An Open Letter To Bernie Sanders Supporters

| Resist!

Dear Bernie Sanders supporters,

Shut up and listen for once. When black women interrupt your candidate, don’t call them “thugs.” And when protesters hijack your hero’s microphone to have their story heard, it doesn’t mean they’re paid provocateurs in some elaborate plot involving George Soros and Hillary Clinton. You know who else propagates wild conspiracy theories about George Soros funding left-wing protesters? Glenn Beck and Allen West. So congratulations, white progressives – your fanaticism for Bernie has turned you into the thing you hate.

Bernie Sanders says the only thing that will guarantee his election is a “political revolution.” But when that revolution tried to speak, you suppressed it.

Unlike Occupy Wall Street, this movement wasn’t started by or largely made up of white progressives. And unlike Occupy, this movement isn’t just about a higher minimum wage or free college education or single-payer healthcare. This movement was started by people who are fed up with watching their friends and family die in their streets, their homes, and their churches, at the hands of the very people charged with protecting them, and having to watch those people walk away from countless dead bodies without facing any consequences. Black people are statistically four times more likely to die in police custody than whites. And that’s something white progressives like you and me never have to worry about. We have the privilege of being able to talk about lofty policy goals that may be achieved at some point in our lifetime, and putting “all that racial stuff” on the back burner. Everyone who isn’t white doesn’t have that privilege.

Madison, Wisconsin, one of the most liberal cities in the nation, epitomizes white progressive America. The Wisconsin Uprising brought out almost 200,000 people in early 2011 to support worker’s rights even in the middle of a Midwestern winter. They also mobilized to elect Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. Senator. Madison’s mayor, Paul Soglin, used to be an ardent antiwar activist in the 1960s.

But Madison, just like America’s white progressive movement, is just as racist as it is liberal. Madison is the same place where unarmed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, who was black, was killed by white Madison police officer Matt Kenny, who didn’t face charges. African-Americans are incarcerated at higher rates in Wisconsin (12.8 percent in 2013, second-place Oklahoma’s rate was 10 percent) than anywhere else in the country. Mayor Soglin has become a crusader for gentrifiers, proposing to buy $25,000 in bus tickets to push out the homeless population, and recently vetoing a proposal to make the homeless a protected class. Just as Seattle’s mostly-white crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters was offended at being called white supremacists, anyone protesting Scott Walker at the Wisconsin state capitol or waving a rainbow flag on State Street would be deeply offended if they were told they were complicit supporters of institutional white supremacy.

And that’s precisely the problem with white progressives.

Do you wish the protesters would’ve stayed quiet? The Seattle Police Department has been under federal consent decree for the last three years after the U.S. Department of Justice found evidence of excessive use of force and discriminatory policing. The people subjected to that excessive force don’t have any interest in staying quiet.

Are you angry that you never got to hear Bernie’s speech on Medicare and Social Security? Someone who lost their college classmate to police gunfire is even angrier, because they don’t even know if they’ll be alive by the time they’re eligible for those programs.

Are you upset that you didn’t get to hear Bernie talk about a $15 an hour minimum wage? Someone who has been economically destitute for so long because no employers will call them back for an interview due to the blackness name listed on the resume won’t get a fair chance to earn that wage.

Are you pissed off that you didn’t get to hear Bernie Sanders talk about free college education? Seattle just spent $210 million on a new juvenile prison, where 42 percent of the juvenile inmate population is black even though they only make up 8 percent of Seattle’s juvenile population. How can someone think about free college when they’re being forced through the school-to-prison pipeline?

The primary process of a presidential election is a time where acts of disruption should be encouraged, no matter the target. In a healthy democracy, protesters’ disruptions of candidates’ stump speeches would be celebrated. Almost all of this year’s presidential candidates are current or former governors, U.S. senators, or wealthy captains of industry and have the means to be able to have their voices heard at any time they like. But the people dying in the streets and living under the thumb of institutional racism don’t have that privilege. And if they have to shut down a campaign event to force candidates and the media to acknowledge their epidemic and propose solutions, they’ll do it.

As someone who has said they are the only candidate who can represent the oppressed underclass, and who has run on his record of sitting in to protest Jim Crow laws in the 1960s, Bernie Sanders deserves to be disrupted precisely for this reason. As unfair as it may seem to his supporters, it doesn’t matter to young black people losing their friends and family today that a white liberal in the 1960s did what he was expected to do – the only thing that matters is what he’s doing right now.

After getting interrupted at Netroots Nation, storming off the stage, and refusing to meet with Black Lives Matter protesters, Bernie Sanders wised up and hired Symone Sanders – a powerful, outspoken, young black woman who volunteers at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice – to be his national press secretary after she convinced him that economic inequality and racial inequality are interconnected. Bernie Sanders used to get called out by conservatives for omitting racial justice from his stump speech. But on Sunday he’s since revised his website and stump speech to address about racial injustice issues of mass incarceration, voting rights, police militarization, and how black people are disproportionately targeted. This is proof that disruption works. And we need more of it, not less.

If your issue isn’t getting talked about, and if a candidate is coming to your town for a public event, you should absolutely do everything you can to be heard. Last month, Hillary Clinton got heckled for her horrendous record on climate change. Protesters greeted Martin O’Malley at his campaign announcement in Baltimore, saying he “must atone” for propagating racially-biased policing as Baltimore’s mayor. In New Hampshire, Scott Walker was the subject of a clever photo-op protest, regarding his campaign donations from the Koch Brothers. Protest is essential to political discourse, and protest only works if you succeed in changing the conversation. Was it rude for OutsideAgitators206 to interrupt Bernie Sanders? Yes. But did they succeed in pushing Black Lives Matter to the front of the conversation? Absolutely.

Bernie’s supporters need to realize that Bernie Sanders is not the leader of this political revolution. We all are. Let the revolution unfold – Bernie is welcome to join if he’s ready.

  • Henry

    UGH. Disagree. For one thing this isn’t true: “After getting interrupted at Netroots Nation, storming off the stage, and refusing to meet with Black Lives Matter protesters, Bernie wised up … ” He didn’t “storm off the stage.” As for “Bernie wised up,” he was ALREADY wise, probably before you were born. Those women were looking for a fight (and fame). If they’d wanted to meet with Bernie, I’m sure he would have. What they did instead was a HUGE TURN-OFF, and I’m going to quit thinking about them starting right now.

  • xnerd

    This entire article is based on fallacies and inaccurate assertions

  • Mighk Wilson

    So rudeness is to be “celebrated” now? Asking to meet with the campaign to explore how to find common ground and work together is just so passe…

  • TheMaTrIx

    This article just reads “hey, another attention whore wants to be heard.”

    1: Bernie Sanders didn’t storm of the stage, nor did he decline to talk to them, they never asked, they just made a shitton of noise and acted like hooligans.
    2: Him and the organisation said they would let these two obnoxious buffoons speak, repeatedly, but their yelling and behavior made it impossible to continue.
    3: We are all in this together, know when and where to pick your fights, this is a war.
    4: Black Lives Maters is shaping to be an organisation as racist as any KKK or White Supremacy group out there. How about ALL lives mater and a tad less yelling and shooting yourself in the foot?
    5: “after she convinced him that economic inequality and racial inequality are interconnected” are you fucking kidding me? That’s been Sanders message to the motherfucking world for decades, even decades before this person you speak about was born.
    6: Sure, act like self defeating buffoons with the one candidate that would actually officially meet you if you were to simply ask.

    The only way revolution can work is trough violent uprising, if you however prefer to change the system without taking the violent route, you do it gradually, not by wanting to suddenly change the entire political landscape with some kind of pipedream of a perfect progressive candidate.

    If you go for the violent route (which these two buffons were edging on) It’ll be the republicans, the racists and the religious creeps that’ll win, both in message and firepower.

  • Silent Bob

    Only problem is, she’s actually a shill for the GOP and makes it her business to interrupt and disrupt the opposition. Check your facts before blindly following along Pied Piper like to someone else’s narrative.

    Its not constructive trying to break up a candidate and his supporters who are nothing but a good thing for all ethnic backgrounds. That’s a good way to hurt your cause,, make you look like an idiot, and its just plain rude.

  • Federalist

    If only they would have some wits.

  • Michael EY

    An open letter to BLM:

    “All you’ve accomplished is alienating the very people most likely to support your cause. Hijacking a rally by a long time supporter of Civil Rights is like peanut butter makers protesting a jelly convention.

    Good luck with that.”

  • bloodyheck

    when the first words are *SHUT UP* you lost the has nothing to do with black has everything to do with rudeness, and vile incendiary remarks spewed over an audience that gave up their day to be there. many people asked to be heard, ASKED to be heard..demanding attention is the prerogative of 3 year olds not grown women.

  • Pingback: ‘Activists’ Who Interrupted Bernie Were Shape-Shifting Reptilian Assassins from the 8th Dimension | The Portland Intelligencer()

  • Chaddix Malchow

    Agreed with Henry. Bernie didn’t storm off the stage, he waited patiently behind the microphone during an event that was centered around him speaking to get upstaged by two activists for BLM who, in fact, aren’t even associated with the movement. He then went to the crowds to have actual conversations with people that came to listen to him speak about the issues. Real activists came out and apologized on the behalf of BLM, asking audiences to not associate these actions with the movement and that Bernie has been fighting these issues long before the millennials were born and he shouldn’t be upstaged in the rudest manner possible by two girls who called the entire audience racist white people that don’t care about the issues.

  • Charismatron

    TL;DR: This article is shit.

    Never heard anyone–no anyone–refer to the female protesters as “thugs” anywhere (I don’t watch FOX< so can't speak to that–but FOX ain't progressive, anyway).

    By the end of the first paragraph, white progressives are hateful.

    WTF–who green lights this click-bait trash. And don't get me wrong: I'm here because I care and want to get informed by informed voices. But fuck. This. Shit.

  • Jeanine Poole

    It is not white privilege to be bestowed the rights everyone is entitled, rather it is a travesty how blacks are often treated. And it IS misguided to blame or resent those who fight the injustices.

  • Ronnie Crawford

    They sure are silent on that one. Shut up,sounded like Christie, I’ve yet to hear a Bernie supporter mention that.

  • Jason Thompson

    Occupy wasn’t mostly white progressives you racist morons.

  • mason williams

    Where’s Tommy Sotomayor when you need him

  • How do Bernie fans find EVERY article negative about Bernie fans? My GOD they are some EPIC trolls.
    How does it help your White Progressive Savior, all this dedicated trolling?

  • Connie B

    The action taking by the women, BLM or whomever, was designed to generate the response it got. It is a way to get attention. So what is all the whining about? And, whoever this Gibson guy is, he should never pretend he knows what the challenges are that women face. There is no “you and me” to discuss unless you are addressing only white males.

  • klaustopher1 .

    Epic trolls? Nah, just intelligent thinking individuals who haven’t fallen for some stupid BS from an idiot.

  • You must mean myopic fools who are too wrapped up in the ‘Bern’ to see how foolish they appear.

  • kevinzeese

    I hope we do not get into personal attacks back and forth.

    The issues raised about recognizing white privilege are important ones. Message to my fellow white progressives: white privilege exists. It is not a fantasy. Every white person benefits from it. That does not mean whites do not have struggles in their lives, but being African American, Latino or from other communities of color adds another layer of challenge.

    If we recognize white privilege exists it is an opportunity to create a more unified movement where we do not let race divide us.

    Whether you agree or not, let’s not start a name calling contest!

  • Steve Cogg

    You are an idiot. Bernie is the only candidate for president who is honestly and absolutely championing civil rights, and that is why his supporters are confused and angered by these supposed “activists.” We don’t call them “thugs”… that is your word. These people, regardless of their motives, whether it be financial compensation or whatever, victimized the very person that would use his power to promote the equality of everyone. The fact is, they are wrong and chose the wrong person to interrupt and made BLM look like a bunch of fools, which they absolutely aren’t.

  • John ‘Genryu’

    What a ridiculous article. The author hasn’t even bothered to fact check the blatantly obvious lies that he repeates. Stop supporting Palin wannabes and pull your head out of your ass.

  • John ‘Genryu’

    When were you arrested for standing up for civil rights? Oh that’s right never.

  • lobdillj

    It seems to me that this article should never have been accepted in its present form by this website. It is incendiary, full of errors, and deliberately divisive and provocative.

    The valid issue of white supremacy is not a reason to deprive the only progressive candidate of his First Amendment rights.

  • cruisersailor

    What would you say if the Klan disrupted a Black Lives Matter event? The tactic is wrong and BLM should stop it.

  • Aquifer

    Psst – Sanders is NOT the only progressive candidate …
    Check out Jill Stein – much better on ALL the issues …

  • Aquifer

    I do find it rather interesting that Sanders didn’t burnish his website to include these issues and start speaking about them until after this event happened – why not before? For a “long time civil rights activist” seems strange he didn’t focus on this issue from the get-go …. if he had been paying attention to all the activity that has been going on around this issue, did he not think it worthy of his attention until after he was personally inconvenienced by it?

  • TRipp

    Dumb article. Immediately after that incident,Bernie listened,hired a black “activist” from “black lives matter” so as to pursue that platform. He listens..unlike many of the rest. Stop this dumpin on Bernie…stupid.

  • easywriter

    Exactly so!

  • easywriter

    It’s the only tactic left to open up issues that aren’t being discussed. I’m sure it made a difference to Bernie and it will show in his future speeches.

  • easywriter

    If they read the history of heckling, they would see that it has been effective. There’s too much accent on ‘being polite’ today!

  • kevinzeese

    Such sad name calling. Sanders has certainly got better as a result of the protests. He is speaking more of racism, he has put out a pretty good policy statement on racism and he is meeting with Black Lives Matter activists in private — and learning more. This is making him a better candidate. Sanders supporters who call BLM activists idiots are hurting his campaign. He needs to turn BLM into an ally and name-calling like this does not help.

  • kevinzeese

    If you look at town halls in Vermont you will see Sanders yelling shut up — I have the mic — to people protesting Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Did he lose the argument? He sure looked bad reacting like that. He needs to learn how to hande people better when they interrupt him in public.

  • kevinzeese

    I love the excuses Sanders supporters make. She was a high school kid when Palin ran. Are you going to hold Sanders youthful sexual fantasy writing against him? The message was right. Too many white liberals deny racism exists, deny white privlege and Sanders supporters deny this was an area of weakness for him. (I know about his past support of civil rights decades ago, but he also voted for more police, more pisons and is part of the problem of mass incarceration.) He is getting better because of the protests. You should thank him for making him a better candidate.

  • sandbrownskin

    Rude??!! Know what’s rude? Not addressing foreign policy, not addressing Palestine. You slanderers of #BLM folks DO sound like american exceptionalists. You only wish to be told what will benefit you and yours! Shades of same brainwashed Obots, who b/c he is Obama go along with drone killing kids in pooorest countries on the planet. Please try to find a conscience that includes all of humanity.

  • zmann

    WOW ! I’ve seen a lot of anti-Sanders articles on the boards but this one takes the cake. How the hell can the guy who wrote this bs defend two phonies who were closet rightwing X-tian hacks? The comments here have it right. You don’t disrupt and alienate you potential allies to make a point.

  • zmann

    Sanders only responded to the heckling. Unlike this author, he didn’t start out by telling his audience to shut up. Sanders is not the one at fault.

  • zmann

    Then why didn’t they have the courage to ask Sanders politely before the events?

  • zmann

    Stein is unviable and so is the Green Party. Try winning some local elections and build up from there. Then elect at least 150 US House Greens and 35 US Senate Greens and finally come back in 10 or 20 years to run for president when the party is viable. LOL !

  • zmann

    So if not Bernie, then who are you supporting for president and why? Just curious.

  • kadajawi

    But why is the real BLM then asking these two to apologize?

  • zmann

    Ugh, Sanders is actually getting better despite the protests while BLM is sinking. Even among non-white liberals, most of them call that disruption totally uncalled for. If you want to win a cause especially a progressive one, being crass and unprofessional isn’t how you do it.

  • gardensheila

    White privilege is unfortunately still denied and misunderstood by far too many whites. It’s curious that these vocal and rude Bernie supporters are so clueless as they call BLM “rude.” They are not helping Bernie with their diatribes against the fight for racial justice. Bernie is far better than them, and I hope he calls them on their misguided and hateful rhetoric.

  • zmann

    Based on her blog that’s filled with nothing but hate and racism not to mention that stupid selfie avatar, it’s safe to conclude that your guess is right. Her name and putrid commentary had me at first thinking that she’s big on mocha lattes from McDonalds but then I’ve met latte addicts who write and think far better than “mochaloca”.

  • Milosc

    Get real. That fiasco wasn’t about ‘Black Lives Matter’, as it was about “Borderline Personality Disorder”

    See how genuinely compassionate and polite the other candidates are

  • rgaura

    I would like to see more respect in the comments posted. These women have a point. Whether you agree with it, or with their tactics, you should be able to express that without comments that are disrespectful. Young black and gifted people are subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading actions in our country, including state sanctioned murder. It cannot be denied. It is institutional. It must be addressed. Please do not try to silence these voices, or ridicule them, or lock them up and throw away the key. Our country is on fire, and those in a position of power are looting as the house burns. Lets get a grip, and come together with solutions!

  • When were you? Just being black in America in a revolutionary act. My baby has done more for blacks just by being born and surviving. I owe jack shit to any white mn just because he marched or got arrested. How many thousands of blacks also got arrested? And you want I should genuflect over him?
    I used to support Bernie until his insane fans started paternalizing and being racist as hell.

  • I see you think I’m pretty. Thank you.

  • zmann

    I suppose you’d make a pretty good senator or governor of AK.

  • zmann

    “I used to support Bernie until his insane fans started paternalizing and being racist as hell.”

    Ok? Does that mean you’ll support Hillary or GOP? If so, I hope you know that they are nowhere as good in handling the issue of race. Whatever flaws you see of Bernie on the issue of race, he’s the best to work with so far.

  • Well, I’m waiting for Bernie to tell his supporters that they are hurting his campaign by harassing black folks all over the place. Then I can get back on board and Feel Tha Bern again. I am not a fan of Hillary and Martin is not my style. I was supporting Bernie until I got so many racist comments and rude comments, and his fans started attacking Black Lives Matter and calling the Karl Rove Plants. I was shocked and sickened and decided I would not be safe at one of his rallys and would be uncomfortable in his group.

  • It really has been very effective.

  • Nope. I will vote for the nominee. Black women are strong and can be counted on to show up and do our duty. Hey, stop thinking every black person loves Hillary. Her supporters are nice to us and she tries to be so she is the default. You cannot steal us from her by being acerbic. Honey, flies, vinegar, you get it.

    It is not Bernie that turns us off, it is his supporters. I am being honest. They are class reductionists and refuse to understand that race is a form of class in America. We have a racial caste system that they refuse to acknowlege and try to lecture us and tell us that everything is based on Economics.

    Yes; slavery was an economic institution, but, it was also a race based institution. That is why they cannot speak to us on our level. They are missing pieces of info and refuse to be taught by us. Very sad because he would do much better without that type of supporters.

  • Very kind of you, thank you. I love my state. Going back to UAA this fall. Maybe it will happen. 🙂

  • zmann

    I have seen some Bernie supporters going hard on BLM but I haven’t seen any racism against blacks from the Bernie supporters on these progressive boards. There are issues with BLM that need to be addressed if the movement is to survive and be known for making a positive difference to blacks. The hecklers don’t speak for BLM or black community yet they hijacked BLM and the co-founders and leadership are doing damage control. I’m not going to advise but those people running BLM had better repair their image fast or they’ll be sinking faster and losing more of the black community never mind others who feel alienated. Myself, I hope BLM survives and helps the black community catch up to other races on economics and education so that whites won’t go hard on them. I’ve met plenty of pretty cool talented African Americans out there and I don’t want them to diminish.

  • zmann

    There are a great deal of Bernie supporters who want him to focus mostly on economic, environmental, foreign policy, and safety issues and feel threatened that Bernie won’t make it if he goes into cultural issues that lead to polarization. I think he should address all issues and keep it balanced because as president, he shouldn’t be micro-managing.

    I myself am a Jewish USAn married to a Palestinian USAn so I hear you loud and clear on race. You are correct about slavery and racism and it still goes on today not just here in the USA but also elsewhere in the world far from our sight. Most of us Bernie supporters believe that addressing the issues of race and caste are built into his policies and that might be true for the most part.

    Well, he is running for president and he needs to reach a broad audience so he can’t be everything to everyone but he’s the best we got so far. I too want him to address Palestinians but I know that there are no guarantees and that we have to be willing to take a leap of faith in him.

  • Black people are better at recognizing the racism that others may not see. That is why I usually defer to lgbt or Jewish people if they say they are seeing homophobia or antisemitism.

    I think part of the problem is that many people who do not see themselves as racist, exhibit racist behavior and do not recognize the racism within themselves. Seattle is a very progressive cite, yet the arrest rate for blacks and the suspension rate for black children is out of this world. Worse even that many conservative areas. They are blind to their own white supremacy. Because they are liberals, they cannot be racist. The refusal to examine self and instead lash out against the people who are telling the truth is evidence that there are serious issues. The swarming of black people to harass, ‘educate’, bombard them with MLK quotes, show the inhetent white paternalism they possess.

    I have actually been treated better by tea partiers trying to get me to cross over and ‘Leave the Liberal Plantation’. They wanted a token so badly, I would have probably been able to run my own office, lol.

  • zmann

    You should come over to MD. Lots of cool folks here and plenty of African Americans I meet come from UK or the Caribbean Islands. I admit that I’m carried away by their English accent. I do miss my African American friends in FL where I used to live but do keep in touch with them once in a while. Not easy for me or them to live in the south where racism still lingers and I can’t stand the way Cuban USAns are given special treatment while Haitian immigrants are given substandard treatment.

  • I think he is doing a good job in trying to learn the nuances. I still hope things work out in that direction. Otherwise: Hillary. I would prefer not to have Hillary.

  • Maryland?

  • zmann


  • You’re probably right. I need to get to the lower 48 more often. I get bored.

  • John ‘Genryu’

    In the late 70’s and early 80’s in Rhodesia and South Africa. You on the other hand have never been arrested, nor had a gun pointed at you for standing up for what is right. Nor have you refused to serve in a military run by a fascist state . You’re clueless and sadly dangerous to your own cause in your cluelessness.

  • Jinhan Cai

    Racism among white, American liberals is just as ubiquitous as it is among conservatives, the comments on this thread proves it. These black activists don’t have the obligation to be “nice” to white politicians who ignore their plight. They’re being gunned down every day and they have no means of resistance.

    Yet white liberals complain about them being “rude”. I think their “rudeness” is perfectly justifiable in the face of violent oppression and liberal antipathy-which at any minute, could turn into animosity, as demonstrated here.

    In fact, I think black activists should stop being so goddamn nice to the oppressors and their liberal accomplices. Liberal sympathy, as it turned out, isn’t at all reliable.

  • kmackenz

    Sanctamoneous BS. As if BLM is a sacred religion. BLM is funded by George Soros who happens to be a Clinton supporter. Notice how BLM ‘settled’ with the Clinton campaign with no protests. Clinton was first lady during the school to prison pipeline and 3-strikes initiation which makes her a far more appropriate target.

    Is it so hard to believe that a poorly funded group has been hijacked by the interests of big money and its agenda? Or is BLM a religion?

  • zmann

    I should go and check out Alaska myself. Aside from politics, I’m guessing it’s ok. It’s sad that such a state could elect Palin but they used to elect sane people such as Gravel. I feel sorry for what happened to Mark Begich last year but I understand that he made it with the help of a really perfect storm in 2008 and turned out to be surprisingly liberal on most issues that I could probably forgive him on guns and drilling. At least he supported health care unlike the blue dogs who chickened out and lost anyway. I don’t like either of those two current AK senators being the usual rightwing rubberstamps they are.

  • when did bernie saunders supporters call anyone thugs? go troll a donald trump rally, do something productive instead of preaching to the choir. less fucking rev sharpton crap, do some malcolm x sht already

  • Aquifer

    We the people decide who is “viable” – they have won some local elections. And i agree, they need to run a full slate for Congress …

    But note – we tried with a full Dem slate in ’08 – had Dem Pres and a Dem congress for about 2 years – and what did we get – a WS bailout, more offense spending, and a health insurance giveaway to private industry, all of which have made us worse off …

    If Sanders actually tried to enact the stuff he is running on, which, btw looks a lot like the Green platform has for some time now, he would get as far as a Green would …. but don’t worry, he wouldn’t really try, he has already sold out SP with his vote for the ACA …

    If you want somebody who would really fight for what Sanders claims is his platform, elect a Green …

  • zmann

    “we tried with a full Dem slate in ’08 – had Dem Pres and a Dem congress for about 2 years – and what did we get”

    You forgot Congressional primaries. They do exist but we USAns fail to use them.

    ” he has already sold out SP with his vote for the ACA …”

    Single payer had no chance of passing in Congress. While I wanted public option to stay, I’m getting a few goodies from ACA and so are most USAns. Single payer has no chance until we reign in capitalism and our capitalist Congress. Sanders so far is the best one to do it or at least get us there. Stein, on the other hand, isn’t experienced or knowledgeable on Congress so she’s not prepared.

    “If you want somebody who would really fight for what Sanders claims is his platform, elect a Green”

    They need to run in more places for smaller offices first so that more USAns have that chance. Wasting money mostly on a presidential election where they have no chance only puts the party in debt and makes them look spoiler.

  • Oh, god. Alaska politics stresses me out completely. Our Senators suck. Mark Begich is cool, he used to own a building I lived in and caught me smoking weed one time. I always vote for him. You should have SEEN the look on his face when he caught me. 🙂

    The gun thing is just because it’s Alaska. Wild, moose running all over town, bears at the Ramada Limited; guns are necessary. As is planned parenthood, the winter is long and cold. By spring the highschoolers are needing services.

    We need more democrats to move up here to outnumber the kooks. It’s the oil, ya know? Plenty of us are hippies but the oil suckers have the numbers.

    Yeah, you should visit. It’s beautiful.

  • You do not seem well.

  • South Paw

    I love how BLM never takes into account the actions of the black that led to them getting shot in the first place??? Maybe the reason there is a higher number of blacks in prison, is because they commit more crime than any other race??? Maybe instead of asking for an attorney, they crack under the pressure of the investigation and admit guilt at a higher rate??? Or maybe none of what I said is true (and we are going to ignore the facts), and we are all just racist???

  • kevinzeese

    How do we know single payer had no chance? That is just the line we hear from corporate Democrats like Obama. Of course it has no chance if Obama — who knew single payer was the best approach — does not try. He did not try because he took $20 million from healthcare profiteers. He took the payoff and screwed us.

    We were involved in the daily fight for single payer during the Obamacare debate. We got single payer to the floor of the senate, where it was negotiated it away; and we came very close to get it to the House floor. And, that was with no money and fighting Obama, the Republicans and corporate Dems. So, who knows what would have been possible.’

    As to the Greens, they run in lots of local racese, see this history since the mid 1990s The problem is we live in a mirage democracy with rigged elections and the corporate duopoly and corporate media have created a system that ensures third parties cannot win due to a whole series of anti-democratic laws.

    So, we are stuck with two corporate parties that serve Wall Street; voters who are manipulated to vote based on fear rather than for what they want; and limited canidates because we live in a fake democracy that is managed by big money, corporate parties and corporate media.

  • kevinzeese

    That is closed eyed racism. You obviously have not watched the people the police have killed for absolutely no reason — which is the vast majority of cases. Wake up and stop spouting racist comments.

  • zmann

    Here’s my reply to your first two paragraphs on single payer.

    The current capitalist system makes it nearly impossible to win a pr war for single payer. Just making a scene and getting arrested for 15 minutes of fame won’t change a thing. I’m sorry but the results confirm that.

    It’s Congress who passes laws, not the president. If we USAns would collectively pay more attention to Congressional elections every 2 years and increase voter turnout especially in midterms, we wouldn’t be having ourselves a crony capitalist Congress.

    “As to the Greens, they run in lots of local racese, see this history since the mid 1990s”

    I saw that too and that’s why I don’t hesitate to say that this is scant and that there would be a hell of a lot more victories if the Green Party would quit wasting millions for a presidential election where they don’t even have a chance of getting to 5% on let alone winning. I know how Big Media and polls are done and they’re worse than when Perot was running for president. It costs less to stick to the ground up approach and the party gets better recognition and support.

    “The problem is we live in a mirage democracy with rigged elections and the corporate duopoly and corporate media have created a system that ensures third parties cannot win due to a whole series of anti-democratic laws.”

    That’s part of it. Most of it comes from lack of public understanding and awareness of how government works and on all levels. For all the attention given to presidential elections, more attention needs to be given to Congressional elections every two years as well as elections for offices in local and state government. Sure, Big Money can try and rig those as well but if turnout is abominabally low, then Big Money wins whereas if turnout in local elections everywhere is as high as presidential elections, Big Money will no longer be able to afford rigging elections. In places where third parties can’t be on the ballot, the best we can do is get a good Democrat elected and have him or her switch back to independent once elected. Bernie did that and I know some people attack that as “cheating” but it’s really called outsmarting the rigged system.

  • Aquifer

    I don’t think “most USAns” are getting a “few goodies” from the ACA ….

    We don’t need to “rein in ” our capitalist Congress, we need to replace them ….

    As far as being “experienced and knowledgeable on Congress” I suspect most of us had enough “experience” with Congress to “know” we need to replace them – if by that you mean knowing how to compromise your principles, yeah, Sanders knows how to do that – just because one perceives that “something doesn’t have a chance” is no reason to vote for something that makes prospects for it even worse .. which is what the ACA did for SP … Stein no doubt could have done quite well as a Dem – but she knows that, as they say, the DP is the place prog ideas go to die –

    Greens have been running for “smaller offices” all over … anyone on a ballot can win if enough folks vote for ’em ….

  • Aquifer

    I respectfully disagree – anyone on a ballot can win if enough folks vote for ’em – Stein was on enough state ballots to get enough EC votes to win – if enough folks had pushed those levers – too many don’t, not because they don’t agree with the platform, but because too many other folks are telling them “3rd parties can’t win” – i have seen/heard that dynamic myself ….

  • Aquifer

    Granted we need to pay more attention to Congress. elections – but the dynamic is the same – we need to toss out D/Rs at ALL levels …

  • zmann

    Except that it costs less to do it at the Congressional races than at presidential races and they get a better chance at recognition and support.

  • Brandi Williams

    When I was growing up it was rude to interrupt someone, Bernie had too much class to turn it into a spectacle…. the Rude people who interrupted him did more damage to their cause than good. The antics in Ferguson just prove the haters are right. Martin Luther King is rolling over in his grave at the way these “protesters” are behaving. there is a right way to do things, get civilized and do things right or fuel the fires of bigots and prove them right, it is clearly your choice.

  • zmann

    If Stein showed somehow magically make it to the White House, there’s no way she’ll last. Do you honestly believe that she’ll get even Pelosi and Schumer on to her side let alone Mitch and Boehner? Even most Green Party folks I’ve talked to admit that it’s just a protest vote and admit that it’s very expensive. I’d sure like to see Greens winning more local and state races rather than Green Party presidential candidates getting themselves deliberately arrested and costing the Green Party even more money and destroying any chance of being viable. It must hurt that out of 100 Greens running, 1 or 2 may be lucky to win. I don’t like to tell people or third parties not to run for president but you got to admit that it’s stupid for any third party to soak themselves with big debts and losses running just on presidential races where they have absolutely no chance. If the Green Party steps back from running for president and focuses on local, state, and Congressional races, then maybe they’d win more like 30-50 out of 100 rather than 1 or 2 at most. That’s what I call building a viable party.

  • Abner Doubleday

    So Bernie’s so great? Ask a Palestinian what Bernie has done for justice recently. He’s a paid pro-Zionist, militaristic war whore, already promising to capitulate to Hillary the war criminal. You people who think Bernie’s the best thing going are astoundingly witless!

  • amylsacks

    Sanders’ fans need to grow thicker skins.

  • Aquifer

    Costs could be combined – candidates running on the same ticket …

  • zmann

    You’re not making any sense. There’s no way you can defend the Green Party wasting most of their money on a presidential race they have no chance of winning.

  • Aquifer

    Three assumptions

    1) that it is a waste of money – disagree
    2) money that would be spent on a Pres bid would otherwise be spent on other races … not a warranted assumption
    3) no chance of winning – that is up to us …

    The same thing is said about Sanders chances – that doesn’t seem to be deterring his supporters, why should it deter ours?

  • zmann

    Five failed attempts in a row by the Green party for president is a long time to fail but go ahead and get a 6 for ’16. The results confirm that I’m correct that the Green Party is wasting its money in the wrong places where they don’t have a chance. How stupid can the party get? Sanders did the right thing by taking advantage of the two party loophole and it’s paying off as he keeps gaining traction while Stein is staggering. I don’t know what your advice is for the Green Party but it sounds like a recipe for continued failure whereas if they’d listen to my strategy and try it for the next 9 years, they’d be viable.

  • nanook

    Here’s the definition of an idiot per the OED:
    “A person who speaks or acts in what the speaker considers an irrational way, or with extreme stupidity or foolishness.”

    The argument was entirely irrational because it hinges on disguised ad hominem, reductive reasoning, generalization, and marginalization.

    So look at that, the author is an idiot.

  • nanook

    That’s the difference – he had the mic. In normal discourse, the person with the floor is the one that’s supposed to do the talking. Perhaps you should take a class on definitions…

  • nanook

    Please go ahead and marginalize and generalize an entire group of people that has a loose definition. Do you have statistical evidence to back up the statement that there’s even a correlation between liberalism and racism?

    Or are you just so seriously disillusioned by white guilt that your only impulse is to say “how high?” when a minority says “jump”.

  • LostInSight

    However you want to say it, if you oppose privilege and you advocate for the voiceless, Black Lives Matter people did the right thing. People don’t get rude and interupt other people until they get desperate. If there were other channels open, those channels should be used, but black people have been fighting this fight for centuries. People who complain need to get real. WHO DECIDES WHAT ANYONE PERSON OUGHT TO DO OR OUGHT TO EXPRESS? If our brothers and sisters in BLM decide that the time has come to disrupt a whites-only party, it’s time, and white people who want to end racism need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers. I think they did exactly the right thing at exactly the moment it was needed. Frankly I think if there is a single “progressive” who isn’t apologizing for being insensitive, I’m embarrassed to call myself progressive. Asking black folk to stay off the stage is like telling them to stay out in the woodshed or eat in the kitchen. I’m shocked. Let’s get real people. Last word: Bernie owes all of us an apology.

  • nanook

    THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE WAS A PERSONAL ATTACK. What the hell do you think generalizing and marginalizing a group is? It’s disguised ad hominem. What do you think the application of reductive reasoning in the characterization of a group is? This article was a blatant personal attack, mixed in with a couple anecdotal tidbits and statistics. God are you dense.

  • Aquifer

    So, is it the GP’s fault entirely or ours for failing to support them …

    Sanders is dancing with the devil – he may boogie a bit, but step on his toes and there will be hell to pay – ask Kucinich …..

  • Aquifer

    I don’t think they get any better chance at recognition and support at the Congress. level than at the Pres one .. and, as i have said, combine them on the same ticket – 2 for the price of 1 🙂

  • zmann

    You don’t know how to build a viable third party, Green or any name. Your way has been tried and EPIC FAIL.

  • zmann

    You’re just jealous of Sanders because he outsmarted the rigged system while the Green Party is on its way to FAILING again.

  • zmann

    “And it is true that a Pres run raises the profile of the party for all candidates on the ticket …”

    It never happened and it never will.

    “Any party that doesn’t have the ambition or vision to run at all levels has it’s sights set too low”

    Your Green Party is mostly focused on the presidential level and little else. They can try building from the ground on up first before taking your advice.

  • zmann

    His record actually supports Palestinians. Please cite the bills that Sanders voted on and/or his speeches that proves your allegation.

  • zmann

    Maybe the next time you’re going to a job interview, someone should disrupt you and then when you whine that you didn’t get your job, we can lecture you to grow thicker skins.

  • zmann

    I’m sure you say the same crap defending Clarance Thomas and Bill Cosby.

  • amylsacks

    Not much of a parallel there. I’m afraid on a 1 to 10 scale I can only give you a 3.5.

    You and Sanders deserve each other. I’ll say that much.

  • zmann

    They aren’t “black activists”.

  • zmann

    I got the parallels right and your silly ratings don’t mean anything. You’re probably some rich lady who doesn’t mind Hillary or GOP as president along with a crappy Congress. The rest of us can’t afford that and could use a cool socialist such as Sanders. FEEL THE BERN !!!

  • rgaura

    I would normally not reply to someone using foul language. It is disrespectful. You are off topic, except that I would advocate respect for all human beings, irrespective of their circumstances. Your assumption is wrong. I suggest a class in logic before you attempt to enter into a substantive conversation. Have a good day, and may you and yours be preserved from the actions of an overzealous police state.

  • zmann

    Spare us your phony lectures. You want us to have respect for those two phonies but we don’t fall for it. They asked for trouble, got it, and are proud of it and now here you are being both disingenuous and dishonest in your lame defense of them. You’re not fooling most of us here.

  • Aquifer

    “It never happened and it never will” – disagree

    “Your Green Party is mostly focused on the presidential level and little else” – disagree again ..

  • amylsacks

    I’m glad they’re letting you and the rest of the Kindergarten have a mock election. I’m sure it will be very exciting for you.

    Perhaps after your graham crackers, milk, and afternoon lie-down, your temperament will improve, too.

  • amylsacks

    You can point to local campaigns until you’re blue in the face. They won’t listen. You and Zeese must have the patience of saints to argue with these yoyos. They’re beyond ridiculous, and Sanders is nothing but a career gatekeeper for Neolibs like La Hill anyway. It’s how he earns his living. His cluster of attack Chihuahuas is working itself into a frenzy over nothing– and making themselves look like apologists for racism in the process.

  • zmann

    When Sanders makes it to the White House, you 1%ers will be going down and we 99% will get the last laugh. Enjoy your fun in the sun while it lasts, spoiled rich classist brat.

  • amylsacks

    Bring an umbrella. You’ll need it to guard against all that dung from the flying pigs.

  • zmann

    We’re prepared to knock down those flying 1%er pigs from the sky and cook some porked chop sandwiches as a rewarding result. Talk about eating the rich ! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM !

  • amylsacks

    “Hopium” by any other name… would still be empty air in a 2008 bottle.

  • zmann

    So you’re saying that Sanders is Obama all over again? Ok, if you’re not a 1%er, if not Sanders then who do you support for president?

  • amylsacks

    Actually, I think Sanders is Kucinich all over again. I was snowed by him as I believe you’re being snowed now. I’m voting Stein if she gets the nomination for the Green Party, and I vote down-ticket for Greens whenever possible.

    The Democratic machine doesn’t know how to share its toys, or behave responsibly towards those on its Left flank. If Sanders wants to yoke himself to it, let him. But I’ll wager he’ll be turfed by them when they no longer find him useful, just as Kucinich was.

    Anyway, it’s your vote. Do as you will with it.

  • zmann

    Ok, I see what you mean and understand completely. Yes, it is true that the Democratic Party establishment doesn’t like authentic progressives and that they and the Clinton machine are trying to silence him just like they did Dean and Kucinich. That being said, primaries are just as important as the general election. For now, I’m working to help Bernie win. If, however, Hillary gets the nomination then I’ll seriously consider Stein since I live in a safe blue state.

    I had no idea that you were this progressive so please accept my apologies for going hard on you earlier. About Green Party, yes it is a progressive party and I want to make it a viable party that can compete from the ground on up. First they win local elections so they can have strong bench for state level elections and then from there national elections. It’s sad that we can only vote third party as a protest vote and none other. I want to see at least 150 US House Greens and 35 US Senate Greens so that Stein or any Green Party president in the future will have some basic support from Congress to stop regressive policy and possibly enact progressive policy.

  • amylsacks

    No worries, and good luck. 🙂

  • Aquifer

    Wait – you say the GP should try at the local, but not the national level – and i say why not run at all levels on the same ticket – combine campaigning costs, etc – So what is wrong with that? A rather efficient use of resources, not to mention the concept of synergy at all levels …

    So if you know how to build one, why haven’t you? What’s keeping you? Or would you just rather pick at ones who are trying …

    Besides which – we are the ones who decide who is “viable” – sounds like you are drinking too much MSM cool-aid ….

  • Aquifer

    The GP doesn’t “listen to me” …

    And methinks the only ones who are getting “outsmarted” are the Sanders supporters, just as with O ….

    So you think Greens should just run as Dems?

  • Aquifer

    Do i think i will change the minds of those you describe as “yoyos” – hell, no – it is not for them their arguments are being refuted ….

  • zmann

    “So you think Greens should just run as Dems?”

    They can infiltrate and take over the Democratic Party to make a difference since they can’t win as Greens.

  • zmann

    You don’t even know what you’re talking about from costs to recognition to viability of any third party but all you do is troll the boards especially “Common Dreams” while doing nothing to build the Green Party. You’re the one who’s more interested in the Green Party. I just happen to be a damn good consultant who has a track record of helping people and groups who listen to my advice and succeed unlike DELIBERATE FAILURES such as you. Gawd you’re a PATHETIC LOSER !

  • kevinzeese

    They cannot infilitrate and take over the Democratic Party. There is a long history with the Dems. They have killed every movement that has joined them. Look at the unions. They made most of their progress before the 1940s when they made the deadly mistake of joining the Dems. Since then they have been in a downward cycle, losing power consistently, shrinking in numbers and law have been passed making it harder for them to organize. They are committing suicide, slowly and painfully, by joining the Dems. Unions were massive, if they could not take over the Democratic Party, what makes you think Greens can do so?

    The same is true for the antiwar movement, the women’s rights movement, the environmental movement — the Democratic Party is where movements go to die.

    And, you misunderstand the role of third parties in transforming the nation. They are essential. When they are the political arm of an independent mass movement they win their issues without winning the presidency. This has happened on union rights, 8 hour work day, ending child labor, women voting and all of the New Deal which began with the Socialist and Progressive Parties. The role of third parties in the mirage democracy of the United States is to raise issues in elections, show they have the support of people and force one of the two parties to take them on.

    The only time a third party has won was during abolition of slavery. It took 20 years of elections by various abolition third parties to finally win with Abraham Lincoln, the most successful third party candidate in history. Lincoln’s election was the end of the Whigs, one of the two slave parties (the Democrats, who were plantation owners, was the other). The Republicans were not full out against slavery, but opposed its expansion and became an abolition party during the Civil War.

    So, a definite no to the Greens joining the Democratic Party. The Greens refuse to take corporate money and the Democrats represent corporate money. They are oil and water and do not mix. The Greens are needed to get stronger, work with the movement and put our issues into the electoral system. Going into the Democratic Party means the end of challenging corporate power in elections.

  • kevinzeese

    But, you don’t seem to have any understanding of the history of third parties and how they succeed in advancing the issues of social movements without winning the presidential election; nor do you realize that the Greens have been running candidates at all levels for more than a decade. Frankly, when it comes to elections and social change you seem ignorant.

  • zmann

    “And, you misunderstand the role of third parties in transforming the nation. They are essential.”

    That hasn’t been true for the last 25 years. Despite even Perot winning 19% of the popular vote, both parties carried on with business as usual. And Nader? The Democrats ignored him anyway and moved to the right. This isn’t the early 20th century. After 1992, the election was rigged to marginalize third parties.

    “The Greens are needed to get stronger, work with the movement and put our issues into the electoral system.”

    The only way third parties including Green will make any difference is to win local elections first and build from there. This is the 21st century not the 20th. You can’t expect the Green Party or any third party to go anywhere but wasting more of their money and resources on presidential elections where they have no chance. As I told you earlier, had the Green Party backed out of wasting millions on presidential elections and directed that money towards winning more local races across the nation, they wouldn’t be so scant by now. Look, I understand that you want to see the Green Party to succeed and so do I. Do you agree with my strategy for helping the Green party get there? If not, please explain.

  • zmann

    “succeed in advancing the issues of social movements without winning the presidential election”

    What might have worked about a century ago won’t necessarily work today. The election system has been rigged most noticeably since 1992 and hasn’t improved since.

    “Greens have been running candidates at all levels for more than a decade.”

    My issue is that they won so few of them when the money wasted on running a presidential candidate could have instead gone towards helping more of them win. I have the latest info on currently elected Greens but if I put in the Green party site’s link, the post goes into moderation queue so let me know.

  • kevinzeese

    I hope your comment means you are backing off the idea that Greens should become part of the Democratic Party? That would kill the only third party to survive the duopoly assault on independent politics.

    Perot definitely changed the debate on deficits (unfortunately, not in a way I agree with) and his “giant sucking sounds” was the first time Americans began to figure out what NAFTA and corporate trade is. It added fuel to the fire that led to the WTO shut down in Seattle and we now have the largest anti-corporate trade coalition in history. So the seeds he planted are still growing.

    And, Nader began to educate the country on the corporate duopoly (a phrase he got into the dialogue) and how the two parties served the same master. Now we see independent voters are a plurality (43%, in the US — the highest ever — with the two parties shrinking.

    So, the story is not finished on either the impact of Perot or Nader. Social change takes time and a lot contributes to it.

    The biggest mistake made by the “left” was running away from Nader in 2004. The Green Party almost destroyed itself with the “safe states” strategy. If they had instead nominated Nader 2004 the story would have been very different. Nader would have been on over 30 ballots if he had the Green nomination and rather than being sued through his entire campaign over ballot access by the Democrats (sometimes allied with the Republicans), he would have been campaigning. That error cost the left a great deal.

    As to the Greens spending millions on presidential elections, I don’t even think that is true. The only strong Green candidate has been Nader, probably the only one to spend over a million. Nader did fundraise for local candidates so his campaign actually helped those campaigns as well. Stein is a good candidate, but is not going to raise millions.

    The Greens have been seriously running in local races for 15 years, so I am not sure what you are advocating. Yes, they need to get stronger. Yes, they need to elect more people but that has absolutely nothing to do with running or not running for president. Having a strong presidential candidate is a help, not hindrance to local candidates. (Here is a data base going back to 1985

  • zmann

    “Greens should become part of the Democratic Party?”

    My point was that a progressive running as a Democrat is far more likely to get exposure than if running as a Green. That’s more so on higher level offices than it is on local levels.

    ” It added fuel to the fire that led to the WTO shut down in Seattle and we now have the largest anti-corporate trade coalition in history.”

    However, we have yet to elect a Congress that will stop supporting free trade and that event won’t be remembered since NAFTA didn’t get cancelled but CAFTA and other free trade deals got added. The WTO protesting event in 1999 at Seattle seems to have had a temporary effect. The WTO, IMF, and World Bank are still operating 16 years after that as if that 1999 event never happened. There should have been some local and state election shake ups and I think that the Green Party would have done better there.

    “Nader began to educate the country on the corporate duopoly (a phrase he got into the dialogue) and how the two parties served the same master.”

    Yes, that’s slowly picking up steam. However, the election results don’t seem to show it and with lower voter turnout in local and state levels resulting in rightwingers sneaking into power.

    “Now we see independent voters are a plurality (43% … in the US — the highest ever — with the two parties shrinking.”

    My issue with that is that it doesn’t even come close when the election results are in. Polls can say that USAn “voters” are Independent by 75% and the election results would still show third parties combined coming nowhere close to 5%. I’m sorry but I can’t rely on those polls giving false hope. Even on polls showing Sanders closing the gap with Hillary or even taking over, I’m taking nothing for granted.

    “As to the Greens spending millions on presidential elections, I don’t even think that is true.”

    Well, presidential elections cost more than Congressional elections that cost more that state elections that cost more than local elections. However, I have been looking for information on how much the Green Party spent on the races they ran for, win or lose. If you have information on how much was spent in those presidential elections, please do provide.

    “Nader did fundraise for local candidates so his campaign actually helped those campaigns as well.”

    That’s news to me. If you have information on that, please feel free to provide. I thought that he should have run for senator of CT in 2006 and knocked off Joe Liebermann. At least with Senator Nader, he and Sanders might have had a chance to progressively team up and fight earlier on. Joe Liebermann killed Public Option and held health care legislation hostage until a watered down version of ACA got passed. If Nader had replaced him, none of that would have likely happened. On what you wrote about Nader, I agree 100% that it was anti-Democratic to force him off the ballots and that the Green Party and him should have been together in 2004.

    “Social change takes time and a lot contributes to it.”

    I can’t argue with that. Even Occupy made some difference in getting younger USAns to seriously consider socialism and today the gap between support on socialism and capitalism is narrowing as far as we millennial USAns are concerned.

    “Having a strong presidential candidate is a help, not hindrance to local candidates.”

    On that same Green Party site, I did see that there are only 131 officeholders across the nation. They are all local at most and most of them are in really blue areas and not in significant positions. The presidential Green candidate would have to win at least 5% to get any federal funding if I’m not mistaken and so far, no Green Party presidential candidate has gotten even 0.5%. The highest was Nader getting 2.7 in 2000. In 2004, all third parties combined got 1% so I don’t know if Nader running as a Green would have really changed a thing. Big Media and the polling firms are not third party friendly and I know their crookedness to stifle any third party from getting anywhere close to 5%.

  • kevinzeese

    Sounds like you are pretty stuck in the Dem Party. For example you say, you get more attention running as a Democrat — yes, until you are out of the race in April. When it comes to October/November all we hear are corporate candidates from both parties.

    When did someone who challenged Wall Street win a Democratic nomination? When did an insurgent win?

    There have been many insurgent candidates, at least one in every election so that people who are true progressives stay in the Wall Street dominated Democratic Party. But, they never win. Jesse Jackson won 11 states, but failed. Kucinich ran multiple times, but failed. Howard Dean won Iowa, then failed.

    The last two win was George McGovern but he served as co-chair of a presidential primary commission in 1970-71 so in 1972 when he won he was running in a real people’s primary. There were no super-delegates, now they make up 20% of the delegates. Their role is to prevent another McGovern. In 1972 there were 4 or 5 states voting each month, this year more than half the states vote before April. Having 23 states vote in March is designed for big money candidates. There are only 6 debates, 4 of them before Iowa. This means there will be very little free media once the primaries and caususes begin. In 2008 there were about 28 debates. All of this is designed to make sure the Dem nominee represents the Democratic Party’s power structure, especially Wall Street.

    You are the one saying Greens spend millions on presidential elections. I am sure they don’t. I worked on Nader’s 2004 campaign. And, I also know he did 40 fundraisers after the 2000 campaign, and campaigned with Green candidates in 2000. At least I have a basis for my claims — what is your source? I also shared with you a data base of Green campaigns which shows they spend most of their time running for local races.

    The reality is we have a mirage democracy with rigged elections. We are not going to win the changes we want with rigged elections. Sanders will be fun while he lasts, but the system is designed to stop him.

    Our job is a long-term one — build an independent movement (which is what this site is for) and build our own political party that represents the movement. That has always been the formula that has worked. Running as an insurgent within the Democratic Party is a failed strategy. Insurgents should leave the party and stop wasting millions of dollars on a strategy that has never worked.

  • zmann

    I understand where your skepticism of trying to take over the Democratic Party comes from and I respect that. Before I reply to some of what you said, I just want to let you know that if Hillary somehow wins the nomination, then I’ll seriously consider voting for Stein since I live in a safe blue state and no longer in Florida.

    “You are the one saying Greens spend millions on presidential elections. I am sure they don’t.”

    I’ll admit that maybe that’s an over assumption but I only hear of Green Party in presidential elections than anywhere else. Even if they spend a few hundred thousand on presidential elections, it looks more like a waste when that money should go towards more local elections for Greens. I’ve been trying to find the numbers but no results found so far. If you got a link on their exact amount spent on the presidential elections, please post so that I can help prove that the Green Party is indeed less on spending.

    “I also know he did 40 fundraisers after the 2000 campaign, and
    campaigned with Green candidates in 2000.”

    I’ve been trying to find out more about that but not getting any search results. If you got link(s) to that, please post. I’ll make sure that others out there know.

    “I also shared with you a data base of Green campaigns which shows they spend most of their time running for local races.”

    I saw them and interpreted the results as a sign that it was still too early to go for the presidential races. I would have wanted them to win at least a few state wide and US Congressional races as well as win thousands of local races across the nation. Perhaps my criteria is too high for some. I’m sorry that we just can’t agree on how the Green Party is to grow but I respect that. Peace.

  • Aquifer

    Just what the world needs, another “consultant” … had my fill of them with their high priced “expertise” in gutting the hospital i worked in …

    Basically your advice amounts to “think small” and us “experts” will let you know when you are “ready for prime time”

    You’re done? Thank heavens!

  • Aquifer

    One word – Kucinich, and there are others …

    Don’t confuse “not winning” with “can’t win” …. common error …

  • kevinzeese

    There have been failed insurgent campaigns in every Democratic primary — way more than five — but yet you say try again. Why do you want to keep doing the same thing over within the Democratic Party, but not outside of it? Seems a bit inconsistent.

    When was the last insurgent win in a Democratic primary?

  • zmann

    I understand the odds that have been stacked against Sanders. However, not even Howard Dean got the kind of crowds everywhere that Sanders is getting so I am willing to give Sanders a chance before I give up despite the Democratic Party Establishment and the Clinton machine. Sanders is an Independent who’s just taking advantage of the two party loophole and he has been in Congress longer than previous insurgents. He will switch back to Independent once he’s elected president. If, however, he doesn’t get the nomination, then I’ll give you my mea culpa.

  • zmann

    Sanders is much better than Kucinich who was also a pretty cool progressive. Kucinich should run for US Senator of OH and I don’t mind if he runs as a Democrat or Green since any independent senator will have to caucus with one of the two main parties until the Green Party replaces one of them in the Senate by winning at least 35 seats.

  • Aquifer

    I think you missed my point – K was marginalized, kicked out of Dem primary debates, got his hat handed to him on AF1, and the coup de grace, redistricted out of Congress …

    Caucusing is one thing – selling out is another ….

  • zmann

    Oh that one. I get how tough the Democratic Party establishment is on insurgent progressives but after what both you and Kevin say, the question that lingers in my mind and comes up with most USAn progressives being asked to support the Green Party is this. What is the guarantee that the Green Party won’t be corrupted to where the Green Party establishment will behave the same way the Democratic Party establishment today is? Yes, it might not hurt to at least give the Green Party a chance. However, neither the people running the Green Party or their ardent backers have convinced most of us USAn progressives that they’ll stay firm and not fold. Right now, most of us USAn progressives are convinced that Bernie will do better than Stein. Sure, there’s a chance he could fold. However, he has shown himself to put up a tough fight first. Stein and most Greens? We don’t see them prepared. Maybe Stein will get a lot of Bernie backers should Bernie not be the nominee but if it’s Hillary vs GOP, it’s pretty much over anyway.

  • kevinzeese

    The only thing that keeps politicians hones, even those who seem like allies, is if the people are organized to push them. Even Chavez in Venezuela was pushed by the people’s movement that put him in power. He became more radical because of the people. That is our job here as well — push elected officials to do the right thing. This is not an easy thing to do in a fake democracy like the United States but that is the job of a movement.

  • zmann

    We USAns could collectively accomplish that by paying more attention to our local, state, and Congressional elections as much as we do the presidential ones. We also need to reign in Big Media and Big Money.

  • Aquifer

    If the GP were open to corruption at this point, methinks they would be in much better shape financially …. 🙂 As i have said, I think Stein and others could probably do quite well as Dems – but they have too much integrity to pay the price required … as in promising to back the Dem nominee, even if (s)he is a corporate stooge ..

    You say you want a “guarantee” from the GP – I think they have given it … And what would such a “guarantee” look like that you would accept …

    A chance he could fold? He has done so already … he folded on SP, he folds repeatedly on offense spending, he folded when he joined the DP for “pragmatic purposes” when he always claimed to be an indy …

    “We don’t see them prepared.”

    Prepared for what?

    Please elaborate on – “if it’s Hillary vs GOP, it’s pretty much over anyway.”

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  • Nylene13

    Anyone who wants equal rights would want Bernie to get elected.
    Who are BLM supporting for President?

  • badkitty61

    Ah, my husband, who has a good point, wonders if these women were agent provocateurs, seeking to divide the left, and he also wonders if they were paid. Where we come from, the violence or disagreement is almost always started by someone from the other side. Our experience is Berkeley in the Sixties and Seventies–we don’t riot anymore, due to our age.

  • kevinzeese

    BLM is made up of hundreds of thousands of people and I am sure they are supporting a variety of people. It is not an electoral organization so it should not be endorsing any candidates.

  • kevinzeese

    Was Bernie wise when he voted for Clinton’s police and prison laws that added 100,000 police, built a lot of prisons and put a lot of African Americans in jail? A lot of people opposed that tough on crime, long sentencing approach, but Bernie supported it. He wised up after the second protest and finally put out a racial justice plan — a plan that is pretty good. You should thank BLM for making your candidate a better candidate.

  • zmann

    It has been 15 years and the progressive boards rarely post a single article about third party candidates running for offices aside from president and even coverage of Sanders isn’t much yet so many wasted articles on Trump and GOP. I would be shocked if even Craig Brown of “Common Dreams” were to suddenly post articles about independent progressives running for Congress, Senate, governor, etc… let alone Arianna Huffington of HuffPost follow suit. That’s a big part of the reason why the Green Party and third parties in general haven’t been tested much on anything and show no signs of being prepared to fight Big Media or the rightwing fascists in Congress. The 131 scant offices they currently hold, all on local levels and mostly in safe blue places, don’t show much either. I know you want to sell them as a “guarantee” but I’m not buying that just like I don’t buy new products that haven’t been properly tested or reviewed. I’d like to see the Green Party get elected to at least 1000 local races nationwide and win some state legislature and US Congressional seats before I take them seriously and for that, I’d like to see the boards increase coverage and exposure to all these independent progressives running for offices every years because I already don’t expect the Trumpian/GOP MSM aka Big Media to do that. I’m pretty sure that the majority of us progressives rooting for Bernie will tell you the same including those who support Green Party but will give Sanders a chance to win nomination or return to Green Party. For the most of the rest of us rooting for Bernie, if it’s Hillary vs GOP, it’s pretty much over anyway whether those of us who voted for Bernie in the primaries hold our noses for Hillary in the general, don’t vote, write in anyone, or vote third party. I know that except for some social issues, Hillary or the GOP nominee in the White House means we’re doomed. Stein may be as good as Bernie, maybe better, but she has no chance of winning so it’s over if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination let alone the general election.

  • Aquifer

    I completely agree with you about the lack of coverage in so-called “prog” media – IMO it is downright disgraceful and scratches right through the “prog” veneer they paint themselves with …. in truth, they are simply media arms of the DP, albeit the more prog section, throwing a bone hear and there, but basically an on-line version of MSNBC …. I have been complaining about that on CD, e.g., for some time ….

    If this is really about a “prog agenda” for them, they would feature multiple views and choices and encourage vigorous debate – they “allow” it only in the comment section …

    And then there are those sites that give short shrift to the electoral process altogether in favor of “movement building” – excepting, apparently, political movements …

    And you have already given a reason why we don’t see more Greens in office – lack of coverage by “the boards”, but this begs the issue of why we insist on other controlled media, whether the MSM, or “the boards” to control the message, including our assessment of the “viability” of choices – and this is where I would fault 3rd parties – we need to be our own media and that includes, IMO, the use of old fashioned shoeleather and door to door flyers, on a continuous, relentless basis – in the rush to adopt 21st Century technology, which has its own, and i would posit, considerable, deficiencies, we’ve denigrated old tried and true methods – even TPTB understand their usefulness – otherwise why spend all that time and energy on the myriad of mailings we get – “door to door”

    Why 1000 races? You have a magic number that determines your assessment of “viability”? Is there a formula for that?

    There was/is an assessment that Sanders had/has no chance either – until folks simply decided to say “baloney”, he has the “chance” we give him – and that is true of any candidate …

    If you want Sanders over Stein, hey, OK – but if you think Stein is better than Sanders, then work and vote for your choice …

    As somebody said – Impossibility is not a fact, it is a state of mind …

    So many things have been called “impossible” until enough folks said “baloney” … and did them …

  • Aquifer

    A better “candidate” maybe, but as you point out, his record belies this new policy – or has he had one of those going to Damascus moments? He “wised up” re his campaign ,as will Hillary on a number of issues – but folks won’t let her get away with that …

    O was a pretty good “candidate”, too …

  • kevinzeese

    I’m not voting for him. My point was to those Sanders supporters who are angry at BLM. They should be thanking BLM!

  • Aquifer

    Absolutely – for helping him to burnish his credentials, so the Dems can slip another one by us ….

  • Pioche

    We do, shmendrick.

  • Kat Cares

    so according to this post we should vote for? who? no one? just let the electoral votes decide?

  • Theresa2u

    Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to Civil Rights. Her actions prove it. Her voting record proves it. The fact that she’s fighting, across this country for voting rights, right now, proves it. The hatred being directed at her I would expect from the right wing, not someone who calls themselves progressive. My vote and my support goes to Hillary Clinton. She is the only one who can keep the conversation going, for all of us.

  • Theresa2u

    Bernie Sanders voted for the Crime Bill that Bill Clinton introduced. You can’t deny that. Hillary Clinton was First Lady and had no vote, but Bernie tries to tarnish her with his vote. The nonsense has to stop, on all sides.

  • kevinzeese

    Wow — there are reports that the Clinton campaign has hired people to promote Hillary in social media. I wonder if this is one of them. Her comments are not consistent with the Hillary record I know of.

  • Theresa2u

    No candidate is perfect. Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, with the best plans and the real ability to get them done. She has dedicated her life to this country and service to it. I suggest, like most Bernie supporters, you do some real research on her whole record, not just what suits you. Bernie has made a lot of bad votes and decisions too. The difference between them is, while she’s changed the world and gotten the respect of world leaders, he’s been in DC, perfecting his speeches for 40 years. I know a proven leader when I see one. No one has to pay me to say so.