What If Progressives Go Independent?
If we can't woo the Democratic Party leadership to the Left, maybe we need to shock them into reality.
According to Politico, former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver threatened the Democratic Party with Independent progressive candidates in 2024. (Yes!)
Democrats would be unable to boot Independent candidates out of the race, before the General Election took place. Left-wing votes would be split by Independent “spoiler” candidates.
Why does Weaver want to do that? Wouldn't it be risky? Wouldn't more Republicans win?
THIS: Even after the "Democratic Coup" that stopped Bernie Sanders from winning the 2020 Democratic nomination, the progressive wing has been very supportive of the Biden Administration. Yet, without a shred of gratitude, the Democratic Party blocks 2022 progressive candidates by backing their primary election opponents. Progressives are disgusted and angry. Thus, Weaver expressed a threat to turn progressive power against the Democrats:
Progressives could forgo primaries, altogether, running general-election candidates as independents in swing districts. They might not win, but they could split the vote just enough to prevent a centrist Democrat from coming out ahead of the Republican.
-- Jeff Weaver
I love Weaver's idea, and would take it further. Bernie should lead the way. He should run for President, as an Independent. Perhaps Marianne Williamson would agree to be his Independent running mate. (That would be my dream team.)
Progressive Democrats in Congress, who seek re-election in 2024, should give up their party affiliation and run as Independents. Immediately after the election, the winning Independents should launch a new political party--a new party that begins with elected candidates already serving in Congress.
The new party should have a very progressive platform, and spotlight how party members reject corporate money (in any form) and run 100% grassroots campaigns that are solely funded by real people.
There may be a few details to work out. But what have we got to lose? We must break the suicidal pattern of do-nothing politics. With nuclear threat and global warming breathing down our necks (not to mention a smoldering far-right Republican fascist government takeover), we are running out of time. Pulling the Democratic Party to the Left, by conventional means, takes too long.
And so, as I see it, we are forced to take a risk-- while we still have time--to wage an independent political revolution.
How do you see it, Dear Reader? What would you do differently? Go into detail.
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Sure. Whatever can be done to force the Democratic Party left should be done. It should have started with #ForceTheVote, sinking Pelosi's speakership if she didn't bring a vote for M4All to the floor, but the Squad and the other Justice Dems wouldn't exercise their enormous leverage when they had it. Let's face it. The Dem Party actively undermines progressive candidates at every opportunity. The Dem Party is the enemy, not an ally. It needs to be fought however and whenever possible. The Justice Dems need to grow a pair, assuming they aren't complete frauds, and use their leverage to force votes and force policies whenever possible. We should also support candidates who run as independents, Greens, and People's Party candidates.
Bernie will never have the courage to run as an independent candidate. Had he the courage, he would have done it in 2016 when it was clear that he was cheated out of the nomination. Instead, he tucked his tail between his legs and supported Hillary, perhaps our single worst enemy. He has been a sheepdog for the Dems his whole life, even though Dem Party leadership hates his guts.
Weaver's statement was made just last week. It's interesting because it deviates from Sanders' previous election strategy. Not to say Weaver's statement was official, but I have never heard primarying Democrats as a strategy that has ever before come out of the Bernie Camp. It's a first.