The Montclair-based national secretary of the Socialist Party is no longer a big Bernie Sanders fan, his enthusiasm for the Vermont presidential candidate diminishing when the former mayor of Burlington gave up his socialist designation and began a long slow trudge into the arms of the Democratic Party, a journey showcased by his dogged search for the Democratic nomination.
Greg Pason told PolitickerNJ that “Bernie is not a bad guy,” but the Socialist Party is independent, and Sanders bungled his chance to shine as a party member when he threw in with the Democrats, a quixotic and hellish union that can only result in the Democratic machine running over and ruining Sanders in the end, Pason unhappily surmises.
The socialist acknowledges that the movement is broad in the United States, absorbing under its umbrella people with loyalties running everywhere from Stalinists to progressive Democrats. But by seeking the Democratic nomination, Sanders “is taking energy away from the movement” and weakening the socialist cause.
“He’s feeding people into a party that can’t represent what he supports,” Pason said. “It’s not going to happen because people like her [Sanders’s arch-rival Hillary Clinton] are taking from for profit-insurance companies. I’m disappointed that he is bringing energy into that party.
“I’m not not looking forward to him losing, but there will be a big vacuum once the machine deals with him,” the socialist party member added. “This is a candidate [Clinton] who could have run on a slate with Bush.”
Pason wants to maintain what he sees as the integrity of his party; a task Sanders didn’t prove up to when he left the Liberty Union Party after having served as an openly socialist mayor.
Even in the House, he was still independent.
But somewhere along the way, “He made deal with the Vermont Democratic Party that they would withdraw their candidates against him. They always ran against him.”
Strategically, Sanders has no way of carrying his candidacy forward with Democrats. “If Bernie gets the nomination, he will be fighting Democrats and Republicans,” Pason said. “And if he doesn’t, sadly he will feed those issues to Hillary Clinton.”