progressive agenda, as long as Bernie is involved. Personally, I think it takes more energy to try to transform existing structures like the Democratic Party than to start fresh with a clear path and new goals.
Mark Hawkins - I don't think the Democratic Party can be changed or saved! They will only give lip service to change and their establishment will maintain the status quo. They've been moving more to the right as time goes on. There is really nothing progressive about the Democrats any longer! They're bought and paid for just like the Republicans.
Stanfield Major - We have to do something. The Democratic party is making it clear they're not interested in upholding progressive values. Like a dog in the manger, this minority party is snarling at us and denying us the right to a decent life. They think they're the big dog, but with only 31% of the electorate they don't even represent a third of the people. Independents make up 44% of the electorate and we get treated like dirt. What Bernie has proven is that a platform based on issues that a majority of Americans support can bring progressive Democrats, many Independents, and moderate Republicans together. Let's leave that snappy little dog alone to chew on those hay stalks and create a community that works for the good of all, not just a few.
Edward K. Jordan - It is obvious that there is no legitimate home for progressives in the hopelessly neoliberal Democratic Party. They have sold out to multinational corporations and Wall Street and have forgotten their former status as "party of the people".
Nelly Castillo - [Now] is time for The New Progressive Party, and Bernie as the head of that party ... together we will donate and mobilize to get progressive politicians elected and prepare for future elections. This is how we will immortalized what Bernie started - this is for our future and for America.
Tania Jennings I absolutely hope Bernie will run third party. After twenty plus years of being registered democrat, I am done with them. The party had moved so far too the right that they are indistinguishable from the Republicans. We need a true progressive party willing to stand up for all Americans, even if it means standing up *to* some Americans!
Simone Van-Horne - The Democratic Party is now a Republican Party. They no longer reflect the values of most Democrats any more, particularly those of the younger generation. There needs to be another party. There is nowhere that reflects the values and issues for people in their 20's and 30's and those of us who have concerns for our children coming up behind them in subsequent generations.
Bob Seabury - I think [a new third party] might just have to be the answer. The Dems, as personified by Hillary Clinton and others in the leadership, have moved way too far to the right — too far beyond the comfort level of many of us. And the corruption involved with the voter suppression and the continuous marginalization of Bernie was outrageous and a very disappointing eye-opener. Over the past few decades, too often I've been forced to vote for "the lesser of two evils", and I'm tired of it. Hillary's candidacy is just a situation where she is just so far over the line, I just can't do that this time. We're out of sync on so much, she just couldn't possibly be an effective representative for my views. The Dems have proved in this election cycle that they have little interest in being the true progressive movement. So, yes, I think the New Progressive Party is an idea whose time has come.
Doug Fisher - The Republicans abandoned humanity a long time ago, both ours and their own. The Democrats did so as well, especially in this latest campaign where they spent an exorbitant amount of energy trying to keep us from voting for Bernie Sanders. It is time we dump them in turn.
Lawrence Schultz - I want this to happen. Democracies do not require a two party system, some do well with several parties and working with coalitions. The flaws of a two party system have been made patently clear lately, where it has devolved into a Tweedledum (GOP) Tweedledee (Dem) false distinction battle of the well-greased wheels squeaking out nothing of consequence, but with all of the irrelevant flash and pizzazz of Sunday night football.
Brenda Blodgett - I have been a Democrat since the seventies. Now I am joining the New Progressive Party . . . right after the election in November, when I legally sign Bernie's name to my ballot.
[* Editor's note: That's if Hillary Clinton isn't indicted by the FBI — or if Bernie isn't officially running as an Independent candidate after the July DNC convention. See my related Post: Bernie Sanders should make an offer the Democrats can't refuse.]
FogBelter - No meaningful change is possible with the current elite controlled Republican and Democratic parties. It is time for a Progressive party that focuses on the needs of the American People. At this point, after 30 years of collaboration between Republicans and New Democrats the American People have nowhere to turn. We need a Progressive Party, de-linked from establishment politics. It's the only way forward.
Julia Nadeau - I think it's now essential that we do this [create a 3rd party]. If we're truly genuine in our intentions for a Political Revolution, then this revolution has to have its teeth. That means leaving the Party that has cemented its loyalties to the interests of their corporate backers and forming our own political party ... And while the Democrats may panic when this happens, and rightly so, we must stay true to our Revolution. Let them bargain with us, but never shall they have power over us. What's more, according to some of the polls I've seen, the New Progressive Party might actually be competitive with both the Democrats and the Republicans as the numbers may end up being on our side.
Ben Devitt - I'm all for it. The Democratic Party continues to drift further and further from the ideals of millions of Americans. If they insist on taking the old school republican's place, then good riddance to them. I'll vote Bernie, however his name gets on the ballot.
[* Editor's note: Go to Robert Reich's Facebook page to read all the comments. Please forward your hopes and dreams for a new Progressive Party to @BernieSanders @taddevine @j_weavTU @rosariodawson @DFAaction @MoveOn @WorkingFamilies >>> and anybody else who will listen. #writehimin #neverhillary #ifwebernyoubernwithus #IfNotBernieTrump #bernieorbust #feelthebern #crookedhillary #DropOutHillary #stillsanders #dumphillary #whichhillary #ReleaseTheTranscripts >>> Robert Reich: A Public Note to my Friend, Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.]