Bernie Sanders, the one time 2016 Democrat nominee had huge support and almost considered standing as a third party or more specifically an independent candidate. That was considered an option at very short notice. His campaign was already in full swing.
Sanders almost did it. Defying the odds against the establishment he was indeed the left wing anti establishment candidate even though he ran on a Democrat ticket having had concerns about lack of exposure as an independent candidate. It’s worth considering then what he could have achieved with perhaps a few years lead time, building his movement up and gaining grass roots traction. Campaigns do not have to be started just a year prior to an election as we all know.
With Trump now having won the day in the US election it will surely open the flood gates of discussion around democracy and the political system in the USA. So many more people have been invigorated and are aware of anti establishment candidates and third party candidates, it’s almost like someone let the cat out of the bag. Psssttt… you don’t have to limit your vote to the establishment candidates and neither Trump nor Sanders were establishment candidates as we know it. They may have ran on establishment party tickets but both were up against it from the true establishment.
The modern day Labour Party here in the UK began many years ago as a people’s movement and soon became the people’s champion introducing the NHS and social welfare. All political parties have to start somewhere and unless we break the mould of two party systems then we will unlikely escape the clutches of the status quo.
Many people have said that if Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, was ousted now then they would follow him if he started his own party or joined a smaller one. That would instantly become a very large party over night.
If activists across the USA can harness the legacy now left by the Bernie Sanders campaign over the next 4 to 8 years then there is no reason they can’t build a movement that either leads a third party candidate like Jill Stein of the Greens to seriously challenge the Democrats and Republicans or indeed have a populist left wing candidate standing as an independent or forming their own party. It would fit well with the coming debates around a political shift in the country.
Left wing Americans now need to decide on the path forward. Do nothing and expect more of the same in the future or decide collectively on the path of all left wing progressives. Jill Stein or even a new political party or movement and that will require a people’s champion of the highest order.