In a recent post titled: “Brutally Honest Bernie Sanders Tells His Supporters That He Is Not Their Savior“, Jason Easley writes:
Knowing Bernie’s history as I do, I can tell you this is not some selfless call to his supporters to fight on no matter the outcome of the primary. This is Bernie Sanders preparing to go back to being Senator Sanders; telling his voters that if he loses the nomination, good luck to them because he’s out. You see, that’s Bernie’s M.O.
Mr. Easley writes:
That is true; in fact, Bernie Sanders has been talking about “political revolution” since at least 1971. That’s the year he joined the Liberty Union Party, and first ran for office in Vermont.
In his first run in ’72, he garnered 1,571 votes, or 2.2 percent. As noted in a piece by Salon (my emphasis): “…winning was far less important than imparting his views, especially on economic justice.” Salon reports:
So this 3rd party, after 4 elections in 6 years, had gone from 2.2% of vote share to 6% … but Bernie Sanders calls it a failure, and walks away. Sanders’ early campaigns may sound familiar:
But he quit; not because the 3rd party was a “failure”, but because he didn’t get elected, and Bernie Sanders wanted public office. He resigned as Chairman of the LUP in “77, telling the Nashua Telegraph in an interview:
(Sanders happened to be the Chairman of LUP, so I’m not sure who he thought was supposed to keep things moving.)
Sanders re-branded himself an Democratic Socialist/Independent, and would win the election for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1982. He would be re-elected 3 times. In 1991, he was elected Vermont Representative to the U.S. House, serving there until 2007, when he won his bid for Vermont Senator, the position he still holds today. Sanders’ luster wore off quickly for members of the Liberty Union Party, as this excerpt from a 1999 post on their site shows:
Bernie has disparaged both parties his entire career, so their disillusionment is justified.
If people want a third party, I say go for it; but history contains a long list of failed third parties. The Libertarian Party, with 400,000 members, and the Green Party, with its quarter of a million members, remain footnotes in past elections.
The difference between Democrats and Republicans is black/white, day/night; anyone who doesn’t recognize that is an idiot. What’s really needed is for the people complaining about the Democratic Party to become engaged, and work within the party.
Liberty Union Party still exists in Vermont today. Considering his current number of supporters, imagine how big LUP could have been after 45 years had Sanders actually been committed to “change”; but Bernie’s about Bernie.
Don’t expect Sanders to stick around when this Democratic primary is over. After he blames the “Establishment” (aka everyone who isn’t him or his supporters) for losing the nomination, he’ll claim the primary was “rigged for Hillary” (even though the fact that she didn’t win in 2008 belies that claim). Frankly, I expect he’ll shit all over the Democratic Party as soon as he doesn’t need them anymore. He’ll go back to being Senator Sanders, flogging his dead horses while refusing to make the alliances or compromises necessary to achieve any measurable progress on them. Problem is, he’ll return to the Senate with a lot less respect than when he entered the 2016 race.