Do progressives want Hilary for President? No, of course not. Among other things, she's in the pockets of the GMO industrial complex. If Barack Obama disappointed us, Hilary may go him one better. She may horrify us. Ask yourself: if we have Hilary, will we go to war again? The answer is almost surely, “Yes.” Please -- we shouldn't kid ourselves.
All right, then. What if the Republicans run Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Mitt Romney or . . . .? Are you going to vote for Hilary -- or some protest candidate or what? We know what happens when we vote for a third party candidate. Under the American system, it's just a wasted vote. The sophisticated know this. Look, even the U.S. Communist Party is supporting Obama. They don't really like him, but the Communist Party has a long memory. They remember Germany in the 1930s, and they learned that lesson when the Communists failed to support those who were just a bit to the right of them and they wound up with Hitler. There comes a point when you must compromise.
Does that mean that we must go for Hilary? That moment may come, but that moment isn't right now. Maybe – just maybe – we can come up with a plan for a candidate that isn't Hilary and who might win. So who might that be? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? Someone else? Who?
My answer: I don't know. But what I do know is a strategy that might get a progressive candidate elected. And it doesn't mean trying for a third party.
Basically, it's a three-step process. The first step is to organize and take over the Democratic Party. That may be hard, but it may not be as hard as it seems. If a really left-of-center candidate took on Hilary, that candidate might get some surprising support. Money bags like the Koch Brothers can't stand Hilary, and they know that she's a threat to the Republicans. Faced with a choice of Hilary or a candidate to the left of her, some of the real right-wing money might go against Hilary.
And the second step? Look at the past and don't repeat it. Don't make the same mistakes that George McGovern or Michael Dukakis made. We had McGovern running and he lost big time. We had Dukakis running and he lost big time. We can't afford to have a progressive running and then a big loss. But we don't have to set ourselves up to lose. We can have a progressive leader who shows a willingness to work with the other side and we can go for things that we know Americans really want.
Don't run a naked campaign with just a presidential and vice-presidential candidate. Instead, run a coalition. Back the progressive candidate with a true government. In other words, instead of trying to dump the entire problem on two pairs of shoulders, show the voters in advance the people who will be running the government. If we had Bernie Sanders running, then we should also have (maybe) Elizabeth Warren running with him, plus about five or ten others as part of a public team. Select the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, and the Attorney General up front. Add the head of the EPA, Health and Human Service, Education, and so on. Have those people stand up and say where they want the country to go.
And who should those people be? Pick real experts who have no ties to Wall Street or major corporations. And don't be afraid if one or two are liberal Republicans. Real, honest, liberal Republicans. In other words, maybe this could be a real coalition government that might bridge the gap and get things to happen. Or is that too much to hope for?
Then have a real platform that means something. Don't try to have a ten page document on every subject under the sun. Pick five major issues for the country and say how the government will deal with those issues. For instance, election reform could be one. The platform could make it a priority to get rid of the corruption politics that is strangling our country. 73 percent of all Americans want to repeal Citizens United.
Make it a priority to have economic equality and end the extreme difference between the uber-wealthy and the rest of the citizens. (How about promoting the “Robin Hood” tax of .01% on all public stock transactions. Make an exception for purchases through ERISA plans, or by individuals with less than a million dollars in assets. Or whatever). Or perhaps there could be a really steep income tax on gross income of over a million dollars in a year (not including sales of principal residences). Another big issue could be significant government investment in infrastructure as a way of getting the country moving again, creating jobs, and spending the money taken from the uber-wealthy.
And then the third step: organize. Organize marches at the local and state level. Pick someone who will speak reality in Ferguson, MO, so that those people go out and say, “That's who we want.” Have a national get out the vote campaign. Get people out in the streets and into the voting booths. And make very, very sure that there aren't vote stealing machines sneaking away the election.
In other words: we don't need Hilary and we don't want Hilary. We want a government by the rest of us, not by the 1%. And, like or not, Hilary represents the 1%.