Socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is dumping hundreds of campaign workers in what appears to be a long-awaited wrap-up of his long-shot presidential bid.
So, what’s next for Sanders supporters?
Well, ironically enough (especially considering the socialist’s message) a couple of hundred will find themselves without a job all at once. For all the rest, Socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has an interesting idea.
Sawant has launched a petition urging Sanders to run as an Independent and launch a new party. She explains:
“…it has become increasingly clear that the Democratic Party establishment is completely opposed to [Sanders’] political revolution. Rather than support the candidate who is best positioned to stop Trump and the Republicans, they are hell-bent on defending the Wall Street and big business interests that bankroll them.”
Sawant is correct about one thing – Democrats like Hillary Clinton are “are hell-bent on defending” their big-money donors, whether they come from Wall Street or the environmental movement (here’s looking at you, Tom Steyer). It’s the rest of her reasoning that has us scratching our heads.
Sawant acknowledges that, if he runs as an Independent, Sanders may take away votes from Clinton and create a pathway to victory for the Republican candidate. She writes:
“If electing a Republican is really Bernie’s main concern, there is no reason he could not at least run in the 40+ states where it’s absolutely clear the Democratic or Republican candidate will win, while not putting his name on the 5-10 closely contested “swing states.” This could still allow for an historic campaign if linked to building a new party for the 99%, laying the foundation for an ongoing mass political movement to run hundreds of left candidates for all levels of government, independent of corporate cash.”
Sawant’s suggestion that Sanders not place his name on the 5-10 swing states reveals how little she understands about basic electoral politics. First, not trying to get his name placed on every state’s ballot would send a signal that Sanders is not “in it to win it.” It would become close to impossible for Sanders to continue raising money under those circumstances. Second, Sawant does not appear to understand that, if Sanders runs as an independent, more states will come in to play beyond the current swing states.
Sawant wraps up her reasoning with this sentiment:
“The stakes are too high to let this moment slip through our fingers. Capitalism is plunging humanity into a social and ecological catastrophe…”
Interesting, all this time we thought other economic systems like communism “plunged humanity into catastrophe.” If that’s not the case, what was the latter half of the 20th century all about?