Before I begin, I will go ahead and address the, “Why the hell should we listen to this guy” sentiment most people feel after they’ve been asked to believe a bold declaration or prediction from someone they’ve never heard of. My name is Niko House. I was the president and founder of Carolina Students For Bernie Sanders. I was also the president for NC Colleges for Bernie Sanders. Before the Sanders campaign could afford to hire a state director, I was the acting state director for NC. I am widely regarded as the first person to expose Hillary Clinton’s infiltration into Bernie Sanders campaign, and to expose the Hillary Victory Fund fiasco back in March of 2016. I was the lead researcher into Hillary Clinton’s election corruption at JAMPAC, political superpac created to increase awareness of progressive politicians and media outlets. I’m also one of the architects behind what has been coined as the DNC Fraud Law Suit, and my findings while working for JAMPAC largely contributed to the creation of the suit. So before reading this, understand few people have invested more time, money, and effort into the 2016 primary than myself. Please understand that I am speaking from the position of someone who was emotionally bruised during the Democratic Primary, like many of you reading this right now.
Why am I telling you this?
Bernie Sanders is going to run in 2020. This fact has been all but cemented in stone. It was announced that he met with his team on January 25th. And if that wasn’t enough to strike your curiosity, his son, Levi Sanders, posted on his Facebook page,”Bernard has been taking his vitamins and is seriously considering a run in 2020. And I’m not talking about jogging”. The reason Sanders’ announcement is somewhat problematic is because he is almost certainly going to run as a Democrat in the 2020 primary. Therefore, in this article I want to address the three main contentious schools of thought surrounding Bernie’s anticipated announcement.
First, let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room. Why Bernie? Why did you endorse Hillary Clinton? Why pretend that Russia was ever really a factor in the 2016 presidential election? Why did you get the Syria conflict so terribly wrong? The answer is really another display of Sanders’ known history of complex pragmatism. Thanks to Donna Brazile, we now know what many of us had suspected in 2016 — the Sanders campaign was forced to sign a contract with the Democratic National Committee that outlined several requirements in order for him to run as a democrat. One of those requirements is that he must endorse the candidate that wins the nomination. This has been a long standing history in the Democratic Party, and I doubt they were going to let that change with a Bernie Sanders run — especially with their unpopular queen of hearts vying to be next in line to sit in the Oval Office. I did a video the morning after the Democratic Primary had concluded stating that Bernie Sanders was going to run in 2020. I did a youtube video several months later explaining that he was going to run, and that many of his rhetorical concessions were a result of this possibility. For example, his talk of #russiagate was usually about 10 seconds and then he lamented on about how Russia had nothing to do with the Democrats losing the presidential office in 2016. He has continuously stated that it was the Democrats’ fault.During the Syria conflict, Bernie briefly lambasted Assad for several seconds, and then spent another 2 minutes explaining how the United States should not consider entertaining another international “quagmire”, as many war hawks were attempting to push at the time. If you have been paying attention since 2015, you know that he had more TV time during the height of those two conflicts than he had during the entirety of the Democratic Primary election. If he did not endorse Hillary as agreed, he would never be allowed to run under the Democratic Party again. If he did not at least mention #russiagate, he would have never gotten that television time again. If he did not briefly critique Assad, he would have given the establishment another bomb to lob at him, and could have potentially sacrificed even more media time. It is widely known that one of the main obstacles of the Sanders campaign in 2016 was the lack of media attention his revolutionary run acquired. In my eyes, this was a way to side step that and get in front of the camera early before the Democrats play the blackout game again come 2020.
This brings us to the second “beef” many progressives have with a Sanders 2020 run. Even if everything stated in the last paragraph were true, why would he run as a Democrat after everything they did to assure his failure in the 2016 primary? Or more specifically, why won’t he run as an independent? Let me start by addressing the “start his own third party” crowd. He is 76 years old and will be 78 when he begins his 2020 run. It is incredibly unrealistic to expect him to put his energy into starting an entirely new party. If we want a new party for him to run in, it is the responsibility of the people to create it. But if one is created, it better be viable, which brings me to my next point. No third party has addressed any of the infrastructural issues that have long prevented all third parties from being considered viable in the general elections. Third parties have to spend much of their time getting on ballots. That consumes money and resources that many independent politicians don’t have to spare. Then, when you finally do get on the ballot, you have to somehow convince pollsters, whom choose their own random and purposely unfavorable samples, that you are polling at a minimum of 10% before you can hope to be seen on the debate stage beside the other general election candidates. How can one hope to achieve that specific goal with the media black out that you will deal with compliments of the duopoly? Finally, when you finally arrive to day, you take a peek into a voting location to find that it is being totally ran by either Democrats or Republicans depending on the political leanings of the precinct. There are rarely, if ever, any Green Party, Libertarian Party, or any other third party member running a voting location. Unfortunately, no third party has done much to remedy this reality, and it appears as if that will not change before 2020. Therefore, a third party is just not a viable or realistic option for Bernie Sanders, or ANY candidate, come the 2020 presidential election. Parties are important. But before we can ever hope to get a third party elected to the presidential office, we have to rupture the electoral foundation at its core, BEFORE the election process begins — so that it does not appear that a party or politician is playing political games for exposure. As far as the Democrats attempting to cheat Bernie Sanders, I am absolutely certain that many will try. But let’s look at what had to take place for them to be successful in cheating Sanders in the last primary election. Bernie was unknown by 95% of the country before he ran for president. So the media blackout was extremely effective. Clinton started running 8 years prior to the 2016 primary, putting all of her allies in every position needed to influence the outcome of the election. Clinton’s name recognition was its own force entirely. Clinton used her clout to promise jobs once she got elected, because most of her colleagues considered it a foregone conclusion. She implicated many political elites who needed her to win, or risk being subject to the investigations they are currently dealing with under the Trump administration, due to Clinton’s corrupt political practices. Or, they could have even risked losing out on the promises Clinton made if Bernie Sanders were to take office instead. The Democratic Party members were also much more willing to play ball with the Hillary Campaign because they needed the funding, and they didn’t really have another option (so they thought) at the time who could win office while simultanously galvanizing the big donors. That pretty much covers 2016. Now, what is different about 2020? The Democrats appear to be trying to saturate the race with establishment cronies such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and some other lesser known names. If they do this, they increase the odds of a Bernie Sanders victory. If you include this many people and limit debates, Bernie Sanders is already the most popular canidate in the country — therefore they will need the exposure on the debate stage, not Sanders. If they expand the amount of debates, it has already been well documented that once and undecided voter is exposed to Sanders for the first time, the chances are that he will win them over. Not to mention, he will be given more opportunies to prove how he is a stark contrast from his establishment Democrat competitors. There is no candidate who in this election with Hillary’s clout, therefore all of the Hillary based favorability becomes minimized. If they one more than one minority canidadate, the southern fire wall will be rendered obsolete, considering that the entire purpose of the southern fire wall is to tap into identity politics without actually having to address substantive issues. If the inner city votes are split, Bernie will win the rural votes by a landslide once again, similar to the 2016 primary. As you can see, when analyzed, the differences between 2016’s Democratic Primary and 2020’s is striking, and the establishment candidates haven’t even finished shooting themselves in the foot, as they inevitably do.
Lastly, and in my opinion, most importantly, why hasn’t Bernie addressed election fraud? The short answer is, you may not have been aware of it — but he has. If you look at the picture below, Sanders reached out to Allison Grimes, Secretary of The State Department of Kentucky, and requested a “full and complete check and recanvass of every one of the voting machines and absentee ballots”. If you don’t recall, Kentucky’s election was responsible for the media getting rid of all of the exit polling for the rest of the primary election. But, the point is that most people had no knowledge of this letter. And I can guarentee that this was not the only contest he challenged. Furthermore, he lambasted Debbie Wasserman-Schultz when he learned of her part in rigging the primary process. He laments very clearly that her rigging of the primaries should have resulted in her resignation stating,”I demanded her resignation many months ago”. Somehow, many people do not remember this conversation. However, it is one that has stuck in my mind since I saw it that morning during the Democratic National Convention. No, he did not throw the tantrum many of us would have liked to see. Sanders has never been that type of person or politician. He made his stance very clear, and regrouped so that he could continue to attack the issues afflicting working class citizens.
Bernie Sanders is not the perfect candidate. He is not the perfect human being. We may not even like all of his decisions. But there is no one else in his position that is speaking about universal healthcare at nationally televised town hall meetings. There is no one else telling the media that we need to get out of the middle east and stay out. There is no one else who speaks of ranked choice voting and election reform. And there is without a doubt no one else who has chained themselves to a Black woman in a valient display of courage during the civil rights movement who is still preaching those same values today. There is a difference between picking the lesser of two evils and picking someone with flaws, understanding that they can (and likely will) put experienced progressives at the helm to cover down for his short comings or lack of experience in particular fields of politics. To surmise, it’s time for people to decide if we are going to continue attacking our allies for making one or two decisions we disagree with, or finally start removing our enemies on both sides of the political aisle who present a clear and present danger to the entire world. Hindsight is 2020.
This article was published on medium.com