Time for an Independent Party
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21445
More than in most presidential cycles, there is reason to hope for a mass breakaway in 2016. Sanders' campaign has revealed that a mass base exists now for an independent party of the left.
For decades, public opinion polling has shown majority support for policies like universal public health insurance, fair trade, higher minimum wages, paid family leave, expanded Social Security benefits, Wall Street regulation, renewable energy, infrastructure spending, public campaign finance and progressive taxation. Sanders' campaign has now demonstrated that millions of people will vote for a candidate advocating a progressive economic policy platform.
The campaign is helping this quiet majority find its voice in the electoral arena, especially among its younger cohorts, which bodes well for the future. Sanders' campaign has also revealed that the 99% has the capacity and willingness to fund the campaign with small contributions from millions of people at a scale sufficient to compete with the big contributions of the 1%.
Sanders has not raised as much as the corporate-funded candidates when SuperPAC and 501c4 "dark money" funds are included. But it is enough to reach to the voters with a ground war of field organizing and a sizable air war of campaign ads.
The people and the money are there. The question for the independent left is how to draw this base out of the Democratic Party.