On October 23rd, an extraordinary article was published online at Newsweek, but merely as “Opinion,” and this not coming from Senator Sanders’s Democratic primary campaign for the U.S. Presidency, but only from a supporter: “‘BERNIE OR BUST’ IS A WARNING – IGNORE IT, AND TRUMP WINS | OPINION” (https://www.newsweek.com/bernie-bust-warningignore-it-trump-wins-opinion-1467225). It would be a historic article if the Sanders campaign endorses it. And, on October 27th, they seem to have done just that, by allowing its author to send it on October 27th to the campaign’s enormous email list (which includes me). Here’s its opening:
I am fortunate to have been offered an opportunity to publish an opinion piece about Bernie or Bust as a WARNING for 2020 in Newsweek last week.
PLEASE read it and share that column on social media, in website comments or in emails to any Democrats you know. The only way Bernie can get the 50%+ of pledged delegates he will need to prevent the superdelegates from selecting another candidate, who will lose to Trump, is to make sure Party members understand that #OnlyBernieBeatsTrump. THAT is the point of the “WARNING.”
Either the Sanders campaign blundered to provide their email list to the article’s author, or else this statement now IS a warning that comes from the Sanders campaign. I have emailed the sender, asking how he got my email-address, and there has been no reply yet. I also emailed Faiz Shakir, the Campaign Manager for Bernie Sanders – likewise no answer yet.
Sanders currently is among the top three primary candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination in the polls; and each one of those three – Joseph Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Sanders – out-polls substantially, in hypothetical Democrat-versus-Republican U.S. Presidential general-election match-ups against Donald Trump. However, if Sanders becomes rejected by Democrats but would then accept the Green Party’s nomination – which he refused to accept when it was offered to him when Hillary Clinton became the Democrats’ nominee in 2016 – then he wouldn’t draw only 2.74% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_United_States_presidential_election) in the general election as did the non-politician Ralph Nader in 2000 when the two major-Party nominees were Bush versus Gore, but instead he would draw vastly higher than did the non-politician Ross Perot in the 1992 contest against Republican Bob Dole versus Democrat Bill Clinton: 18.91% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_United_States_presidential_election). Sanders would certainly do better than Perot (who had no record in public office) did. Sanders, even (if not, now, especially) as an independent, could actually win the Presidency.
Sanders, unlike either Nader or Perot, does have an actual record – and a lengthy one – of votes and actions as a U.S. public official; i.e., real-world public office, instead of just campaign promises and asserted positions. Simply by his name being on the Presidential ballot as a nominee – and without any political Party at all – Americans would confidently know what he would actually propose and fight for as the U.S. President (and not merely as a candidate – who can say and promise anything). A record like that is totally different from promises. A record like that shows a person’s actual policy-priorities. Sanders doesn’t need any Party, except in order to gain ballot-access so as to be listed on the general-election ballot in each one of the 50 states (or at least in virtually all of them).
If he runs a third-Party campaign, he actually could end up drawing more Electoral-College votes, and even more voters’ votes, than either of the other two Parties’ nominees would. He could possibly end up doing, to American politics, what Abraham Lincoln did in 1860: replace one of the two existing Parties by a new Party. Instead of replacing the Whigs by the Republicans, as Lincoln did in 1860, Sanders could replace the Democrats by the Greens in 2021. It would be American politics for the 21st Century, transforming away from the billionaire-monopoly politics ever since 2000 if not since 1992. Then, with the Clintonized (mega-corporate-controlled) ‘Democratic’ Party finally becoming replaced by a progressive-populist Democratic Party (up against Trump’s conservative-‘populist’ billionaire-controlled Republican Party), America might actually become a democracy again – a politics in which ideology (instead of interethnic and gender differences) will be providing the basis for voters’ political choices. The billionaires would likely lose their existing control (https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem/) over the U.S. Government (http://archive.is/pwNuO).
Sanders definitely wants to become a Democratic Party U.S. President, but, if that Party rejects him yet again, he could actually win even bigger as an independent, who goes up against the two billionaire-controlled Parties. Perhaps he, now, finally, knows this.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.