Categorized | News, Opinion


I found this curious article about what if Hillary Clinton does not run for the White House.

Unless her health (or perhaps Bill’s health) forbids it, Hillary will run and if she runs, she’ll be nominated for the Democratic nomination (but she won’t win, I think!  If I had to call the election today – Senator Rand Paul wins over her in a close call) in 2016.

But this is very interesting to conservatives like me who like third parties:

Bernie Sanders: In an interview with the Nation earlier this month, the self-avowed socialist senator made clear he is dead serious about running for president. “I am prepared to run for president of the United States,” Sanders said. Sanders’s candidacy would be fascinating if ultimately doomed to the margins of the race.

Now I admire the openly socialist independent candidate who I call “Cousin Bernie” – I have absolutely no evidence we are related although it would be cool, if we were!  I would love to have a button that says “SANDERS for PRESIDENT”, and scare my friends!  And I admire the Green Party candidate for President the last two elections:  Dr. Jill Stein (although I disagree with most of her statist solutions to national problems) Stein is articulate and passionate.

Here is an unofficial Sanders for President FB page.  Here’s Cousin Bernie’s basic platform at the Daily Caller:

“What it means is that we have a lot to learn from democratic socialist governments that have existed in countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, where all people have healthcare as a right,” Sanders explained when asked by O’Reilly what it means to be a socialist.  ”Where higher education is free. Where they have strong childcare program. Where they don’t have the massive type of income and wealth inequality that we have in the United States of America.”

And Cousin Bernie intends to redistribute the wealth by taxing the rich:

In Sanders’ socialist America, the tax rate on America’s wealthy “will be more than it is right now,” though Sanders refused to specify exactly how much higher.

Typical statist stuff.  But what is the Greens ran Sanders?  A sitting Senator might be hard to keep out of the Presidential Debates.  It would definitely open up the political process.  And wouldn’t you like to see in those debates Cousin Bernie have to defend that view to say Rand Paul?
Of course there is the cynical view – split the opponent’s vote and you win.  But that is going to be the plan of the Dems – help Libertarians and maybe Constitution Party candidate split the GOP vote.  So we have the right to do it too.  And my intentions are somewhat purer than theirs!  I do want to open the political system.
Here is the Nation article where Sanders does not mention the Green Party at all except its 2000 candidate, Ralph Nader:

On the other hand, given the nature of the political system, given the nature of media in America, it would be much more difficult to get adequate coverage from the mainstream media running outside of the two-party system. It would certainly be very hard if not impossible to get into debates. It would require building an entire political infrastructure outside of the two-party system: to get on the ballot, to do all the things that would be required for a serious campaign.

The question that you asked is extremely important, it requires a whole lot of discussion. It’s one that I have not answered yet.


If you look back to Nader’s candidacy [in 2000], the hope of Nader was not just that he might be elected president but that he would create a strong third party. Nader was a very strong candidate, very smart, very articulate. But the strong third-party did not emerge. The fact is that is very difficult to do.

Here is also a on-line petition urging Sanders to run as a Green (Don’t sign it for cynical reasons – let the Greens and their sympathizers sign it) and here’s a rhetoric sample:

Thus, we progressives petition Senator Bernie Sanders to immediately 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 a third US political party vote by vote and percentage point by percentage point.

The Greens were on the ballot in enough states in 2012 to theoretically win 444 electoral votes (If the Greens ever win 444 electoral votes it is time for me to blog on permanent location from Chile!) according to Wikipedia.  That is a decent November turnout.

So if Sanders ran as a Green and former Governor Gary Johnson ran as the Libertarian, we would have a unprecedented election with four solid candidates for the highest office in the land.  An election to be excited about.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Justin says:

    It’s too bad the electoral system doesn’t allow the Greens, Libertarians and Constitution Party to run in an open, proportional representation system with equal access to the media. So damn tired of the Reublicrats & Democans passing the Constitution-cutting scissors to each other while getting ever-enmeshed in overseas conflicts. Maybe left, right and center populists need to support one platform, once, to change the fundamental election process so we can all live in a fairer, competitive political climate. How is it that nations with many fewer people are represented by multiple parties? Why can’t we Americans? (Rhetorical question)

    • Sandy Sanders

      Proportional Representation has it’s own issues, too – most European nations have it and some end up with splintered parties that have a difficult time forming electoral coalitions. Some like Germany have a limit that parties have to reach to get into the parliament.

      But I agree, Justin, with the sentiment but I am not sure it would produce a better political system. You have to find a spot, a party to support, and work at it. I still consider myself a Republican but I admit I have some sympathies with the Libertarians.




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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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