Read this: If not now, when would be the right time? Assuming Bernie Sanders does not gain the Democratic nomination, Jill Stein of the Green Party has boldly offered to run as his VP, if Bernie would run as the top of the Green Party ticket. Everyone is quick to say this could never work. The arguments against a 3rd party candidacy are voluminous. At the same time the complaining about our two party system, with all of it’s corruption are never ending. The majority of Americans don’t seem to like the leading candidates from either party. Meanwhile Sanders is the one candidate with a popularity rating well above 50% and yet he may not win the Democratic nomination. For the majority of disillusioned, frustrated Americans, will there every be a better time and a better candidate with which to try a 3rd party option? Einstein famously said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Well, if this election continues, as it looks like it is headed and we don’t decide to take a chance and follow our hearts now, then maybe we should just shut up and stop complaining. We obviously do not have the courage to try, the courage our forefathers so represented.
The article below from Salon.com, by Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker explains their take on this offer of a powerful Green Party option. “Dr. Jill Stein opened the door to Sanders on April 22 when she wrote him about how they could work together to advance his political revolution … that everything would be on the table, including her running as the vice presidential nominee and Sanders running as the presidential nominee.”Bernie has basically dodged any question about this, but hasn’t actually said no either. “Sanders was asked by KABC-TV 7 News political reporter Elex Michaelson about the offer by Jill Stein, … saying: Right now, our goal is to win the Democratic nomination.”
Zeese and Walker emphasize that at this point Sanders “should continue focusing on the Democratic Party nomination” where he is still contending strongly and polls much better than Clinton in matchups with Trump. But Zeese and Walker also say “Sanders is also right to keep open the possibility of a Green Party run.” This makes a lot of sense and I must admit I hope it is a very real possibility. “At a time when polls show unprecedented support for a candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton” we need, we must demand real feasible alternatives. Damn the naysayers. “This week NBC found that 47% of voters would consider a third-party candidate if Clinton and Trump were the major-party nominees.” remember Bill Clinton won in the 90’s with about 40% of the vote when Ross Perot was the 3rd party candidate.
Zeese and Walker, like most of the media spend quite a bit of time on Trump vs Clinton strategies, strengths and weaknesses. Relative to the problems in our political system, I feel that this is jumping right back into our structured play book instead of dealing with today’s volatile problem. That problem is that neither of the two major parties have paid much attention to the will of the American people for a very long time. Every four years or so we elect someone hoping they be the catalyst to change one or both parties from within a system most of us agree no longer works (except for a tiny few). Again, remember what Einstein said about insanity. What we are not acknowledging is that possibly the only way for the Democratic and Republican parties to actually pay attention is if they both lose control, if they are on the outside. Although the presidency is not a monarchy, ruling absolutely, it nevertheless can have a very powerful voice, if used effectively. If a 3rd party was elected and exercised that voice well, the American people might just get involved. They might become motivated and as Sanders has been saying throughout his run “we need a political revolution”.
Zeese and Walker say “the 2016 election is unique” and that it has “the largest number of independent voters in the electorate ever.” The American people seem to be ready, even craving something different and they evidently don’t believe the DNC or the RNC can or will ever really represent the American people. They have “lost faith in the Democratic and Republican parties … while … neither major party has 40% favorability, and both parties have over 50% unfavorable ratings.” Recently “Gallup also reports that 60 percent believe a third party is needed ‘because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ of representing the American people’.” What can the American people do? Where do they turn to feel that they are heard and represented?
Could it really be possible that today, in 2016, the American people are finally ready for a 3rd party, the Sanders / Stein Green Party? I’m sure thinking about it!