By Mark Wachtler
January 22, 2016. Seattle, WA. (ONN) The American political opposition, at least on the left wing, is divided in the debate over endorsing independent US Senator Bernie Sanders in his bid to capture the Democratic Party nomination for President. Opposition political parties like the Socialists, Peace and Freedom, Justice, and Working Families have taken different approaches. Some are opting out of running a candidate in 2016 and endorsing Sanders. Others are warning against that position.
How independent would Bernie Sanders be if he’s funded and elected by the Democratic Party? Image courtesy of US News and Crowdpac.
Infiltrating the Democratic Party
America’s political opposition is often defined as anyone who is not a Democrat or a Republican. By that measure, as well as many others, US Senator Bernie Sanders (i-VT) is definitely part of the opposition. The self-described ‘democratic socialist’ readily admits he’s not a Democrat and is simply trying to steal the Party’s nomination so he appears on the ballot in all 50 states. Inheriting tens of millions of loyal Democratic Party voters doesn’t hurt either.
Usually, we at Opposition News oppose the strategy of running our opposition candidates in the Democrats’ or Republicans’ primaries and appearing to be part of the establishment. Bernie Sanders is a true independent, not a Democrat. And some of America’s opposition political parties are crossing over to the dark side, temporarily at least, to support him. Others are holding true to their own Party’s ballot line and running their own candidates.
Working Families Party
The first major opposition political party to cross over and join independent Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary was the Working Families Party. Last month, Party members voted overwhelmingly (87%) to opt out of running their own Presidential candidate and instead, endorsing and volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
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The Opposition News article, ‘Working Families Party endorses Bernie Sanders’ quotes the WFP announcement writing, ‘“The votes are in,” WFP National Director Dan Cantor announced Tuesday, “With the support of 87% of WFP members, the Working Families Party is officially endorsing Bernie Sanders for President in the Democratic Party Primary.” This is the first time in the WFP’s 17-year history that it has endorsed a candidate for President.’
The Justice Party is also supporting Sanders in the 2016 race rather than running their own candidate. Back in November, Party leaders polled members asking them whether to endorse the independent Vermont Senator or nominate a Justice Party candidate. Votes were due on November 18th, but no official announcement was ever made. A quick scan of the comments section shows Party members supporting a Sanders endorsement over running their own candidate by a 19 to 4 margin.
The Justice Party even released a draft endorsement that stated, ‘It may seem odd that the Justice Party would endorse a candidate for the nomination of either the Democratic or Republican parties. Upon deeper analysis, though, it makes a lot of sense in these circumstances…To be a member of the Justice Party, one does not have to subscribe to party exclusivity. While it is more likely that, upon joining the Justice Party one would discontinue affiliation with another party, it is possible for a person to be a member of both some other party and the Justice Party.’ In 2012, the Justice Party’s Presidential nominee, Rocky Anderson, received 42,995 votes.
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Most opposition left political parties respect and even like Bernie Sanders and his ideas, but are remaining loyal to their own Party and nominating their own Presidential candidates. The first to do so was the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Back in October 2015, we at Opposition News published the article, ‘PSL calls Bernie Sanders a Reformer, not a Socialist’.
A Party statement explained their opposition to Sanders saying, ‘While Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, his program is not socialist, nor does the word appear on his campaign website. He does not call for nationalizing the corporations and banks, without which the reorganization of the economy to meet people’s needs rather than maximizing the profits of capitalist investors could not take place. In his speeches, he advocates for a “political revolution,” but he is clearly seeking to reform the existing capitalist system.’
PSL has already nominated its own 2016 Presidential ticked. The Party is running Gloria La Riva for President and Eugene Puryear for Vice President. Read the Opposition News article, ‘PSL nominates La Riva and Puryear for President, VP’ for additional details. In 2012, PSL nominated 27-year-old Peta Lindsay, who was ruled ineligible to hold the office of President due to her age. She received 9,403 votes.
Peace and Freedom Party
The Peace and Freedom Party is another opposition political party that, while agreeing with much of Bernie Sanders’ policies, is refusing to join the establishment Democrats. A Party statement two weeks ago concluded, ‘We do see that the Sanders campaign is significant. Socialism is being talked about, and not just in a dismissive, condescending way. The issues Sanders is talking about are our issues, and have been since our founding in 1967. However, the Democratic Party is not the party of the working class, and whomever their presidential nominee is, will not be our candidate.’
In 2012, the Peace and Freedom Party nominated actress Roseanne Barr for President. She received 67,359 votes while having ballot access in only a handful of states. The Party hasn’t nominated a 2016 Presidential candidate yet but is currently taking applications. Roseanne Barr announced in mid-2015 that she would seek the Peace and Freedom Presidential nomination again in 2016. But little or no activity has been detected since then.
Socialist Party USA
The Socialist Party has also opted to nominate their own 2016 Presidential ticket rather than support independent Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party Primary. Party leaders haven’t released a statement explaining their decision. But as early as October 2015, SPUSA members voted overwhelmingly to nominate Mimi Soltysik for President and Angela Nicole Walker for Vice President.
A statement from the candidates details, ‘On Saturday, October 17th in Milwaukee, WI, the delegates of the Socialist Party USA National Convention put their faith in us to represent the organization and its principles as its Presidential candidates. We are humbled with gratitude and will work hard to deserve that trust. It is with great love and fire that we forge ahead in this campaign.’ In 2012, SPUSA nominated Stewart Alexander for President. He received 3,897 votes.
We at Opposition News understand the strategy of supporting a genuine independent like Bernie Sanders in his attempt to infiltrate the largest establishment political party in America and basically steal its Presidential nomination. It would be a coup de gras of epic proportions. But we also adhere to the belief that the lesser of two evils is still evil.
And as a reminder, the Democratic Primary is rigged. Bernie Sanders could win a majority of the delegates in all the Party’s primaries and caucuses and he would still lose to Hillary Clinton at the Democratic Party nominating convention. Why? Super Delegates. Over 20% of all voting delegates are not chosen by the voters, but are given a vote because they are US Senators, Congressmen, Governors and mega-donors, aka the establishment. As reported by NPR, Hillary Clinton holds a 45-1 advantage over Bernie Sanders among Democratic Party Super Delegates.
**Check out all the 2016 opposition/third party election candidates from all 50 states and for all offices at the Opposition News Candidates Page.
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