It’s ridiculous to try to convince voters who declare themselves “Bernie-Or-Bust” that their movement amounts to nothing more than the spoiler effect caused by Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. Yet, the comparison is made again and again.
In 2000, Al Gore ran against George Bush. Ralph Nader was running too, hoping to build the Green Party so that it would one day be competitive with the two existing major parties. Nader has faced criticism, as pundits blame him for stealing the election from Al Gore by splitting the liberal vote. That tumultuous race is now being used against Bernie Sanders’ supporters, urging them to “Vote Blue No Matter Who.”
For starters, it seems as though pundits hope that voters wouldn’t recall that the most dramatic events in Florida from that election actually revolved around election fraud accusations thrown at Jeb and George Bush. Of course, in light of the myriad of election fraud accusations in this year’s Democratic presidential nominating process, the possibility that election fraud is not just a conspiracy theory of the paranoid Democratic Socialist Berners seems to help pundits conveniently forget to mention that particular drama when bringing up Gore’s so-called “stolen” candidacy.
When examining “How Bush Took Florida,” in 2001, the New York Times made not one mention of Nader. According to a New York Times investigation, Americans living abroad with ballots that should not have been counted for one reason or another were probably the actual reason Bush was elected president in 2000. New York Magazine actually did conclude that the election was stolen from Gore through fraudulent activities, but that article also made not even a single mention of Ralph Nader, nor his role as a spoiler.
Certainly, if Nader supporters had voted for Gore, Gore would have won. Nader was not the only reason Bush won in Florida, but most experts agree that Nader did play the part of the spoiler. Nader was never trying to win the election. His lofty goal was to win 5 percent of the votes, and he failed. Nader supporters raised less than $10 million in campaign donations in 2000. Nader never had a shot at the presidency in that election, and Nader voters knew that when they turned in their ballots.
Sanders supporters have already raised nearly $208 million, and his supporters are determined to make him president. It’s not a tantrum like pundits have so often declared it to be. Bernie-Or-Busters have seen their playing hand, feel it’s competitive enough with multiple end-game strategies, and have decided that they are “all in” for Bernie. So, to compare Nader’s spoiler run to Bernie-Or-Bust is absurd.
Sanders supporters are actually trying to win the presidency. They hope that their sworn commitment to back their candidate will ensure him both the nomination and the presidency, but if only one of those is possible: Busters want the presidency.
— Grandmaz4Bernie (@Grandmaz4Bernie) May 26, 2016
Ross Perot (whose strong campaign had nowhere near the momentum nor the energy of Sanders’ rock-star-meets-prophet presidential campaign) won 18.91 percent of the votes in 1992, according to NBC News. Sanders supporters say that if Perot, another famous election spoiler, can gather almost one-fifth of the votes, Sanders would have a good shot at winning the majority of them, even if he ran with a third party. That is why they have petitioned the Senator himself to “Run Bernie Run” all the way through November, no matter what happens in July.
To be clear: Many believe that the DNC has been so incredibly unfair to the Bernie Sanders campaign through the entire debate and primary season that the Senator of Vermont is officially and fully released of his earlier statement: “I will not run as an Independent.”
Thousands of Sanders supporters have pointed out on social media that a third party is technically different from an Independent, the only category of candidate that Sanders ever said he would not become if he lost the Democratic nomination. Sanders’ ideals are similar to already established parties in the U.S. such as the Justice Party, the Green Party, the Peace and Freedom Party — all of which have expressed positive opinions of the most popular Senator in the United States. Of the left-winged smaller parties, only the Socialist Party USA has zero interest in him, because he is far too protective of personal liberties and the success of honest capitalism in our country.
In a crazy display of unifying the nation, rather than unifying just one party, Sanders somehow even has self-declared Libertarians fighting to get this Democratic Socialist elected. Shockingly, the godfather of the Libertarian party, Ron Paul himself, cited a shared opposition to the military-industrial complex and a dedication to protecting personal liberties as the foundation of the kinship he feels towards Sanders. Paul added that Sanders is the candidate of the two major parties who best represents the free market.
— Justice Party (@JusticePartyUSA) April 20, 2016
Many Berniecrats say that if the public demanded it of him, Sanders would represent them against the oligarchy’s candidates, even if he himself did not want to continue.
Bernie-Or-Bust has become as much of a statement to Bernie himself as it is to the Democratic superdelegates. Most Busters believe that Bernie Sanders will realize that in order to keep his repeated promise to make sure that Trump is never elected, he will have no choice but to acquiescence and continue his candidacy via an alternative route.
Sanders told Americans at beginning of his campaign, “When people stand together, when people are prepared to fight back, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.”
Berniecrats intend to hold Sanders himself to that statement if they need to. Busters remind Sanders that he is, at his core, indentured to the 99 percent of his own free will. They say they will write him in on their own if they have to, so if he loses the Democratic nomination, he better find some way to end up on their ballots.
If the DNC’s repeated feet in the aisle, placed there hoping he will trip, causes Sanders to fall in July, the Busters will work together to carry him home to their White House.
In the meantime, though, they intend to show the superdelegates that they have virtually no choice but to cast their votes for him at the National Convention. They will have to pick Sanders, or their party will lose the general election. Nearly half of Sanders’ supporters say that if Hillary is nominated, they will either vote for an Independent or thirty-party candidate, vote for Trump, or not vote at all, according to U.S. News and World Reports. Remember, the people in this movement don’t think of Hillary as the lesser-desired progressive candidate — they see her as faux liberal and a con artist. Their parody campaign is “Hillary for Prison 2016,” so it’s ridiculous to count on Berniecrats to rally behind her if she is the Democratic nominee. They will not. More people surveyed by NBC pollsters say they actually “hate” Hillary Clinton than say they admire her; Berniecrats wouldn’t vote for Clinton even if a bald eagle landed on her podium.
In a situation of intrigue that Democratic superdelegates might also have to consider at their national convention in Philly: The Green Party doesn’t choose their nominee until about a week after the Democrats choose theirs. While NPR reported weeks ago that the Green Party has already declared Jill Stein their nominee, the Green Party’s own website only lists her as a candidate, and Stein herself penned an open invite to Sanders should the Democrats fail to make him their nominee. The California Green Party confirmed that it would be possible that during the short window of time between the Democratic and Green Party conventions, Sanders could accept Stein’s invitation. It would muddy their convention but significantly accelerate the momentum of their party, which is working to get ballot access in every state in the nation by November.
If Sanders’ supporters demanded it and Sanders acquiesced, the Green Party delegates would be unwise not to nominate him. In truth, most Berniecrats don’t care what party Bernie’s name appears beneath on ballots in November, which is why they call themselves Berniecrats. Independents (the majority of American voters and those voters who are mostly still angry at the DNC over being disenfranchised through closed primary elections) obviously have zero party loyalty. Democrat? Green? It doesn’t matter to Berniecrats.
— Bad Bernie Sanders (@bad_bad_bernie) May 24, 2016
The superdelegates of the Democratic party will have no choice but to consider this alternative possibility at their convention in July thanks to the Berniecrats of the Bernie-Or-Bust movement. Busters see Trump and Clinton as two mechanisms within the machine that has lost touch with the American people. They call her a Republican, a corporate sellout, a war hawk. They say they have nothing to lose by going all in for Bernie.
Ralph Nader earned 2.74 percent of the popular vote in the 2000 election as a third party candidate. If dollars raised by third party candidates could predict votes, with roughly 20 times the donations, Bernie could bring in 55 percent of the popular vote. Imagine the embarrassment the Democratic Party would feel if that were to come to fruition. They might as well fold now, because Berniecrats aren’t bluffing and the DNC has everything to lose.
— Alison Spalding (@AlisonSpalding2) May 20, 2016
Bernie-Or-Busters do not view their declaration of “Never Hillary” as a threat of playing a spoiler, they say they are demanding the opportunity to elect a president who will fight for the people, not the machine. And they say, Democrats or no Democrats, there will be no spoiling their plans.
— The Progressive Mind (@Libertea2012) May 26, 2016
— Most Awesome One (@mostawesomeblog) May 16, 2016
— Scott V Smith (@BeTheBern) May 15, 2016
— R ❤️ B (@changeutoday) May 14, 2016
ICYMI: Thousands rally for Bernie Sanders in Sacramento https://t.co/jDc39oddUt pic.twitter.com/0VYEWYc5QH
— kcranews (@kcranews) May 14, 2016
— The Berninator (@robmach75) May 27, 2016
— EQUALITY 4 ALL (@sangretainaa) May 27, 2016
— #BERNIEFACTS (@Bernie_Facts) May 27, 2016
— Merth (@womanINtransit) May 27, 2016
— I Want Real Change! (@CATS_PAWS) May 26, 2016
— Zach Haller (@zachhaller) May 25, 2016
— #BERNIEFACTS (@Bernie_Facts) May 27, 2016
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