Revolt Against Plutocracy has modified the Bernie or bust pledge to include the option of voting for the Green Party candidate this November. RAP campaign coordinator, Charlie Hobbs, explained to this Examiner, “voters in seven states cannot write in any candidate, and we wanted to give them a sense of full participation in the Bernie or bust pledge option.”
The Bernie or bust campaign began on June 22nd last year as a voter pledge to write in Senator Sanders in the general election if he is not the nominee for the Democratic Party. They note on their website they plan to use this strategy as leverage during the primaries and caucuses this year. Democrats, they argue, have to unite behind Bernie or else risk losing the general election to the GOP. They also point out that if enough of Sanders supporters take the pledge, it will provide insurance at the Convention should Bernie go in with a narrow lead. Super delegates will be notified through the press that if they rob Sanders of the nomination, then they will increase the chances of a GOP election victory.
Why Green Party and not any other option? RAP co-founder Patrick Walker explained, “they’re simply the most viable third party with an agenda close to Bernie’s. If Democrats won’t give us what Bernie’s offering, we’ll seek it from the next best alternative. Jill Stein has been very intelligently offering herself as “Plan B” to Berniacs foiled by Democrat’s rigged nomination process; she’s even pointed out how much the Green platform has in common with Bernie’s.” Walker added, “we also want to show both the political left and the Democratic Party establishment backing Clinton that we’re serious about revolution. The far left misunderstands RAP: they think, just because we’re backing Bernie’s run as a Democrat, that we are trying to herd potential revolutionaries into the Democratic Party, or that we’re loyal to Bernie rather than revolution. I’d like to convince them we’re allies, both to get more voters taking the pledge and to build a lasting revolutionary alliance of Bernie supporters and at least some Bernie skeptics on the left. Democrats also need to know we won’t accept the way they’ve un-democratically worked to suppress Bernie, the only hope in either major party of desperately needed reform–reform the Democratic Party base strongly supports. The Green option is a form of strong medicine: either shape up or your base ships out. Bernie’s candidacy is a test of Democrats’ legitimacy that the party is currently failing.”
Asked if any of the members of RAP are or ever have been members of the Green Party, Angel Rivera replied, “I’ve been in love with the Green Party platform for over a year now. If Bernie does not get the nomination I’m writing off the Democratic party for good and registering as a Green.”
Hobbs also pointed out, “while the write-in option is available on the ballot in many states, there is a requirement for the candidate to register as a write-in option. Bernie will not do that which could lead to ballots being discarded. This could lead to down-ballot loses for progressive, Bernie Sanders Democrats losing close races, and we do not want to be responsible for that.” He added, “modification of the Bernie or bust pledge demonstrates to Democrats that ours is a Revolution not merely in name — the political revolution led by Sanders which we’re the grassroots cutting-edge. It cannot and will not simply be reduced to a campaign slogan. Modification to the pledge reflects and amplifies this by helping construct a strong coalition of sorts between those already supporting Sanders, on the one hand, and the Green Party on the other hand. Practically speaking, we hope as part of this change that we will see an exponential rise in pledge-taking because that’s absolutely crucial for the political leverage we are building for Bernie. Of course, the Green Party is the only third-party even close to being a force with which to reckon. That’s not to say that each of us RAP committee members necessarily agrees with the entire Green platform. Every committee member does not, but that’s a different discussion and, more importantly, is not directly relevant to why embracing this ‘Green option’ is strategically significant.”
Currently 36,000 voters have taken the Bernie or bust pledge. Readers, who want to tell RAP committee members what they think if this modification of the Bernie or bust pledge, are invited to do so in comments below.