Bernie is still acting as a figurehead for liberal independents and Democrats that believe a political revolution is right around the corner, as easy to execute in a midterm election as it is in a presidential. Those that understand the true power of the corporate stranglehold over the Democratic party and the other systemic barriers that prevent third parties from competing on an even playing field with them, will realize that the true road to political revolution is much longer.
The Green Party has its flaws. I wouldn’t worry too much about Dr. Jill Stein being one of them. Jill was an excellent spokeswoman, and ran a campaign as close to perfection as you could expect given the circumstances. She best expressed the conviction of the sane that our civilization is on the trajectory of certain peril, and her smiles were only intended to soften the blow of that terrible truth. As thankful as I am for all the efforts that Dr. Stein has contributed to the progressive left, I sincerely hopes she doesn’t run for president again and instead turns her attention towards tending to the Green Party. We need a new name on the presidential ticket in 2020, that’s all I’ll say.
More importantly, the Green Party’s decentralized leadership deprives it of the ability to coordinate a national strategy beyond the presidential election. Wrenching back power from state-level leadership is going to take significant time, internal dialogue, and mobilization. We also have yet to fully make the transition from a party of middle class reformers to an anti-capitalist party of the working class and other marginalized communities. Furthermore, it’s going to take more than the right planks on a platform to persuade people of color to abandon the Democrats en masse, seeing as the party considers them their strongest voting bloc. Until we solve both these problems, we aren’t going to be winning any elections, even if the mainstream media starts giving us fair coverage and our candidates are allowed to debate Republicans and Democrats.
It is possible that an influx of new members into the Green Party could achieve this transformation. It is also possible that another party (or partisan coalition) could emerge with the structural advantages needed for rapid growth and electoral success, and that Greens will be called upon to switch their partisan affiliation in the interest of the whole Left to grab at real transformative power. We must maintain awareness of all efforts being taken by our fellow progressives and build bridges between our respective organizations until a viable strategy becomes clearer. This means we should be steeling ourselves for a much longer struggle than Bernie expects, because it is only when we create a multiparty democratic republic that we can have a hope of solving the problems we need to survive the coming environmental catastrophes.