Right now, the entire Democratic Party apparatus and allied corporate media are working to ensure that Sen. Bernie Sanders does not get the Democratic nomination even if he gets a plurality of delegates and votes in the primaries.
The Democratic Party establishment seems to be gearing up for a brokered convention which will anoint an establishment candidate with the nomination.
This risks fracturing the party and effectively paving the way for a second term for Donald Trump.
Obviously progressive forces will try to stop these eventualities, but a plan is needed if they arise.
There are two obvious responses:
Burn it Down: The impulsive thing to do would be to want to burn down the Democratic Party. It’s possible that the establishment of the Democratic Party would be OK with this — they seem to fear a President Sanders more than the fear another term of Trump. So, people would stay home or vote for a third party or independent candidate who openly states that they have virtually no chance of winning.
Cave In: Others might insist that no matter how badly the Democratic Party establishment treats its voters, they need to get in line come November and vote for whoever the nominee is. This is euphemistically referred to as “hold your nose and voting.” People have done this for decades and it’s typically resulted in the corporate wing of the Democratic Party becoming more and more powerful.
The first of these will be disastrous because it will help Trump.
The second will be disastrous because it effectively surrenders control of the Democratic Party to the corporate wing, probably for the foreseeable future.
But there is a third choice: The VotePact strategy.
With the VotePact strategy, in the general election, disenchanted Democratics team up with a disenchanted Republicans. They pair up: spouses and friends and coworkers and neighbors and debating partners and ex-facebook friends. Instead of the two of them voting for candidates they don’t want, they pair up and vote for the third party or independent candidate of their choice.
If there’s an anti establishment ticket that appeals to both left and right — think something like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul — it could bring together a transpartisan united alliance from across the political spectrum against the establishment candidates. (Yes, Trump is and always has been an establishment candidate, his rhetoric to the contrary.)
Thus a shrewd thing for Sanders supporters to do in the short term is to reach out to anti establishment Republicans: To try to get them to vote for Sanders if he does get the nomination — and to get them to pair up and vote independent with them if he doesn’t.
The great thing about this is that putting it on the table now lessens the chances that it will have to happen. That is, the Democratic establishment, by trying to stop Sanders, is effectively saying to Sanders supporters: You have to vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is. Otherwise, you’re helping Trump.
The truth of course is that the Democratic establishment is effectively helping Trump by undermining Sanders in this way.
But having VotePact on the table now makes it clear to all concerned: Sanders supporters do have another path. They don’t have to attack the party or capitulate to its establishment. They can make a VotePact with a Republican and vote in a manner that is both principled and super strategic.
Sam Husseini is the founder of VotePact.org.