Scott McLarty: What’ll Happen to Bernie’s Political Revolution After Hillary Wins the Nomination?

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

From Scott McLarty in CounterPunch, forwarded to me by the DC Statehood Green Party:

The question needs to be asked. What will Bernie Sanders’ supporters do when “We need a political revolution” inevitably turns into “We must vote for the lesser evil”?

It seems like bad manners to bring up the likelihood that Mr. Sanders will lose to Hillary Clinton in the primaries, when so many progressive voters are waxing enthusiastic about his decision to run for the Democratic nomination.

The fate of progressive Dem contenders like Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich in previous election years permits us to offer some prognostications.

Here’s what the Sanders campaign will do: Bernie will raise important issues and introduce urgent ideas like the need for income equality and restraints on the power of corporations. He’ll compel Hillary to talk about these things, perhaps leading her to withhold public endorsements for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the tarsands pipelines. He may help reverse the belief that socialism is a dirty word, a legacy of the Cold War and a generation of bipartisan rhetorical disdain for Big Government.

Here’s what the Sanders campaign won’t do: Bernie won’t win the nomination. He’ll have little or no influence on Hillary or the Democratic Party after he’s out of the race by late spring 2016.

The last thing Democratic Party leadership wants is a political revolution. It will do all it can to insulate itself and Hillary from Bernie’s influence. Ms. Clinton can declare that , but the One Percent have little to worry about from a pol who takes $200,000 speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.

For the Democratic National Committee, the main value of the Sanders campaign is that he’ll keep many progressive voters inside the Dem fold. Bruce Dixon, writing in Black Agenda Report, calls this the “sheepdog” effect.

Will this happen again in 2016? What kind of revolution is possible when its most ardent revolutionaries declare “I supported Bernie in the primaries, but now we have to back Hillary so a Republican doesn’t win”?

The pattern of past progressive Democratic defeats is likely to be replicated in 2016. Revolution will be DOA, at least within the Democratic Party, and progressives will participate in their own marginalization in a party that takes their votes for granted.

The Democratic Party and its leaders compete fiercely with the GOP for corporate campaign checks, while they feel little pressure to satisfy the demands of voters on the left whose support they already believe they can count on.

In an election year with anticipated billion-dollar campaign war chests, Bernie Sanders will not change this dynamic. His supporters can either capitulate to the Clinton juggernaut — or they can find another way to revolt at the electoral level.

Is Another World Possible?

Revolution requires more than a personnel change in higher office. It means changing the whole political landscape. If we want to alter the political landscape of the U.S., we must first address the fact that it’s dominated by two parties of war and Wall Street.

Both parties are sustained by money from corporate PACs and the One Percent. Neither party is capable of solving what we can call the four crises of the 21st century: (1) the unfolding climate catastrophe; (2) the new Robber Baron economy, with a shrinking middle class, shredded safety nets for working people and the poor, privatization of the public sphere, and a corporate oligarchy with sufficient power to make government its subsidiary; (3) the national-security/mass-incarceration state, with for-profit prison-industrial and homeland-security feeding troughs, runaway police and prosecutorial power, and appalling racial disparities in arrests and sentencing; (4) a belligerent foreign policy under which the U.S. may unilaterally attack any nation at will to assert political hegemony and control over resources.

The combination of these crises promises an era of deteriorating quality of life, increasing debt, eroded rights and freedoms, lawless militarism, and (if climate-change forecasts are correct) social breakdown. The danger they pose now can be compared with the rise of totalitarian states and the Cold War’s nuclear menace during the 20th century.

The income inequality that informs today’s Robber Baron economy, accelerating since the Reagan Revolution, recalls the unrestrained plutocracy of the first Robber Baron Era in the late 19th century and the reckless greed of the 1920s that triggered the Great Depression. President Obama’s secretly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar trade pacts represent giant leaps forward for the current expansion of plutocracy.

Despite obvious differences, the Democratic and Republican party mainstreams are on the wrong side of the four crises. Both parties are driving us in the same direction. The lesser-evil rationale for remaining loyal to the Dems is simply a wager that the GOP will drive us off the cliff a few years earlier.

Progressives like to say “Another world is possible.” Another world won’t happen by investing hopes in Democratic also-rans. Progressives have been pledging to rehabilitate the Democratic Party for decades. They’ve gotten nowhere.

We need a political revolution, but it will have to come from outside of the two-party establishment, as all political revolutions in the U.S. have in the past.

Abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the eight-hour workday, workers’ rights, workers’ benefits, public schools, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, child labor laws, direct election of senators, Social Security and Medicare, civil rights for Blacks and other disenfranchised peoples: all of these have something in common. They were introduced by movements and parties independent of the two ruling parties and adopted later by one or both of the latter.

The Populist, Progressive, and Socialist parties led the revolts against the Robber Barons of their time, bringing their ideas to the table that enabled the Progressive Era’s restraints on corporate power and President Roosevelt’s New Deal. FDR knew that failure to take action would have resulted in the defection of millions of Democrats to left parties. In the 1850s, the anti-slavery Republicans replaced one of the major parties.

The near-disappearance of third parties on the left in the latter part of the 20th century is one of the great unmentioned reasons for the triumph of the right wing in both major parties. It explains the disappearance of big progressive ideas in the Democratic Party like the New Deal and President Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty. (“Bridge to the 21st Century” and “Change We Can Believe In” are slogans, not programs. Obamacare, based on the individual mandate, a gift to the private insurance industry cribbed from the rightwing Heritage Foundation, can hardly be called progressive.)

Democratic politicians assumed that they’d continue to enjoy progressive support regardless of their retreats and capitulations. Progressives proved them correct.

Declaring Independence

No Democratic candidate, progressive or otherwise, is going to admit that change requires ending exclusive rule by the two corporate-money parties. This is the conundrum of the Sanders campaign. As a socialist elected to the U.S. Senate on an independent ballot line, Mr. Sanders affirms the historical importance of independent politics. He repudiates it by running for the Democratic nomination.

Mr. Sanders could easily use his campaign to challenge the pervasive myth about third-party spoiling and suggest ways to make elections fairer and more open to alternative-party participation. He’d have the authority of his own status as an independent socialist and it would be an important part of the political revolution. He should be challenged to do so.

The only way a presidential candidate can help build a lasting alternative to the Ds and Rs is by running on an alternative party ticket — promoting the party and its down-ticket candidates, advocating the party’s platform and principles, helping the state parties achieve ballot access, uniting various movements under an umbrella where they won’t have to compete with K Street lobbyists for influence.

Eugene Debs and the Socialist Party understood this a hundred years ago. The Green Party understands it now. The Green Party’s nominee will remain in the race long after Mr. Sanders’ defeat in the primaries.

It’s not realistic to believe Mr. Sanders will launch an independent run after he loses in the primaries, as some of his supporters have proposed. Aside from the fact that he has already rejected competing against the Dem nominee, state ballot-access rules would make it impossible for him to win ballot lines. Furthermore, unless they’re victorious, independent campaigns are dead ends. They leave no legacy beyond the percentage of votes they receive.

There are good reasons to support Bernie Sanders for the Dem nomination. There are also good reasons to favor Hillary Clinton over a GOP nominee who’ll represent a party steeped in irrationalism and extremism.

But voting for the Democratic nominee will ultimately rubber-stamp the two-party status quo and toss the prospect of political revolution into the Dem quicksand into which all progressive ideals disappear.

There’s no hope of reversing the country’s dangerous direction within the confines of the Democratic Party. If his supporters throw their post-primary support to Ms. Clinton, who’s likely to be even more One Percent-friendly than President Obama, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution will be over.

The real political insurgence will continue elsewhere, in movements like 15 Now, Black Lives Matter, new incarnations of Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, anti-pipeline and anti-war protests, single-payer advocacy groups, and those who fight for the rights of the poor, and electorally in alternatives like the Green Party.

Will Bernie Sanders and his supporters remain part of the revolution, or will they succumb to progressive OCD and jump on the Clinton bandwagon in 2016?

Scott McLarty is media coordinator for the Green Party of the United States. He lives in Washington, D.C.

46 thoughts on “Scott McLarty: What’ll Happen to Bernie’s Political Revolution After Hillary Wins the Nomination?

  1. Robert Steele

    Scott is absolutely correct. Indeed one of the most exciting changes I have seen recently is the increased collaboration between the Green and the Libertarian Parties. I personally think that if the two parties came together now and formed a coalition cabinet able to publish a balanced budget, they could force the issue of the Electoral Reform Act of 2015 now, in time to allow OpenPower to be the law of the land for the 2016 elections. 2016 is ours to lose.

  2. ATBAFT

    Unfortunately, the 1% of the two big parties have more than enough money and power to sway the 97% who don’t support either the Green or Libertarian Party. David Nolan was optimistic about the possibility of a Libertarian win in 2000 or 2004. Didn’t buy it then and don’t buy it now. Victory, if you can call it that, will be long and tedious and feature popularizing one solution or another to the point where one of the two big parties adopts it.

  3. Robert Steele

    From where I sit we should be going after Bernie’s supporters — there are roughly 300 million citizens, roughly 200 million eligible voters, of whom only roughly 100 million voted in 2012. Of those, 40% got “hope” that turned sour. I feel so very strongly that 2015 could bring everyone together against the 1% and their two-party tyranny, but I don’t sense a readiness on the part of those who have the most to gain — empowerment — to see the possibilities in time. My CounterPunch piece this past Friday tried to illuminate just how quickly a non-violent revolution could occur.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/12/on-the-seventh-day/

    Not going to agonize over all this. It’s a national conversation that will or will not take place.

  4. Robert Steele

    Peter, thank you. I have just heard that Rocky Anderson, whose Justice Party failed to take off, is merging with the Greens and is being backed by Peter Ackerman as the listed Green candidate for the expanded debates. I observe with growing concern the Zionist influence over the Greens.

    I have thought a great deal in the past two days about the Libertarian philosophy in light of the less than welcoming reception I got here. I am not smart enough to write the book, but I see a need for some real soul-searching that distinguishes between Libertarianism at the individual level and faux Libertarianism at the concentrated wealth level. The Libertarian ideal is a good one — autonomous citizens, fully informed, able to self-govern. The US rendition of Libertarianism is corrupt in some ways, not least in its defense of concentrated wealth rooted in inheritance and the bribery of public officials.

    The Democrats are doing a very good job of scaring the public into not voting for small parties because they might otherwise “throw” the election to the Republicans. From where I sit, the small parties are destined to be margin for the next quarter century unless there is some kind of “break-out.” I sense a split in both the Greens and the Libertarians — some want integrity and a chance at the brass ring, others just want to continue being insular and isolated (and will froth at the mouth to be labeled such).

    I do not expect to be nominated and I do not even expect to be at the convention as things now stand. What I would like is to see Libertarians do some soul-searching and thing strategically about alliances they can form that could once and for all bury the two parties that are no longer parties, just crime families.

  5. NewFederalist

    “I do not expect to be nominated and I do not even expect to be at the convention as things now stand.”

    Focus your efforts on working with COFOE. They are all about cross-party cooperation to break down ballot access barriers.

  6. Robert Steele

    I am taking your suggestion for action. COFOE is focused only on ballot access, one of the eight elements, I will try to get them to appreciate the opportunity in united everyone that is working on gerrymandering and money, while inspiring others to address paper ballots and so on. Separately a survey of 30 past presidential candidates is about to occur, inquiring of each their understanding of the distinct elements of electoral reform, and their willingness to participate in a national conversation about electoral reform. Thank you for the suggestion!

  7. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Steele wrote:

    I see a need for some real soul-searching that distinguishes between Libertarianism at the individual level and faux Libertarianism at the concentrated wealth level. The Libertarian ideal is a good one — autonomous citizens, fully informed, able to self-govern. The US rendition of Libertarianism is corrupt in some ways, not least in its defense of concentrated wealth rooted in inheritance and the bribery of public officials.

    Par for the course: yet again you fail the ideological turing test. I suggest you learn and understand libertarian theory and basic economics before you claim it is bunk.

    It amazes me the arrogance and narrow-mindedness of people who come into an organization that has existed for over 40 years with tens of thousands of members over the years, hundreds of thousands of registered voters, millions of votes for its candidates, an electoral vote, and hundreds (maybe thousands) of books written about various aspects of its philosophy/economics/politics, immediately assuming and loudly proclaiming that everyone else has been doing it wrong, everyone else is stupid, they are the One True Savior (TM), and we all should drop what we’re doing to follow them to the promised land.

    I can’t emphasize this enough: BULLSHIT.

    Learn before you teach. Learn before you criticize. Learn before you are confident you have all the answers.

    I think a better use of your time would be to walk into NASA and tell them even though you haven’t taken any physics or engineering classes or learned how any of their technology works, they’re all stupid and you have a better way to build spaceships. Let us know how that works out.

  8. Robert Steele

    I am surprised you have not been nominated to be president of the party by now, you seem so certain you represent everybody else. I would be glad to be ignored by you, saves everyone time.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    I don’t claim to represent everyone else. But I do claim to know and understand basic libertarian theory and economics. I can feel the pulse of the party through both personally meeting thousands of libertarians and attending 3 presidential nominating conventions.

    Libertarians want a libertarian candidate period. To the extent that the LP has had candidates with un-libertarian views, those candidates have gotten the nomination by downplaying and apologizing for those views — or changing their own views — not by trumpeting those differences and claiming all previous libertarians have been mistaken.

    And to your point, I have a long history with the party. I actually do work. While you spend your time telling all us libertarians we have been ignorant this whole time and you are our One True Savior (TM), I’ve spent 6 hours a day the past 3 days stuffing a fundraising mailer for the Libertarian Party of Virginia.

    I registered as a Libertarian Party voter the day I turned 18. I joined the LP when I went to college. I am a life member of the LP. I’ve been a candidate for U.S. Congress. I’ve been state chair of the Libertarian Party in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. I started the LP Facebook page, which now has over 500,000 likes. I served 2 terms on the Libertarian National Committee. One of those terms I was Vice-Chair of the national party.

    So who appointed me President of the party? No one. Who appointed me Vice-President of the party? The delegates to the 2006 national convention.

  10. Robert Steele

    Your years of effort merit respect. I have two reactions. 1) it’s time the party figured out that what it is doing is not working — electoral reform breaks the log-jam. 2) what I think and whether I am a true blue Libertarian however that is defined, should not matter — I sense that no new idea is going to get a hearing here. The eight points of electoral reform — and the idea of working together with others to crush the two-party tyranny — are straight-forward.

    I keep trying to disengage from this site and then get comments calling me back. I salute your years of effort. I anticipate you will spend many more years doing the same thing. God Bless.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    See the organization Fair Vote. Bill Redpath, who has previously served as chair of the Libertarian Party, is on the board.

    Libertarians and economists look at the actual and theoretical results of policies rather than just their intentions. As was mentioned earlier, public financing of candidates increases the incumbent advantage and leads to less voter choice.

  12. Gene Berkman

    Actually, electoral reform follows the success of alternative parties, it does not precede it. If The Libertarian Party or The Green Party or some new party actually shows that it is getting a decent if small percentage of support, major party politicians who want to pander to the voters who back the new party will make changes in the election laws.
    If no alternative party shows any real support, the bipartisan politicians will back further restrictions on alternatives parties, and point out that “they never win elections anyway.

  13. Gene Berkman

    Quite aside from making the absurd claim that the Libertarian platform has elements of fascism, or that we support those who get their wealth by bribing politicians, I don’t think we need someone in our party who is afraid of the “Zionist takeover of the Green Party.”

    We have enough kooks with a bee under their bonnet about Israel already.

  14. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “I have just heard that Rocky Anderson, whose Justice Party failed to take off, is merging with the Greens and is being backed by Peter Ackerman as the listed Green candidate for the expanded debates.

    I hope your source is right about this, as there really is no point in Anderson and the Greens working at cross purposes.

    “I observe with growing concern the Zionist influence over the Greens.”

    I’m curious what you are referring to, since the semi-official Green position on Isreal/Palestine (One Democratic State) could probably be characterized as anti-zionist.

    http://greenpapers.net/one-democratic-state-a-green-solution-to-the-palestinian-israeli-conflict/

    As far as Scott McLarty’s article goes, it’s a reasonable summary of my own view on Sanders as well.

  15. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    I’ve spent 6 hours a day the past 3 days stuffing a fundraising mailer for the Libertarian Party of Virginia.

    I just stuffed a letter for Robert David Steele.

  16. Sean Scallon

    I think Sen. Sanders would respond that the Greens have had candidates for President in several election cycles and their ability to sway an establishment Democrat to move more to the Left is debatable at best and negligible at worst. So he’s going to try another way.

    And let’s face it, in an era of polarized political parties since 2000, there’s little space for ideological non-major parties to operate. Conservatives didn’t flock to Pat Buchanan and the Reform Party in 2000 after they blamed Ross Perot for giving them Bill Clinton. Well, Ralph Nader pretty much doomed left-wing non-major party activism after George Bush II’s election. And if the GOP nominates someone like Scott Walker, well, there’s not going to be much a of a Green campaign in 2016 considering the fear campaign ginned up to warn those on the Left what a unified Republican government will do to the country if Walker wins.

    It’s my opinion that the LP does have room to operate because what they believe in isn’t just pulling candidates further to the Left or Right to satisfy ideologues but a different dimension of political thinking that has potential appeal in the future.

  17. langa

    It’s my opinion that the LP does have room to operate because what they believe in isn’t just pulling candidates further to the Left or Right to satisfy ideologues but a different dimension of political thinking that has potential appeal in the future.

    I agree. That’s one of the reasons I disagree with those who say that the LP (or libertarians in general) should position libertarianism as an ally of the Left or Right. I strongly prefer the old “neither Left nor Right” slogan, not only because it’s factually true, but because cozying up to ideologues from either side is, in my opinion, a losing strategy. It didn’t work for Rothbard, and it won’t work for the LP, either.

  18. Gene Berkman

    I agree with the comments of Sean Scallon & Langa’s response. The Libertarian Party is uniquely qualified as a third party because we are not part of the left or the right.

    Since “conservatives” want government to do some things – restrict personal behavior and “protect the borders” – they can be bought off by Republican politicians who also support active government.

    and “progressives” want government to do things – maintain the welfare state – they can be bought off by Democrat politicians who want active government.

    Libertarians don’t want government to do more than protect life, liberty & property. If mainstream politicians want to repeal laws and close down government programs, we can applaud their move without having to surrender to the major parties.

  19. Robert Steele

    This is a very interesting turn of the conversation and I am following it closely. Where I think we all agree is on the end of the two-party tyranny. Where we disagree is on what the party should do, this year, to achieve electoral integrity. Picture Jesse Ventura and Cynthia McKinny inviting the Libertarians to jump in hard on demanding the Electoral Reform Act of 2015 in time to elect 20% Libertarians in 2016 to Congress — with at least four Libertarians appointed in advance (the Act makes that advance Cabinet formation a requirement). What will the party do then?

  20. AndyCraig

    @Sean Scallon @langa

    Agreed on all points. But I would argue that Nader/Green 2000 (and the fact that both he and the Greens kept running campaigns, keeping up the threat) is probably a typical example of the “sting and then they die” theory of third parties. From Dean 2004 to Obama 2008 through to Sanders 2016, I think it can be argued that Nader had a very real and perceptible pull on the Democrats more in his direction, or more broadly in a green/progressive direction. More style than substance it could be argued, and certainly not enough to satisfy Ralph himself, but that tends to be the way that goes. The demise of Clinton-era “third way” neoliberal centrism has been much remarked upon, I think both for better and for worse the response to Nader’s perceived spoiler role was actually a big pretty part of that.

    The Dems can’t stop a Green from running, but they can keep the progressive-left base happy enough (and afraid enough of the GOP nominee) that they don’t get much support or have a relevant impact on the election. That’s the strategy, anyway. I think it has also has an under-appreciated role in the selecting of running mates in the modern era, in both parties. That’s part of how Hillary intends to shore up her left flank, and I think the selection of both Palin and Ryan were driven in part by concerns over which direction they were worried about facing a third-party from.

    Pundits often talk about this in terms of turnout, balancing the ticket, keeping the party’s base happy, etc. But the mechanism isn’t just people staying home or not voting, it’s also the possibility of a strong third-party challenger racking up more votes and support.

  21. Contrarian Libertarian Parliamentarian

    Robert Steele

    The LP’s by-laws prohibit stand-in candidates from being nominated at the convention. You can’t run on behalf of Jesse Ventura or Cynthia McKinney with the intention to stand aside for them, even if you somehow had their agreement to do so.

    You have to make the argument as to why delegates should nominate *you* for President, not somebody else.

  22. NewFederalist

    The last truly balanced ticket was the Populists in 1892… a former Union general and a former Confederate general. Nothing since even comes close!

  23. Robert Steele

    An Independent cannot win in 2016 without FIRST setting the stage by uniting all of us in 2015 around the Electoral Reform Act, in part because without an honest Congress, even a wild card win like Bernie (who I predict will fold in the home stretch, Hillary will prevail with money, electronic fraud, and the same deal to Bernie that Al Gore got: let the “reasonable dishonesty” happen and you get $100M to play with. I have posted what I consider to be a balanced ticket and starting point at http://bigbatusa.org, and thinking about how to raise money to fund cabinet level debates across all the parties in 2015.

  24. Robert Steele

    I am running for the Libertarian nomination largely to reach the Libertarian audience, and have zero expectation of being nominated. If I were nominated, it would be on the conditions I would announce, that I would not be bound by the party platfrorm or have a party vice president (as called for by the by-laws) and was running solely to constitute a unified coalition government capable of beating the candidates from the two-party tyranny. I doubt we will get to that point.

  25. Contrarian Libertarian Parliamentarian

    I think you misunderstand the point, Robert. If that’s the platform and intention you’re running on, not only would the LNC not nominate you, your name could not even be nominated from the floor for consideration. It would be out of order, no different than if John Doe stood up and declared himself to be a stand-in candidate for Rand (or Ron) Paul. Stand-in candidates not only can’t receive the nomination, they can’t even be voted on.

    You would be a “candidate for the Libertarian Presidential nomination” only in the sense that you have filed a single-page FEC form saying so. The actual Libertarian Party is under no obligation to recognize you as such.

  26. Robert Steele

    I made my position clear to Bob Johnston. Happy to be dismissed early but I would be glad to have the Libertarians join, as the Greens are likely to join, a broad campaign to demand electoral reform in 2015, in time to make possible the election of Libertarians to Congress that will absolutely not be possible under the existing regime. I am not a stand in and I was in fact asked to run for the nomination by Libertarians in San Francisco, and have my own following that does not spend time on conventional Libertarian sites such as this. My appeal to the members is practical and grassroots. If the Libertarian system is top down authoritarian and there is a small group that decides who should be allowed to be considered by the delegates, that is interesting.

  27. paulie

    That’s one of the reasons I disagree with those who say that the LP (or libertarians in general) should position libertarianism as an ally of the Left or Right.

    I’m not opposed to temporary strategic alliances. Generally I seek balance, but I think in the last few decades libertarianism has swung too far to the right, and the LP has for the most part been a part of that, albeit with plenty of exceptions. To the degree that I seek to explore alliances with the left, it’s more to restore balance and because I think the low hanging unpicked fruit is mostly on that side.

    PLAS? Now THAT’S the ticket!

    It was the ticket, until Milnes changed PLAS to PLAN-SS.

  28. Robert Steele

    This discussion is why I came this way. Talking to the Greens at the same time, what I am seeing is a compromise — each party continues to run its own national candidate for president but we work together to force electoral reform in 2015 in order to both assure ALL of the national candidates a fighting change (including instant run off so folks can vote for a Libertarians but have a second choice vote also), while blowing open the door for what I think could be a ONE THIRD turn-over in Congress against the two-party tyranny. I would be glad if some confidence in my homework could emerge from this discussion.

  29. NewFederalist

    See prior discussion of the 100th anniversary of the presidential election of 1912. Same concept different author.

  30. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Steele wrote:

    I am running for the Libertarian nomination largely to reach the Libertarian audience, and have zero expectation of being nominated. If I were nominated, it would be on the conditions I would announce, that I would not be bound by the party platfrorm or have a party vice president (as called for by the by-laws) and was running solely to constitute a unified coalition government capable of beating the candidates from the two-party tyranny. I doubt we will get to that point.

    You would need to amend the bylaws to do either of those things (not be bound by the platform or not have a VP candidate who is a LP member). See bylaws 5.6 and 15.4.

    LP Bylaws and Convention Rules
    http://www.lp.org/files/2014_LP_Bylaws_and_Convention_Rules_w_2014_JC_Rules.pdf

    ARTICLE 5: MEMBERSHIP

    6. Only sustaining members shall be counted for delegate apportionment and National Committee representation. Only sustaining members shall be eligible to hold National Party office or be a candidate for President or Vice-President.

    ARTICLE 15: PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

    4. The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.

    I serve on the Bylaws and Rules Committee. I was elected chair of the 2014 bylaws committee. I was appointed interim chair of the 2016 bylaws committee, though M Carling has been elected as the committee’s permanent chair. I consider it very unlikely that the bylaws committee will recommend amendments removing either of those provisions. However, bylaws amendments from the floor will be in order.

  31. Nicholas Sarwark

    This discussion is why I came this way. Talking to the Greens at the same time, what I am seeing is a compromise — each party continues to run its own national candidate for president but we work together to force electoral reform in 2015 in order to both assure ALL of the national candidates a fighting change (including instant run off so folks can vote for a Libertarians but have a second choice vote also), while blowing open the door for what I think could be a ONE THIRD turn-over in Congress against the two-party tyranny. I would be glad if some confidence in my homework could emerge from this discussion.

    How are you going to force it?

    You know that all 50 states run their own elections and have different laws for the rules, right? You are aware that many of those states have part-time legislatures that aren’t even in session anymore and won’t be until after 2015, right?
    Why stop at “ONE THIRD”? Half of the Senate and all of the House are up for election. If all of your plans come to fruition, why not a “ONE HALF” turnover in Congress or even?

    There is some confidence emerging from this discussion, all right. It just may not be in your homework.

  32. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Steele wrote:

    I am surprised you [Chuck Moulton] have not been nominated to be president of the party by now, you seem so certain you represent everybody else.

    Btw, Nicholas Sarwark is the “president” (chair) of the party.

  33. Fair Voter

    “Half of the Senate and all of the House are up for election.”

    One third of the senate and all of the house.

    “Btw, Nicholas Sarwark is the “president” (chair) of the party.”

    How are the sustaining membership and fundraising numbers doing? And shouldn’t the national chair be a bit more neutral in regards to candidates for the p-nom in his public statements? I realize these are not official press releases, but the comments are not private either.

    Robert Steele combines the strategic acumen of Robert Milnes with the CIA background of Bob Barr, the unifying coalition teambuilding insights of James Ogle with the world power player savoir faire of Daniel Imperato. He has the multipartisan adroitness of Robby Wells and the grace and humility of Wayne Root, nearly as much charisma as George Phillies and the realpolitik skills and integrity of Gene Chapman. We should be thankful that such an impressive statesman has come to our collective rescue at this most opportune time!

    Even Jesus of Nazareth had his haters, after all. The verbal crucifying of Robert Steele in these comments only shows that some people are jealous, narrow minded, and not ready to receive his words and teachings yet. Still, his supreme tenacity will overcome all obstacles and save them despite themselves, along with everyone else.

  34. Robert Steele

    It would help if you read outside the narrow confines of this site. The electoral reform act MANDATES that candidates from all parties and Independents appear on every state ballot for federal office. That’s the first step. Once national is open, then we can world down to the state and local. The primary value of the presidency is educational. You can read details of the Act at http://bigbatusa.org (the original 11 point act that came out of Occupy+) or http://tinyurl.com/OpenPower, and I would stress again that point are a starting point for a national conversation. My dream is to make this THE topic of conversation and joint action among Greens, Libertarians, Working Parties, and Independents (we need a new organization for Independents, I consider Jackie Salit and Nancy Ross to be completely divorced from the mainstream Independents and their needs).

  35. Robert Steele

    I agree with you. I have already partially achieved my objective of getting some Libertarians to consider the idea of a broad collaboration on electoral reform. The rest of you are focused on maintaining the purity of your ideas. I am focused on making it possible for getting more of you elected in 2016.

  36. paulie

    My comments and now being moderated and perhaps being blocked. This is why the Libertarian Party cannot learn new tricks.

    All comments that have more than one link in the comment get moderated (not blocked). It has nothing to do with either you or Libertarians, just an overly restrictive automated spam filter setting that I can no longer change. Don’t like it? Ask Warren Redlich, the site owner, or his brother Steve. They removed all non-blood-relation admins in 2013 so now they are the only ones who can adjust such settings. And they don’t read these comments most of the time, so you would probably have to email them. All I can do is fish your comments retroactively out of spam/pending. You’re welcome.

  37. Robert Steele

    Very helpful observation. Going to begin disengaging, you are right, the integrity is lacking in how the site is administered and that is probably one reason it does not have a broad audience that chooses to engage.

  38. paulie

    I doubt it. It wasn’t administered that way before, and not that much has changed. I was an admin here from 2008-2013, read the comments regularly, and adjusted settings like that when problems came up. It didn’t give us a significantly broader audience though. As for whether you disengage that is up to you. I’m sure you know how to turn off email notifications if that’s what you decide.

  39. Nicholas Sarwark

    It’s somewhat presumptuous to assume that a poor reception for one’s campaign comes from a lack of reading of one’s campaign materials, rather than a thorough reading thereof.

  40. Jill Pyeatt

    I haven’t read all of Mr. Steele’s links, but it seems the Reform Act needs to be in place before the bulk of the Presidential campaign starts, which would mean now. I’m also curious as to who in the Green Party is working with him. Perhaps that individual or individuals can come here and help to convince us. .

    “the integrity is lacking in how the site is administered and that is probably one reason it does not have a broad audience that chooses to engage.”

    Wow, one would think someone in politics would have a thicker skin, and look inward instead of blaming something external when on the losing side of some comments. .

    I hope you manage to pick up all your marbles on your way out, Robert.

  41. paulie

    Not sure if anyone answered the original question and I don’t feel like scrolling up. My answer is that it will scatter to the four winds.

    Also, yet another thread where someone (Orvetti?) went back and erased old comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *