On April 9, 2020, in the wake of Sen. Bernie Sanders suspending his presidential campaign, the Movement for a People’s Party and BernTheDNC.org joined forces and launched a new petition and “declaration of independence” from the Democratic Party at DemExit.us.
The group is urging supporters of Sanders’ #NotMeUs movement to leave the Democratic Party and join their effort to build “a party that fights alongside movements for economic, racial, social and environmental justice instead of fighting against them,” according to the group’s petition.
“Both the Democrats and Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they will always choose profits over people,” said Nick Braña, national coordinator for Movement for a People’s Party.
“Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are offering leadership when we need it most,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a coordinator with BernTheDNC.org. “A global pandemic and economic meltdown have lifted the veil, revealing the greed, rot, and corporate beholdenness that has driven another giant transfer of wealth to Wall Street—at a time when the American people are suffering at unprecedented levels.”
The majority of Americans say they want a major new party and that sentiment will only grow as the economic crash costs millions their jobs, savings and homes.
“The people are leading the way to an independent alternative and we will follow,” said Brana. We have clarity and consensus on many of the transformative policies we want, like a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. We appreciate all that Bernie did to grow this movement, but if he’s decided to step aside, #NotMeUs will continue the fight through Movement for a People’s Party.”
MPP’s idea is excellent, except for one major problem: the new party is too late to propose its own candidate for President. In other words, all that MPP can do is sit out the 2020 election or support an existing party’s nominee for President. For example, MPP could support Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, or Joe Biden, the likely Democratic Party candidate, or even the eventual Libertarian Party nominee.
#NeverBidenNeverTrump has been trending on Twitter for the past 24 hours. #DemExit has trended repeatedly over the last several weeks as people have been outraged to see that once again working people have been left in the cold by the establishment parties.
As a Bernie-ite since 2015, I very much admire the MPP platform, which follows Bernie’s lead well. I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to MPP’s joining with the Greens. The problem with that approach is that the Green-MPP will suck the Bernie-ites away from Biden and the Democrats, leaving the way clear for Trump.
So what should MPP do? The most sensible things would be to approach the Greens about making a coalition. A Green-MPP coalition won’t win, but it will be a clear signal to the Democrats that they will lose unless they make themselves a part of the same coalition. A Democratic-Green-MPP coalition will win over Trump. Furthermore, the coalition would be free to select a coalition candidate, adopt a coalition platform, and choose a coalition vice-president and cabinet.
Do I think that the DNC would permit its party to select a different Presidential candidate than Joe Biden? I doubt it. But if Green-MPP agrees to support Biden, then presumably Biden might agree to a vice-president who is not a Democrat—like Howie Hawkins. Moreover, the cabinet could be a mix of Green, MPP, and Democrats that all could accept. For example, Robert Reich as Secretary of the Treasury. Biden could agree that the cabinet would not include CEOs or individuals who are corporate sellouts. And there is time enough to put together a platform that is not a corporate sellout, either.
Personally, although I would trust Howie Hawkins as vice-president, I think that it is essential for Biden to choose a woman as vice-president. That could be Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams or Nina Turner, for example. Or one of the two Tammys (Baldwin or Duckworth). Hawkins could certainly serve in the cabinet, as could Jill Stein. Given all of the rattling about Biden’s health, selection of a strong woman candidate would be essential. Given the overall need for coalition in order to keep the Bernie-ites working and voting, I would think that giving the Greens-MPP a strong voice in choosing the vice-president, the cabinet and the platform would be an important part of Biden’s program. On the other hand, blocking the coalition idea would probably be the death knell to his candidacy.
I don’t know what the coalition would want to do with Bernie Sanders. I would want him in the Cabinet, because he has good ideas, and seeing him in a coalition government would cement the ties with the Bernie-ites. I believe that a negotiation between Green-MPP with Bernie and Biden/DNC might well achieve a good result. It’s a lot better than any other choice at the moment.