Why Bernie Shouldn’t Run as a Third Party Candidate in November

third party image

There are a number of minor parties in the country, many with lofty ambitions, almost all offering positions on public policy far preferable to those of the Republicans and Democrats. Jill Stein of the Greens and Clifton Roberts of the Humane party are comrades of mine. The Peace and Freedom party, the Progressive party, the Socialists, etc, are all wonderful ideas run by wonderful people. What they all have in common, besides enviable policy positions, is that they are all doomed to failure.

The American political system is anathema to third parties. Not one has ever succeeded at the national level. Even though headed by a former president of the US, the tremendously popular American hero Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose (Progressive) party could not win against the Republicans and Democrats.

While it is possible that Bernie could make a credible showing in a three way race, it is highly unlikely he could win. If none of the three were to reach the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency, the contest is thrown into the House of Representatives, where each state’s Congressional delegation has a single vote. Advantage: Trump, as the Republicans control more state delegations than do Democrats. And where a third party has zero.

A failed Sanders run will preclude the very real likelihood that progressives can take over the Democratic party, and could stop his revolution in its tracks. Like most third party efforts, they become political footnotes to the election.

It is infinitely easier to take over an existing national party than it is to build one from scratch and win national elections.

Bernie has come close this year. In one or two election cycles it will be possible to wrest control of the Democratic party from Wall Street, as Millennials begin to assume positions in society and politics. It will occur all the more quickly if Bernie wins the Democratic nomination. If he does not, our best chance is for Hillary to be defeated by Donald Trump, leaving Bernie as the most influential Democrat in the party.



Author’s Notes:

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8 thoughts on “Why Bernie Shouldn’t Run as a Third Party Candidate in November

  1. “the race would then be thrown into the House of Representatives. End of Bernie.”

    Actually, this even if it happened would not be worthless. If the Revolution can’t win because of the media and rigged elections and a rigged nomination and then with a rigged decision, this will feed the Revolution!

    The Revolution will happen peacefully, or if it is blocked violently, but it will and must happen, if the peaceful options are destroyed so openly, so blatantly, it would be like pouring gasoline on the fire of Revolution.

    If it can’t happen peacefully, this is exactly how we need to know that, so it incenses us.


  2. I disagree. Bernie Sanders is VERY loved. And Hillary and Trump are the least favorable candidates to ever run (or for a long time). There are way more independents than Democrats or Republicans.
    It is certainly worth a shot when both Trump and Hillary are dumpster fires. Hillary’s dumpster fire is burning with more bodies than Trump, but both are awful.

    It might not have been possible before, but the revolution is real. And it is a very real possibility Bernie would win. Likely even.


    • Were Bernie to undertake the effort, i would be with him. I think it a fool’s errand, but I would support him if he chose to do so. But he has already made it quite clear that he will not. I am sure his assessment parallels my own.


  3. That isn’t entirely true. The house of representatives would be Republican if it were a straight count. It would not be. The representatives have to vote together to insure the will of the people… while it has happened before, in Adams vs Jackson, that the representatives chose a president by party and not by popular and electoral votes of their state, it would still be anyone’s game…

    That said, by your logic, nothing lost here… because you purport to want Trump to beat Hillary so if the third party split plays out as you outlined, that would still happen.

    If the revolution is to happen, we have to support the champion of it throughout and not relegate him to a good showing better luck next guy– because there is no foreseeable next guy. Even Elizabeth Warren, as wonderful as she is, is not substitute for Sanders.

    If you are sincere in your desire, I hope you will reconsider and support Sanders in whatever action he needs to take. The primaries aren’t even over and you’ve not only written him off, you’re urging others to… and urging him to just grow old and die knowing the revolution was advanced in some insignificant way through his loss. It doesn’t sit right with me and it cannot sit right with any true supporter of the cause. This leave us to question your motives.


    • If Bernie loses the nomination, he has said he will support Hillary. He will not run as an independent, a third party candidate, or a write-in candidate. He will support Hillary. I will not. Bernie is not in a position to call for her defeat or refuse to support her because he is on record as giving his word. That does not mean that his supporters must fall in line behind Hillary. Many will, of course, but those of us dedicated to Bernie’s political revolution will work to deny her the presidency. And the best case scenario, if Bernie does not win the nomination, is that Trump beats Hillary in November. Aside from almost guaranteeing a progressive nominee in 2020, Hillary’s defeat will mean that Democrats will have a chance to control reapportionment in 2020.

      Please take a couple of minutes to read What is at Stake in this Election is 2020 Reapportionment


  4. what rubbish. brb, let me create a wordpress blog to post uninformed opinions supporting hillary under the guise of revolution.

    who do you think this stuff fools? honest to god, if he DID split and run third party he could and would win in this unorthodox election cycle. Theodore Roosevelt split and would’ve won (and did come in second with his third party) but lost to establishment banking deals backing the democrat candidate. Remind you of anything contemporary?

    Pretending to be on one side to support another is just shameful.


    • Lol! Did you actually read the article? There is no way in hell Bernie could win as an independent or as a third party candidate. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. In a three way contest, no one would come close to that. As I describe in the article, the race would then be thrown into the House of Representatives. End of Bernie.

      I am no supporter of Hillary Clinton. She is the enemy, a Wall Street shill, a neocan, a war monger, and she is all that is wrong with the American political system. I do not advocate supporting her if she wins the nomination. I do understand that Bernie will do so, as he promised to support the eventual winner when he entered the race. I am not bound by his commitment. I advocate that we vote for Trump to ensure that Hillary is defeated and that Bernie can continue with his revolution unimpeded by Hillary and her cohorts. With Hillary defeated, Bernie will be the most influential Democrat in the party. Progressives will be able to nominate Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, or another member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party in 2020.


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