Why (or why not) to vote for Bernie Sanders


So, from the standpoint of your goals, and please correct me if I am misstating something or making an assumption about your politics and ties, your goals are roughly - a mass political non electoral democratic socialist movement?

And also that Bernie, an Independent, former Socialist and at one time open Communist is… too committed to the Democratic Party, and thus is not for you.

I agree. I think Bernie is not your guy. Whoever you think he is, you’re free to.


Well, democratic socialism is usually understood as advocating a movement for socialism that works, primarily or exclusively, through conventional electoral politics. I think electoral politics are designed to frustrate and limit popular movements, to keep them from threatening the real structures of power, so I don’t believe this strategy will work.

I’m in favor of using electoral campaigns strategically, as a subordinate part of a larger social movement. And I’d be happy to vote for a democratic socialist party, despite my criticisms of that strategy, because in the context of current US politics, that would be a progressive force that would facilitate mass movements of working class people.

My fundamental problem with Sanders is his commitment to the Democratic Party, which is not a progressive force, and in fact acts deliberately to demobilize and inhibit popular movements. If he ran as an independent, I would probably support him.


Jon’s own words:


You’d might as well flail your dick against a wall until it falls off. It’d be just as productive.

What you want is a pipe dream, unfortunately. Very few people would vote for Bernie if he was set up as a spoiler.

make it clear he has no real interest in doing anything more radical than giving lip service to aspirations for reform.

Have you bothered looking at his voting record or are you just giving up uninformed lip service here?

Just a small sampling here:

•Bush’s tracking citizens’ phone call patterns is illegal. (Jun 2006)

•Voted YES on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. (Feb 2013)

•Voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006)

•Voted NO on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)

•Voted NO on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)

•Voted NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)

•Voted NO on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)

•Voted NO on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)

•Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)

•Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender. (Mar 2001)

•Rated 93% by the ACLU, indicating a pro-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)

•Rated 100% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)

•Rated 97% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

•Recognize Juneteenth as historical end of slavery. (Jun 2008)

•ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays. (Jun 2009)

•Prohibit sexual-identity discrimination at schools. (Mar 2011)

•Endorsed as “preferred” by The Feminist Majority indicating pro-women’s rights. (Aug 2012)

•Enforce against wage discrimination based on gender. (Jan 2013)

•Enforce against anti-gay discrimination in public schools. (Jun 2013)

•Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment. (Mar 2007)

My fundamental problem with Sanders is his commitment to the Democratic Party

He’s been very critical of the Democratic party and has spent most of his political career as an Independent. Hardly a glowing endorsement of the entire Democratic party.

Bernie Sanders went against Obama’s push to war in Syria, etc. – He doesn’t tow the Democrat line. The only reason he’s running as a Democrat instead of an Independent is because he’s not a buffoon looking to “make a statement”. He’s running to win.

Also, who is your alternative we should support? Or should we just be apathetic and let the Republicans win the Presidency again or another blatant corporatist like Hillary Clinton?

[quote=“LDoBe, post:19, topic:59394”]
Just by those numbers alone he looks like a much more attractive candidate than ANYONE else.
[/quote]On that note:

And, meanwhile… while Hillary Clinton remains relatively mum on the TPP…

How Bernie Sanders Can Kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership


[citations needed]


You know who else wasn’t a buffoon, looking to make a statement? Barack Obama. You’ve just implicitly criticized Obama’s policies in the Middle East. So have a close look at this photo.

That’s from 1998. That’s Barack Obama, deep in conversation with Edward Said.

What’s the cost of winning?


I’m not into campaigning.

Back in 2008 I had just turned 18, and I HATED Obama fever. I voted for him both times, but I didn’t expect much. Although I did expect better. I knew candidates made promises they knew they couldn’t keep, but I did not expect Obama to betray the American people as badly as he has in his second term. And now I know to expect little to nothing from national politics, because all they care about is fundraising for the purposes of keeping their parties heads above water.

What we need is a rich field of many parties, fuck this entrenched 2 party system. It only serves to disempower the masses with polarization. At least with even just 3 parties people will feel more okay switching “allegiance” since there’d no longer be a single “enemy”. The betrayal of the previous party wouldn’t be “perfect” or absolute.

Seriously, even Taco Bell knows that just mild and lava aren’t enough choices to make half their customers happy.


What’s your point? AGAIN, have you bothered looking at Sanders’ voting record or are you just giving up uninformed lip service here?


[quote=“LDoBe, post:27, topic:59394”]
What we need is a rich field of many parties, fuck this entrenched 2 party system. It only serves to disempower the masses with polarization.
[/quote]What we need first is to remove some of the worst barriers to third parties. Republican district gerrymandering, voter suppression and disenfranchisement are some of the worst. And, Republicans aren’t going to “reform” on this. They have to be removed.

As someone that’s personally worked with groups who have been attempting to lay foundations for progressive third parties, I can attest that voter apathy (and/or ignorance) that allows Republicans to barricade themselves within entrenched areas via gerrymandering is one of our largest obstacles to overcome.

I didn’t expect much. Although I did expect better. I knew candidates made promises they knew they couldn’t keep, but I did not expect Obama to betray the American people as badly as he has in his second term.

Yeah, I’m in the same boat. I had more hopes for Obama’s second term. Then again, the American public failed themselves miserably by not removing Republicans during the 2010 midterms.

It created a great situation for the corporatists. The Obama administration could continue the old, shitty Democratic tradition of blaming Republican obstructionism for their inactions. Therefore, they could appease the corporatist right while pandering to some on the left at the same time.

If the American public had bothered to vote in the 2010 midterms and ousted more Republicans, the Democratic party would have finally been put into an awkward situation of “put up or shut up” instead of offering platitudes and “things we would do if it wasn’t for those pesky Republicans” mantras.

We’d be in a vastly better position today to usher in truly progressive third parties if Republicans were ousted in the 2010 midterms. Top Democrats would have been exposed for being in bed with the corporatist right even for some of the most indoctrinated, leftist and moderate-left constituents. They would be looking for alternatives beyond Dems at this point. Also, as I mentioned, gerrymandering and voter suppression wouldn’t be where it is today as well — also a huge factor in third party growth.

Frankly, I’m disappointed more with the American people (at large) than I am with Obama overall. Putting a bunch of “hope” into Obama without bothering to also vote in the 2010 midterms to support him (or at least put him on the spot minus Republican filibusters) was downright moronic.


What’s your take on dismantling the electoral college? Personally I think it’s horribly outdated, and while I haven’t read enough on how it came about (since grade school) it definitely feels like it was specifically designed to disempower the general population by relying on the political elite’s favorite delegates to “vote the right way”.

Or maybe it was just a stopgap measure to compensate for slow communications and low levels of literacy (the grade school explanation)

As far as I’m concerned, it’s obsolete unnecessary and really serves to promote voter detachment.

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That picture seriously looks to me like the type of environment where nobody gets to choose where they sit. I’d feel very disingenuous reading anything into it.

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For a while, I honestly hoped the Tea Party could save our democratic system. What they lack in numbers, they make up with determination. I think that if they could actually remain cohesive if they split off from the GOP and organized as an actual party.

And if they could peel the right wing lunatics off of the Republicans, maybe the Greens could be inspired enough to do the same with the Democrats, and the Libertarians, now free of the teabaggers, would be in position to become the centrist compromise.

And just like that, we have far left, moderate left, centrist, moderate right, and far right parties instead of one far right and one slightly right of center.

I can dream, anyway.


The electoral college made a lot of sense in an era before ubiquitous telecommunications. Since we have the ability to do one person = one vote now, we should, since the president supposedly represents all Americans equally, and seeing that states have proportionate representation based on population is what we have the House of Representatives for.

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The house is impulsive and ends up skewing heavily, a double edged sword for party politics. But if each side says they’ll do the opposite of each other, but they both do the same. And enough people aren’t paying attention at all… We end up here? At least at the federal level.

At the local level communities are usually able to unify. That’s how we are able to tolerate our neighbors, coworkers and families. And it matters what ideas people unify under… Even on the small scale…

I fear I’ve been rambling. Better stop while I’m ahead?

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Yes, I looked at the list you posted. But as I said, I’d support Sanders if he ran as an independent.

From the article I linked that the photo came from, that was an event for the Arab community in Chicago. Edward Said was the keynote speaker. Obama, at the time an Illinois state senator, was outspoken in his support for Palestinian rights. That’s why he was at that conference, and most likely why he was sitting next to Edward Said. A few years later, as president, he offers total support for the state of Israel and not a word of support for Palestinian rights.

My point is that, in running for president, Obama changed his positions on important issues, to better conform to those expected of him as the Democratic frontrunner. What would it take for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination? Would the Sanders who wins the nomination be the same Sanders you admire now?

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Not to seem naive, but what difference would that meaningless label make, whatsoever? The Democratic party isn’t one with a hard-line platform that all candidates must adhere to. By running as a Democrat, Bernie is wisely acknowledging that third-party candidates run as a show of protest, as a rebellion against the entrenched parties… and that they have no hope of reaching a national audience. I’m much happier with a strong candidate who can use a party’s backing to remake it and reform it, rather than someone who creates their own party just because they want to take their ball and go home.


Not quite, but the party answers to its donors, and authority is more centralized than they let on. The national conventions of the major parties are elaborately managed affairs. Who does the managing?


Hmm, did you say something?

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Like I said, I don’t doubt he was part of the scene, I just thought that picture had been debunked as not being him…


I’m not super familiar with American elections, so, what would happen if Sanders ran as an independent, and no party gets more than 50% of the vote?

If Clinton takes 30%, Sanders takes 30%, and TDB Republican takes 40%, is there some kind of provision for a coalition government, or would the republicans win even though more than half of the voters don’t want them?

I googled this for, like, three minutes, and apparently it’s not a topic that has needed a lot of coverage