||On July 9, 2015 The Fresno Green Party wrote:|
Blasting Bernie Vs. Building The Green Party
by Scott McLarty.
It's not useful for Greens to make Sanders himself the focus of criticism -- even when the criticisms are valid. Overall, Sanders is quite progressive and, with some exceptions, his positions on big issues either overlap with Green Party positions or come relatively close.
The real Green challenge to Sanders supporters should be: What will you do if Bernie loses in the primaries?
At best, he has only a small chance of gaining the nomination, judging from the polls (he's behind Clinton by 43 percentage points) and the clout of pro-Hillary super-delegates at the Dem convention. If Sanders loses to Clinton, will "We need a political revolution" turn into "We must vote for the lesser evil"?
Greens will not persuade Sanders supporters to abandon their candidate. That train has already left the station.
At worst, trying to tear down Sanders will backfire. A lot of Greens seem to believe that outreach is a matter of winning political debates. They think "If we just keep listing Bernie's shortcomings, his supporters will come over and join the Green Party."
The Green Party will lose potential post-primary supporters if we pursue this kind of tone-deaf approach. ("I've decided to vote for Hillary because Greens insulted me for supporting Bernie.")
There are some sharp differences between Bernie Sanders and the Green Party, but Sanders himself isn't the enemy. The enemy is a political status quo that obstructs both Sanders and the Green Party.
Instead of blasting Bernie, Greens should be preparing to turn the Great Disappointment of 2016 into a Green Epiphany: It's no longer reasonable to expect change to come from the Dems. Bernie Sanders' defeat is the last straw. The Democratic Party is sliding to the right and will never allow a genuine progressive to capture the nomination or exert influence within the party (as the Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich campaigns proved in previous election years.) Real political revolution can only come from outside of the two corporate-money parties. The Green Party is imperative for the 21st century.
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