The kind of progressive change as exemplified by the Bernie Sanders campaign will never happen as long as we still have the current electoral system. Bernie decided to run as a Democrat, and that resulted in his getting much more attention than he would have received as an Independent. But it was doomed from the start. It seems clear that the whole system was not going to allow him to succeed.
It seems like maybe there’s some hope in the air. Bernie got his message out quite a bit. And now that he’s out of the running, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President, is getter much more attention, support, and money. But make no mistake, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next President. And when that happens, we’re back to where we were. And four years from now, assuming the Republican candidate isn’t the crass, bigoted jackass we have this time, the amount of attention for Bernie Sanders/Jill Stein type of ideas could easily shrink back.
We need to reform our process, and then and only then will the Revolution get any real traction. We need to get all private money out of campaigns. And I mean all of it. Not only the money from big corporations and PACs and super wealthy individuals, but also the smaller and medium size donations from individuals. Just give each candidate an equal amount of money (with regulations on how it’s spent) from the public coffers. That way nobody has any money advantage. It’s about the candidates and their ideas, not who has the most money.
We need to open things up to all parties. Two parties cannot, have not, and will not ever reflect all of the political ideas of a nation. It’s not enough. We need multi-sided discussions, not dual boxing match contests.
We need to get rid of the entire primary system. Stop stringing them out over months with unmerited attention given to small population states and votes translating into delegates. Have a national primary on one or more consecutive days. Just vote. All together. The highest vote getters in each of several parties become the candidates. Then have the election without the ridiculous Electoral College and its winner take all nonsense. With, say, 4 or 5 candidates, all in the debates, we could then have the election with ranked choice voting. All votes will truly count equally, people can vote for the candidate they like the best, and the final winner will truly be the will of the people. Right now if you think differently than most other people in your state, your vote literally doesn’t count. I don’t understand how that’s acceptable.
Until and unless we have reforms like what I have described, our progress will be much slower than what it could be. Yes, there has been some progress — look at LGBT rights for example — but there’s a lot of other mess still around.
We’ve been putting the cart before the horse. Having a Bernie Sanders run as a Democrat and having so-called “third parties” desperately trying to get attention in our current system is not going to work. The current system is very good at dooming such efforts to failure. All who want a real progressive revolution should drop everything and work to change the electoral system. THEN we’ll have an environment which will allow the revolution to happen.