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Trump Card: Well-Funded Third Party Candidacy Gives Democrats The Chance to Win With the Candidate They Really Want
A Donald Trump Third-Party Candidacy Would Give Democrats No Reason Not to Nominate Bernie Sanders
Democrats Should Seize the Opportunity to be Bold
Donald Trump has proven to be the big wild card of the current presidential election cycle. The bombastic real estate and reality TV mogul has taken the political scene by storm and broken all the rules. Thus far, in seeking the Republican nomination, he has alienated his fellow GOP candidates, Hispanics, supporters of military P.O.W.s, and anyone who wants a bit of decorum in their politicking. Amazingly, Trump has ascended in the polls rather than crashing and burning. Even mocking U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and famous Vietnam War P.O.W., has not stopped the Donald. Despite intense backlash from everywhere, voters who support Trump in the polls continue to support him.
With the Republican Party begging him to simmer down, Donald Trump is now threatening a third-party run for president if he does not clinch the GOP nomination. This is important news, and it hands a permanent advantage to the Democrats. If Trump fails to win the Republican nomination, which is almost certain, his independent candidacy could split the conservative vote in the general election and give Democrats an easy road to the White House.
It also gives Democrats the opportunity to do something meaningful, something bold, and something that America needs: Nominate Bernie Sanders.
Thus far, the only criticism of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that sticks is that he would be weak in the general election. Despite being a news junkie, the only real support of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic pre-primaries that I can find appears to be based on her viability as a general election candidate. Aside from a bit of support for simply being a woman, Clinton remains the Democratic frontrunner only because she has universal name recognition and is seen as a "safe choice." As a moderate with a powerful last name and a Rolodex full of who's-who-in-American-politics, Clinton is a solid, but uninspired, choice for Democratic nominee. "We love Bernie Sanders, but only Clinton can possibly win next November," is the gist of countless political commentators.
Mainstream Democrats are scared and are playing it safe, going for a bunt rather than swinging for a home run. Everyone wants Bernie Sanders, but few are willing to risk bold maneuvers like nominating a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist. Despite a pervasive fear among traditional Democrats of supporting a true progressive, the unprecedented public support for Sanders reveals how much middle America needs Sanders. Finally, voters are breaking free from the grade-school brainwashing that says "socialism" is a dirty word and are overcoming the fear of demanding anything beyond incremental change.
Democrats want bold solutions, real solutions, and want them now - before our economy is crippled, our infrastructure has crumbled, and global warming has damaged our agriculture and coastlines. But, not yet bold enough to support a progressive like Bernie Sanders, they sigh and dutifully raise their hands in support of Hillary Clinton. They adhere to the conventional wisdom that a Democratic Socialist could never beat the Republican nominee in a general election matchup.
Well, Bernie Sanders could actually defeat any Republican nominee more easily than could Hillary Clinton. I have explained before how Sanders is the best general election candidate for the Democrats, but I doubt many pundits took those reasons to heart. Even supposedly-intelligent political strategists cling to the wrongheaded notion that Hillary Clinton is the better choice for Democratic nominee.
But even stick-in-the-mud strategists must acknowledge that an independent Donald Trump candidacy would siphon off enough Republican votes to allow the Democrats' dream candidate, Bernie Sanders, to win the White House. Those of us who support Sanders know that he can win the election even in the absence of a Trump candidacy, but such a candidacy would remove any reason for the rest of the rank-and-file Democrats to avoid embracing Bernie. Since all Democrats want Bernie Sanders, rather than Hillary Clinton, in the White House, they must do everything they can to make sure a well-funded third party candidacy by Donald Trump happens.
Heck, I might even donate to Trump's coffers, as scary as that sounds!