I’m a long-time member of the Democratic Party. I’ve rarely voted otherwise, although I did vote (in California in 2016) for the Green Party, since I couldn’t stand Hillary (or Trump). I knew it would make little difference if I voted Green in California, since Hillary would win there no matter what I did.
I wanted Bernie in 2016 and this year. More than anything, I wanted his platform to become actual law. But he looks like he’s going to lose nationally, so what strategy can be followed to make Biden promise to fulfill Bernie’s platform, or at least part of it?
If Biden doesn’t bring Bernie’s people back into the fold, he will lose the election. Fifteen percent of the Bernie-ites will vote for Trump (!), and that may give Trump his victory. And that may also destroy the Democratic Party.
There is another major political party in the making. It’s called the Movement for a People’s Party, and it has just voted to merge with BernTheDNC.org. This will make a group of around 1000, but it may grow fast, particularly if the Bernie-ites abandon the DNC and join the People’s Party. The calls on the DNC to abandon its corporate ties don’t work. So the only solution is to dump the DNC and start afresh.
But when do you do that? It’s too late in 2020 for the MPP coalition with BerntheDNC to nominate a presidential candidate and go national. The only solution for the People’s Party would be to join the Greens or some other party. Or (and I like this better) tell Bernie that the MPP plans to suck his supporters out of the Democratic Party unless Biden and he come up with a powerful, joint platform.
I’ve proposed that sort of coalition before. “Look at Joe’s positions and then at Bernie’s. For instance, on criminal law, both want to abolish private prisons and the death penalty. Both want cash bail reform and an end to mandatory minimum sentences. Hey, that’s a good beginning. Both want to study reparations for blacks and to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Both want citizenship for Dreamers (DACA). Both want universal background checks on guns and a voluntary buyback program for assault weapons. Both are against unlimited spending in political campaigns. Both want to pay farmers to use climate-friendly practices. In other words, nail down the positions where both agree. Modify positions (e.g., free college) where they disagree but where compromise is likely.”
To make sure that Biden carries out his promises, add another few steps: “If Biden and Bernie can have public discussions about important platform and personnel issues, the likelihood is that they could find genuine compromises and form a real coalition. I would look forward to an offer from Biden so that Bernie can have a strong and meaningful leadership position in the administration. This would doubtless be a key element to beating Trump.” Moreover, Biden should promise to resign and not run for a second term if he doesn’t get the joint platform into law. Really. How else can we plug him if he rats on us?
The People’s Party should work actively to drain Bernie-ites from the Democratic Party. And the People’s Party should promise to have its members vote for Biden, but only if he makes the promises above. If he does, then the People’s Party can work with the Democrats. If he doesn’t, then the People’s Party will sink the Democrats and become the Other Major Party in the United States.
It’s a simple plan that will take a lot of work. But it works toward the defeat of Trump. At the same time it works for the development of the People’s Party for 2022 and thereafter if Biden reneges on his promises.
I hope that Bernie likes this plan. He deserves something that can make his ideas the winners that they should be.