Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders recently wrote to his supporters that we in the United States need a "political revolution." We agree. And we need Bernie Sanders to support that revolution by running for president in 2016, but not as a Democrat or as an independent.
We progressives understand that a movement for real progressive change requires an electorate that will vote for progress--not for more war and more corporatization and privatization--and that real progressive change requires candidates who will actually give that progress, just as much as the progressive movement needs citizens protesting, citizens engaging civically, citizens making demands of government. Voting for progress and asking for it are not mutually exclusive; they must go hand in hand or progress will not be conceded.
Therefore, we progressives agree that Senator Bernie Sanders must run for president as a Green Party candidate if he wishes to remedy any of the grave problems that he speaks about. These problems, Sanders writes, include the United States' "oligarchic form of society, a nation in which a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of the country," where "real unemployment is close to 14%, youth unemployment is over 20% and over 40% of African-American youth are unemployed," where "In recent years, 95% of all new income went to the top 1% and there has been a huge increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires," and where, "Meanwhile, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty--the highest number ever--and more and more of our people are going hungry. Tragically, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country--with one out of four kids living on food stamps."
We progressives know that a Democratic president such as Hillary Clinton will be the same or worse than President Obama has proven to be on all the issues above and on the others we hold dear, such as President Obama's domestic and international spying campaign, his aggressive foreign policy, his support of banking deregulation, his climate-destroying energy policy, his complete privatization of the health-care system, his illegal drone warfare campaign, his aggressive pursuit of whistleblowers who uncover government crimes, and much, much more. We progressives know that change away from these disastrous policies will not come from inside the Democratic Party, not anytime soon, not unless the change is forced upon the party from the outside by an infinitely demanding alternative party that threatens to replace it.
Therefore, we petition Senator Bernie Sanders to seek Green Party support and eventually the Green Party nomination. We understand that a only a candidate such as Bernie Sanders--a US senator with a national following and who has already proven he can garner hundreds of thousands of votes--has a real chance to begin building an alternative US political party vote by vote and percentage point by percentage point.
We petition Senator Bernie Sanders to begin talks with prominent Greens such as Jill Stein and prominent African American progressives who enjoy a national following to consider running with Senator Sanders as his vice presidential nominee. We petition Senator Sanders to seek support from the likes of Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Jill Stein, Ben Manski, Cynthia McKinney, Chris Hedges, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and even Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, and Al Gore, the organization Progressive Democrats of America, and others from the Democratic Party in his pursuit of the Green Party nomination. We would like to see all of these people supporting a Sanders Green presidency and standing with him. We would like to see Senator Sanders appear on progressive media outlets such as The Real News Network and Democracy Now, discussing his plans to run for the presidency as a Green.
We understand that the only way forward is to challenge the Democrats into changing, and that cannot be done if the Democrats know that progressives will vote Democrat regardless of Democrats' repeated regressions and crimes. And it cannot be done without a party that is committed to radical change: the Green Party.
We understand that you do not challenge the corporate duopoly by joining it. You challenge it by building noncorporate alternative parties, including but not limited to the largest noncorporate party in the nation: the Green Party. Sanders as a Green would be a serious contender for the Oval Office (as was Ross Perot in 1992), and perhaps more important, Sanders as a Green would help other Green candidates win their elections and help build a serious alternative to this two-party stranglehold.
Senator Sanders, thank you very much for receiving our petition. Please inform us of your intent to seek the Green nomination for president as laid out by us, your possible national constituency. We promise to pledge our support to your campaign if you join the Greens.
Michael Trudeau, Cary, North Carolina,
and the undersigned