Many say that they are #BernieOrBust .. but what’s that really mean?
- Some say they will write in Bernie,
- others say they will vote for Jill Stein (Green Party)
- still others say they just won’t vote at all.
To me, the only meaningful options are the first two. If you don’t vote, you have no voice, and what’s the point in that? Don’t you want your action to be counted in some way? If we really want to get Bernie in office (or keep Hillary out), it seems like we should be coordinated about this effort .. no?
It’s all a bit abstract to even discuss this right now since we have no idea what will happen as the convention draws near. I think we have to assume that Bernie will stick it out through all of the states, and there will be a contested convention since it’s unlikely that neither candidate will have the requisite number to win outright. Here are the scenarios that I’m seeing ..
DOOR #1: Bernie wins more delegates than Hillary! (Yes, it is still possible, although it’s getting harder all the time.) If that happens, we’ll have to believe that the superdelegates will go the way of the people (if they don’t, there will be riots and god help us all). Let’s just assume that if Bernie gets more delegates, he will be the nominee .. all’s well, on to the White House!
If Hillary is the nominee, Bernie will likely insist that she make concessions to his platform. We all know that she’ll say whatever she thinks we want to hear, but it’s hard to believe that she will be believable enough for Bernie to actually back her and ask us to do the same .. for the “good” of the party. So, we’ll need to choose from the following options ..
DOOR #2: Hillary is the nominee and Bernie doesn’t back her; he decides to run as an Independent. If that happens, he’ll be called a “spoiler.” I don’t think that matters to most of us, and I think that in a general election, he could very likely win a 3-way race, since he’ll have the backing of a large number of Independents who haven’t been counted yet.
However, this is a tricky path since it would require Bernie registering in all 50 states (or as many as possible), which entails getting many signatures (178,039 in CA alone, more than 880,000 in total). Also, the filing date in 14 states (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington) will have passed by the time the convention is over. He would need to switch to Independent by June 9 (Texas deadline) to be able to register in all states. [#1]
This means that Bernie would likely need to switch to Independent before the convention. Hmm.
DOOR #3: Hillary is the nominee and Bernie doesn’t back her; he decides NOT to run as an Independent. If he doesn’t officially run, writing him in, while it may feel good, may have no effect at all and in many cases no one will even know! Apparently some states disallow write-ins (Nevada, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and South Carolina), and most require the candidate to register in order for their write-in to be counted. Only 8 states allow write-ins without a filing (Oregon, Iowa, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont). [#2]
It seems unlikely that Bernie would register as a write-in if he’s not going to run as an Independent (I suppose he might if the filing deadline is later, not sure about that). So, if Bernie doesn’t register as a write-in, don’t write him in! Your vote will likely not be counted or registered in any way. It would be as if you hadn’t voted at all.
If Bernie doesn’t register as a write-in, it seems that the best thing to do is vote for Jill Stein. This vote will get counted, and if enough #BernieOrBust people are on board, it’s possible that she could get elected (yes, very unlikely). At least, your vote would be counted and heard. In my mind, that would be far better than the other options available, at least the climate and environment would be a focus.
DOOR #4: Hillary is the nominee and Bernie does back her. This sounds crazy to me, but I suppose it’s possible. He’d have to make an awfully good case for supporting Hillary, and even then .. I don’t know, I can’t go there yet.
Some are concerned that a Bernie write-in or voting for Jill, is a “vote for Trump.” That may not be as bad as you might think. As this election has unfolded, I’ve become more and more anti-Hillary. The corruption and scandal that surrounds her have become unpalatable[#3]. Even though she claims to be a “Democrat,” I think that Trump could be less dangerous in many ways. Hillary’s roots (and core values) are conservative and Republican[#4]. Trump’s roots are Democratic (Republican: 1987–99; 2009–11; 2012–present. Independent: 2011–12. Democratic: before 1987; 2001–09. Reform: 1999–2001)[#5]. Granted, Trump would be a huge embarrassment for the country, but there’s no way that his crazy ideas would come to pass. On the other hand, Hillary is likely to get us into another war, and will continue with the corruption and greed that infests our so-called-democracy.
These are just some thoughts about how to proceed as a #BernieOrBust. If we can agree on a path of action, we might actually be able to affect the outcome of the election. What are your thoughts?
Tiffany of Socially Unacceptable, sums it up perfectly!
And a couple related links of interest ..
- What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?
- Did you know that the Presidency could be won by a write in candidate?