Petitioning Senator Bernie Sanders and 2 others

Break the corporate duopoly: Run for president in 2016 with nominations from the Green Party, the Vermont Progressive Party, and perhaps another left-wing alternative party

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, has recently declared the United States needs a "political revolution." We agree. And we need Bernie Sanders to support that revolution by running for president in 2016 not as a Democrat or as an independent loner, but with nominations from the largest, most successful, and most active independent left-wing parties in the nation: namely, the Green Party, the Vermont Progressive Party, and perhaps another such as Socialist Alternative.

We understand that a movement for real progressive change requires an electorate that will vote for progress—not for more Democratic neoliberalism (war, corporatization, privatization, austerity)—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, and citizens making demands of government. Voting for progress and demanding it are not mutually exclusive; they must go hand in hand, or progress will not be conceded.

Therefore, we agree that Senator Bernie Sanders must run for president with nominations from the Green Party and the Vermont Progressive Party, and perhaps another left-wing party such as Socialist Alternative, 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 know that a neoliberal 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, his extension of the Bush tax breaks for the 1%, and much, much more. We know that progressive change away from these disastrous policies will not come from inside the Democratic Party, not anytime soon, and not unless the change is forced upon the party from the outside by an infinitely demanding and radical alternative party that threatens to replace it.

Therefore, we petition Senator Bernie Sanders to seek the Green Party and Vermont Progressive Party nominations, and perhaps the nomination of another socialist party. We understand that Bernie Sanders—a US senator with a national following and who has already proven he can garner hundreds of thousands of votes—has a major opportunity 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, Howie Hawkins, Kshama Sawant, Cynthia McKinney, Chris Hedges, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and even Democrats such as those in the organization Progressive Democrats of America in his pursuit of the Green Party nomination.

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 or parties that are independent from the corporate-capitalist Democrats and committed to radical change: the Green Party, the Vermont Progressive Party, and a handful of others.


We understand that we do not challenge the corporate duopoly by joining it. We 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 and left-wing candidates win their elections down-ballot nationwide, helping to build a serious alternative to this two-party stranglehold from the bottom up.


Senator Sanders, thank you very much for receiving our petition. Please inform us of your intent to seek the Green Party nomination and other third-party nominations for president as laid out by us, your possible national constituency. We promise to pledge our support to your campaign if and only if you seek, primarily, the Green nomination as laid out above. If you join the Democratic Party and/or enter its primary, then we will advance your "political revolution" without you by building political institutions that are independent of, rather than dependent on, the corporate-capitalist Democratic Party.

Sincerely,

Michael Trudeau
and the undersigned

Letter to
Senator Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senate
US Senator Bernie Sanders
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, has recently declared the United States needs a "political revolution." We agree. And we need Bernie Sanders to support that revolution by running for president in 2016 not as a Democrat or as an independent loner, but with nominations from the largest, most successful, and most active independent left-wing parties in the nation: namely, the Green Party, the Vermont Progressive Party, and perhaps another such as Socialist Alternative.

We understand that a movement for real progressive change requires an electorate that will vote for progress—not for more Democratic neoliberalism (war, corporatization, privatization, austerity)—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, and citizens making demands of government. Voting for progress and demanding it are not mutually exclusive; they must go hand in hand, or progress will not be conceded.

Therefore, we agree that Senator Bernie Sanders must run for president with nominations from the Green Party and the Vermont Progressive Party, and perhaps another left-wing party such as Socialist Alternative, 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 know that a neoliberal 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, his extension of the Bush tax breaks for the 1%, and much, much more. We know that progressive change away from these disastrous policies will not come from inside the Democratic Party, not anytime soon, and not unless the change is forced upon the party from the outside by an infinitely demanding and radical alternative party that threatens to replace it.

Therefore, we petition Senator Bernie Sanders to seek the Green Party and Vermont Progressive Party nominations, and perhaps the nomination of another socialist party. We understand that Bernie Sanders—a US senator with a national following and who has already proven he can garner hundreds of thousands of votes—has a major opportunity 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, Howie Hawkins, Kshama Sawant, Cynthia McKinney, Chris Hedges, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and even Democrats such as those in the organization Progressive Democrats of America in his pursuit of the Green Party nomination.

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 or parties that are independent from the corporate-capitalist Democrats and committed to radical change: the Green Party, the Vermont Progressive Party, and a handful of others.


We understand that we do not challenge the corporate duopoly by joining it. We 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 and left-wing candidates win their elections down-ballot nationwide, helping to build a serious alternative to this two-party stranglehold from the bottom up.


Senator Sanders, thank you very much for receiving our petition. Please inform us of your intent to seek the Green Party nomination and other third-party nominations for president as laid out by us, your possible national constituency. We promise to pledge our support to your campaign if and only if you seek, primarily, the Green nomination as laid out above. If you join the Democratic Party and/or enter its primary, then we will advance your "political revolution" without you by building political institutions that are independent of, rather than dependent on, the corporate-capitalist Democratic Party.