Bernie Sanders On Potential 2016 Presidential Run: 'I Will Not Be a Spoiler'

Bernie Sanders On Potential 2016 Presidential Run: ‘I Will Not Be a Spoiler’

Bernie Sanders says, if he runs for President in 2016, it will be as a Democrat, and that is very good news. Last week Sanders, Vermont’s Independent Senator, did a conference call with Democracy for America (DFA), discussing Democratic options now that the GOP controls both houses. The first question from the liberal group’s Executive Director, Charles Chamberlain was, “Will you run for President in 2016?”

Sanders responded,

“I am giving very serious consideration to it, but before you make a decision of that magnitude, … you have to make sure that you can do it well. So what we are doing is reaching out to folks all over this country trying to determine whether or not we can put the grassroots organization together that we need. … If I run, we’ll be taking on the billionaire class. That’s Wall Street, the drug companies, the military industrial complex.”

Not a definitive answer, but promising enough for now. Still, one question remained. Under what banner would he run? He is listed as an Independent, so that is always an option and some have called for it. He identifies as a Socialist, and some have suggested this is his path. Sanders caucuses with the Democrats, and there have been calls to go that way, as well.

Sanders ended that speculation as well.

“No matter what I do, I will not be a spoiler,” Sanders said. “I will not play that role in helping to elect some right-wing Republican as President of the United States.” 

Speculation about a Sanders candidacy has been ongoing for a long time, igniting hope among progressives for a candidate who would bring a truly liberal voice to the debate. The right has successfully redefined the terms “conservative,” and “liberal,” until people don’t even know where the centerline really is. Conservatives have gone so far into the weeds they can no longer even see the road surface.

For decades, the right has demonized the word “liberal,” twisting it into something so extreme to the point of being ridiculous. They‘ve sold Americans on the idea that they are conservative and should therefore hate liberalism. Worst of all, Liberals have let them. They’ve run away from the term and even from the ideals because they believe it’s the only way to get elected. Bernie won’t.

The downside to a Sanders candidacy as an Independent is the danger that he would do what Ralph Nader did in Florida in 2000 or what George Wallace did for Humphrey in 1968. That is, split the vote and serve the Presidency up for even a mediocre Republican nominee. Sander’s statement last week put that to rest.

More than a Democrat, more than a Socialist, more than an Independent, Bernie Sanders is a populist. Given the opportunity to spread his message on a national scale and in his own words, instead of letting Fox News and the rest of the right-wing machine put words in his mouth, Bernie’s message will resound. A lot of people, especially those who don’t see themselves as Democrat or Republican, will find they agree with a lot of the things Bernie has to say. They will realize that liberalism – true liberalism – is far more in line with what they believe than what they had been told.

His presence in the race alone would be a boon to the liberal cause in shifting the debate further left, but is that enough? Can he win? People will prefer a real liberal to a halfway Republican. In the General Election, things get trickier. The question becomes, is he too extreme for middle-America? Well, is he any more extreme than Ted Cruz? Or Mitt Romney? Or any other Republican these days? In a contest of us vs them, the 99% vs the 1%, I like his chances.

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues, like minimum wage and immigration. Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction. His first novel is called A Connecticut Yankees Fan …in King Arthur’s Court He has also published a collection of Short stories called Red Scare …and Other Stories
Both are available on Amazon.com

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A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues, like minimum wage and immigration. Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction. His first novel is called A Connecticut Yankees Fan …in King Arthur’s Court He has also published a collection of Short stories called Red Scare …and Other Stories
Both are available on Amazon.com

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App