A Blue State Strategy to Defeat Hillary, A Red State Strategy to Grow the Greens


The media reports that one in four Sanders supporters will not vote for Hillary in November if she is the Democratic nominee. I have no idea whom they are polling, as I do not know a single Bernie supporter who will back Hillary.

I’m sure there are plenty, and those I know may well be atypical. But most want to write-in Bernie if he is not the Democratic nominee. Others want to vote for Jill Stein of the Greens, who has a platform not very dissimilar from Bernie’s.

A significant number wish to deny Hillary the presidency if she is nominated, and plan on voting for Donald Trump.

Personally, I am in the latter category.

Voting for Trump is only helpful in those states where he might be able to defeat Hillary, so called “battleground” or purple states. Purple states include Florida, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada. Depending on the polls, the list may grow to include some traditional blue states, like New Mexico, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota.

But for Sanders voters in red sates, those carried by McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012. there is nothing to be gained by voting for Trump, as he will carry those states against Hillary with or without Sanders voters.

Yesterday I received a message on the Armory from Cliff Sommers:

Vincent, you’ve outlined what I call the Blue state strategy, where a vote for Trump hurts Clinton. Now how about moving on now and also publicizing a second collaborative Red state strategy where a vote for Trump is meaningless — where he’s going to capture electoral votes anyway? In the Red states we can help tamp down Trump’s margins of victory and simultaneously support building up the Green Party as a competitive force in 2018 and beyond. If the Greens can attract 1 in 5 of Bernie’s dispossessed supporters, that will be enough for the Greens to become eligible for full federal campaign financial support — effectively thrusting them into the big leagues of American politics and gaining us all an alternative to another round of bad choices between two evil corporatist shill candidates. Of all of the existing and startup leftist parties, the Greens are closet to achieving escape velocity and breaking through into the majors! They are also the ONE viable alternative vehicle for electing Bernie Sanders in 2016 if denied the Demonic Party nomination because only they have the established ballot access and in-progress ballot access initiatives strategically necessary to elect a leftist presidential candidate this year.



Of course Cliff Sommers is absolutely correct, Sanders supporters in red states have the opportunity to make a profound difference to the American political landscape by voting for Jill Stein of the Green party. While the likelihood is minimal that such votes would do anything to affect the outcome of races in those red states, the cumulative effect of a wave of Green party votes could operate to help the party reach the threshold of 5% of the vote to qualify the party for federal funds.

Many Sanders supporters are invested in the prospect of Bernie running as an independent or a third party candidate, especially given the deplorable treatment he has received at the hands of Hillary’s DNC and the Democratic establishment.

Unfortunately, there is no way in Hell that Bernie could win the presidency as a candidate of other than the Democratic party.

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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5 thoughts on “A Blue State Strategy to Defeat Hillary, A Red State Strategy to Grow the Greens

  1. Thxs for the plug Roland; I appreciate it, and will of coarse help publicize your article.

    But once again I have to respectfully disagree as to your comments about the Electoral College. And your conclusion that Sanders would necessarily not be viable in a multi-party presidential contest in 2016. I’ve seen several creditable projections that he may well be able to garner 270 electoral votes in such a contest — projections based on some pretty solid assumptions about his strength state by state. That’s one argument nobody is ever going to win short of actually trying it, so let’s leave that one aside and instead concentrate on the first issue about the Electoral College.

    Time and time again I’ve heard a simplistic argument bantered about on Facebook wrongly suggesting that in any presidential race where no candidate wins the requisite 270 electoral votes to establish a clear winning majority on election day, then the race is automatically thrown into the House of Representatives who will then decide the contest. Let me explain why it’s not valid.

    This is a grossly misleading apprehension and misunderstanding of what actually can, and sometimes does, occur based on a not necessarily true presumption that the number of electoral votes won on election day by any given candidate are necessarily one in the same as the number of electoral votes that will be tallied for that candidate in the final accounting and election certification two months later.

    Fact is all kinds of strategies and tactics can and frequently have played out between election day and the date when Congress formally convenes to count and certify votes, and the election winners for the offices of president and vice president — next time on January 6, 2017. In the entire history of this grand old republic there have been only two lone instances when the House actually decided the outcome of an election.

    Collusion and/or bargaining between candidates sometimes plays a role as electoral votes get traded and consolidated behind some candidate who then shows up on count day with the necessary winning number — many of which s/he did not personally win on election day. A collude to exclude Trump strategy is a distinct possibility between Clinton and Sanders, for example — just as similar gamesmanship is possible on the conservative side if they do better in the election than expected.

    In America’s weird archaic Electoral College presidential election system, we vote for electors, not candidates. Electors are typically pledged to vote for particular presidential and vice presidential candidates, although unpledged electors are possible. No elector is required by federal law to honor a pledge; they are free agents under law. That freedom also includes the right to contractually bind themselves to follow the direction of the candidate they were supposedly elected to vote for, if say, the candidate instructs them to instead vote for another candidate.

    When George Wallace mounted a third party candidacy he safeguarded his votes by requiring his electors to submit to his absolute control under formal binding contract. Had any strayed he could’ve ruined them financially by suing them for monetary damages under a breach of contract theory of case. His plan was to act as broker and decide the winner of the election with one of another of the major party candidates — which ultimately didn’t work out only because one won more than 270 outright and didn’t George’s votes.

    This one historical example, of which there are many others, illustrates that many strange machinations are indeed possible other than a foregone trip to the House of Representatives for a final decision. The candidates have far more control over the ultimate result than many people suppose they do.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a first hand observer of Wallace’s 1968 campaign (and was a Floor Manager for Wallace at the 1972 Democratic Convention). I was aware of the campaign’s plan to broker the 1968 Electoral vote. However, that example is really inapplicable to a possible Sanders third party race.

      Were Sanders to run in November, his supporters are not looking for him to broker the race between Hillary and Trump, they are in it to win it. If they truly recognized how unlikely such a win would be, they would satisfy themselves with Bernie’s stated strategy of remaining a Democrat for the long term. As a Democrat, Sanders will be positioned to inherit the fruits of his campaign: A newly emerging Democratic party that will have displaced the status quo in the next few election cycles. New Democrats, independents, and young people have already won the battle for the soul of the party. The revolution is no longer about exposing the corruption and control by Wall Street, the revolution is now about replacing those who have been complicit in the corruption with those who have not been.


      • Thank you, Roland, for clarifying your political views and experience. If you were a floor manager for George Wallace, it is no wonder that you are now a strong Trump supporter. Clearly your posts suggesting that you favor Sanders are merely part of your campaign against Clinton, to pave the way for a victory of Trump and his fellow racists.
        You should consider further clarifying the purpose of your blog by changing the tagline to Wallace’s famous phrase: “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”


      • Just as Robert Kennedy learned politics at the feet of Joseph McCarthy, I leaned politics at the feet of George Wallace. I knew him well, and loved him like a father, but I disagreed with most of his positions. One thing he did teach me above all other things was to be willing to prioritize one’s goals and trade the lesser important for the more important. That admonition has stayed with me for 50 years, and has been the guiding strategy throughout my career.


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