Socialist Alternative’s front “Movement for Bernie” is distributing an online petition calling for Bernie Sanders to run as an independent. Petition can be seen here.1 Nearly twenty thousand signatures, calling for Bernie Sanders to run as an independent (read Green Party), and as a necessary consequence, “Organize a New Party for the 99%”. This petition and the mountains of contact information within it, presents the left with a great opportunity and/or another dead end. Ignoring the obvious facts that Bernie has already agreed to endorse Clinton and the fact that sore loser laws would put him at a massive handicap, let’s examine this perspective deeper.
Dead end Greens
Socialist Alternative and the International Socialist Organization are the two largest advocates of independent political action devoid of working class politics, best embodied by the Green Party. The Green Party calls itself socialist to socialists and liberal to liberals. It is everything and nothing. The past three decades have shown this knockoff popular front to be nothing but a dead end to our movement. The liberals aren’t going to break with the Democratic Party for Green liberalism and the working class won’t turn out for it either.
Calling for Bernie to take up this mantle is simply another delay in forming a working class party in the United States.
The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) formed with twenty thousand militants, divided by a dozen languages, concentrated only among white workers in the northeast part of the country, laid the groundwork for the mass unionization and anti-racist campaigns of the 1930s, provoking the New Deal (that the Greens wish to emulate), among many other reforms.
Granted, these people are convinced that socialism is simply government control but they are willing to break with the Democrats and proclaim “socialism.” They represent the raw material, the possible rebirth of a mass communist party-movement in the states. They represent a mass hearing for communism not seen since the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Socialist Alternative: you must dump the Green Party, recognize Bernie isn’t on board, and declare a party of the working class for socialism. Anything less represents the destruction of a great opportunity. We can change the whole game in one fell swoop.