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Tillett writes: "Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has some advice for the Democratic Party as it begins to face the 2018 midterm elections: 'open up its doors" to party outsiders.'"

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images)


Bernie Sanders Says Democratic Party Needs to "Open Up Its Doors" to Independents

By Emily Tillett, CBS News

13 November 17

 

ermont Senator Bernie Sanders has some advice for the Democratic Party as it begins to face the 2018 midterm elections: "open up its doors" to party outsiders. 

"The truth is that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party today are held in very high esteem by the American people. That's just a fact," Sanders said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

"There are more people now who are Independents than Democrats or Republicans," he said. "So to say to Independents, say to young people who are overwhelmingly Independent, say to working people, 'We don't want you to come into the Democratic Party,' is totally absurd. And it's a recipe for failure."

After a rousing win for Democrats in two highly-anticipated gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Sanders said he was "most excited" about the grassroots campaign that is helping elect a new round of local and state officials.

"You are seeing grassroots activists, people for the very first time, young people, working people, running for state legislature, running for city council, running for school board and winning those elections. And what I have always believed is that the only way we're going to transform this country, the only way we're going to take on the top 1 percent effectively, is when millions of people get involved in the political process," said Sanders. 

Sanders called last week's election a "referendum on Trump," saying "the American people very clearly said, 'No. We're tired of the divisiveness of Trump. We're tired of his policies designed to give tax breaks to billionaires, to throw 20, 30 million people off of health insurance. That's not what we want from an administration. We want real change in this country.'"

He added, "We saw a whole lot of people who had never before been involved in politics getting involved in politics. That is what we have to do. And when we do that, we will have the kind of energy that we need to soundly defeat the right-wing extremism, which is now what the Republican Party is and Donald Trump, as well."

He says now, however, the Democratic Party needs to make some "fundamental changes" as its enters the 2018 elections. 

"We need to do away with the extraordinary number of superdelegates that now exist in the presidential nominating process. We've got to do away with closed primaries. We've got to reform the caucus system to allow everybody to vote. And you need more transparency at the DNC. A lot of money goes through there. People need to know how. We need a 50-state strategy, so that half the states in this country have a Democratic Party, which today, does not exist," said Sanders. 

Sanders, now an Independent, says he's now working hard to "reform" the Democratic Party. 

"I'm working really hard to see that we raise the voter turnout in this country, that we bring people who have given up on the political process into the Democratic Party. That's where we are right now," he said.


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+13 # bread and butter 2017-11-13 15:52
The only argument that could have been made for keeping independents out was when the Democratic Party was the liberal party. Since we no longer have a liberal party, many independents are just liberals who left after decades of being shouted down, and outbid.
 
 
+11 # librarian1984 2017-11-13 17:59
I try not to think of Sanders as a messianic figure, not having much use for messiahs; but he does follow that mold: rejected and vilified by the establishment and those he's trying to help, the old story of a visionary being ridiculed. If we follow him it means change, but to many of us that's a good thing, and in the right direction.

The Clintons have always been slow to respond and apologize, letting problems become much worse, and the condition seems to be contagious. All over the world citizens are rejecting neoliberal austerity and militarism. They go left or they go right, and we are seeing what the new right has to offer: chaos and cruelty.

Sooner or later this Democrat old guard is going down. It's frustrating that instead of being able to focus on Trump and the GOP we have to battle our own party, but they leave us no choice. Are we going to go fascist, let Trump and the GOP dismantle social safety net programs, civil rights and the pursuit of happiness, or will we move with purpose and reason to the left? Sanders is the ONLY politician speaking to our concerns -- healthcare, militarism, justice, wages.

GOP cruelty and ineptitude has been laid bare, and the Ds' ineffectiveness and unwillingness to leave their corporate overlords. Do they care about any of us?

Sanders is so right. I hope this is the beginning of his move on the DP. We've got to get rid of the DINOs if we want to defeat Trump and the GOP.

!Go Bernie!
 
 
+4 # economagic 2017-11-14 09:18
"They go left or they go right, and we are seeing what the new right has to offer: chaos and cruelty."

New right, same as the old right: Rule as opposed to governance, which is to say tyranny.
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2017-11-14 19:00
Quoting librarian1984:
Sanders is the ONLY politician speaking to our concerns -- healthcare, militarism, justice, wages.

GOP cruelty and ineptitude has been laid bare, and the Ds' ineffectiveness and unwillingness to leave their corporate overlords. Do they care about any of us?

Sanders is so right. I hope this is the beginning of his move on the DP. We've got to get rid of the DINOs if we want to defeat Trump and the GOP.

!Go Bernie!

- for your hopeful words, thanks!

to pick a fine point - this is not the "beginning of Sanders move on the DP" - bernie is relentless, ran as a dem, waged a progressive campaign across our continent, debated well, shook pillars at dnc, wrote the dem party platform and now campaigns reasonable and essential party reforms - !Go Bernie! may the wind be at your back
 
 
+6 # CDMR 2017-11-13 19:47
Yes. I am a Green but was a demo. I would come back for the right candidates. I was prohibited from voting Sanders in the 2016 primary.
 
 
+7 # librarian1984 2017-11-14 10:01
Exactly. Progressives have our virtues but we're also intensely forgiving and pretty damn gullible. If the establishment even SPOKE to us it would be a welcome surprise, let alone asking us for our cooperation or input, or actually GIVING us anything.

They're obviously colluding with Big Business to deny us healthcare, livable wages, clean environs. We can pin Katrina victims to D!ck & W, so at whose desk does the Flint buck stop?

The DP has several options. They can stay corporately pure and continue to shrink in size. This implies they don't mind losing. Or they can show us their alternative. Or move left and accept an influx of activist, idealistic, independent young voters. That would be a nightmare for people like Pelosi. I'm excited to see what progressive primary challenges to McCaskill, Feinstein and others accomplish.

We progressives HAVE NO REPRESENTATION and the system is rigged to make sure we never do. The establishment won't move left but the people are desperate. They protect the wealthy from paying into our system at the same time they tell us it's unpatriotic to question our military budget.

WDC values are not our values. Bridges, communities, cities, even states are crumbling under the neglect and looting by the political class.

I will not support the corrupt DP, even with Trump in the mix. I'm not voting for war or fracking or corruption or cruelty or incrementalism.

The DP left US. Come back and get us.
 
 
+5 # tedrey 2017-11-13 21:19
I'm sure if the Democratic Party doesn't listen to Bernie Sanders, he will leave that party taking thousands with him. If Trump then insists on trying to stay on against Republican hierarchy wishes, that may lead to at least a three- or four-party election. Interesting times ahead.
 
 
-13 # katela 2017-11-13 23:13
Absolutely not! You want to be Independent. Form your own damn party. Leave mind alone now that you put the Orange Pimple in the White House.
 
 
+5 # librarian1984 2017-11-14 10:08
His supporters want him to do just that, and he would take MILLIONS.

The reason he stays with the people who cheated him and continue to abuse him is that he does not want to act as a spoiler. Indeed, if he left you'd start yelling about just that.

No one gave us Trump more than Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

You have everything bassackwards.
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2017-11-14 19:49
I think there is more one reason he stays. He is playing a long game. Even though the national party is hopeless right now, he is recruiting real progressives to run on the state and local level across the country and the DNC is paying for his travel because he is the outreach director. A lot of these folks will win and will eventually run for congressmen, senator, governor, etc and remake the party from the ground up. This should work in the long run, but there is no guarantee that it will bear fruit by 2020 which I find very frustrating.

There is also the reason he gave when decided to run as a Dem. in '16. The Democratic Party has a 50 state infrastructure. It already has offices everywhere. And it has experienced people across the country who know how to GOTV. There is no current 3rd party that can offer this and it would be prohibitively expensive to recreate it. Running for president without it really can't succeed even with a perfect platform by progressive standards.
 
 
+8 # stevee19304@gmail.com 2017-11-13 23:52
We should push for Instant Runoff Voting so we can vote FOR who we want to win instead of AGAINST who we want to lose.
 
 
+6 # Wise woman 2017-11-14 03:29
I think Bernies strategy is to see if he can keep the DP from failing. Starting a new party is difficult and he knows that. As an independent who has always caucused with the dems, he wants to bring other independents along to an already established party. The only problem is, what to do about their ties to Wall Street and the corporations? Breaking that up will be a huuuuuge job.
 
 
+1 # economagic 2017-11-14 06:35
Is it conceivable that if "progressives" were able to take over the "Democratic" party to a degree sufficient to thwart the anti-democratic (and anti-republican ) mania of the "Republican" party, they could at some point pass laws to eliminate the barriers to ballot access that exist in most states that serve to maintain the duopoly? If so, would that lead to more democracy, or might it lead to tyranny or chaos?
 
 
0 # tedrey 2017-11-14 16:08
Worth the try.
 
 
+3 # hectormaria 2017-11-14 08:04
It depends on who these independents are and their reason for joining the party: is it to grow the tent or to tear down the tent? The party thought it was growing the tent and gave the Blue Dogs too much decisional power on party political positions, the results were disastrous in my opinion.
 
 
+3 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-11-14 15:51
THANK YOU Senator Sanders. We will never give up.
 

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