What happens if Bernie Sanders doesn’t win?

If you are one of the many Berniephiles who has been wondering – either aloud and in public, or privately to yourself – what you might do if Bernie doesn’t’ win; if you are one who has considered writing in Bernie’s name on your primary election ballot if Hillary Clinton should happen to win the Democratic presidential nomination; or if you are even considering just sitting out the general election entirely, should Hillary be running against the Republican nominee instead of Bernie, then I have a word for you:

Stop.  Please just stop.

Pause for a few moments to consider the utter absurdity of the situation:  Here we are, more than a month before the first head counts will be conducted in the Iowa Caucus…already gaming out our possible moves for a Plan B…when we haven’t yet even implemented Plan A – not by a long shot.

Folks, I mean this in the most kindly, constructive way, when I tell you that we simply can’t afford to take our eyes off the ball in this manner.  We are very much on the way to forming an historic movement that will win the Democratic nomination for Bernie, will elect Bernie Sanders as president, will sweep away much of the corruption and political sabotage that afflicts America, and will ultimately transform this country.  Every ounce of energy devoted to speculation about ‘what happens if it doesn’t work out’, every moment of attention devoted to considering the alternatives ‘if Bernie doesn’t win’ not only distracts focus from our all-important mission, it actively undermines our efforts to achieve that mission at all!

From every direction, we are besieged with messages of doubt and despair – by a corporate news media driving the obsessive drumbeat of “Bernie can’t win”; by a corrupt Democratic Party Establishment that is throwing every roadblock into our path that it can; by a Clinton campaign that is, once again, pulling out all the stops to persuade us of Hillary’s “inevitability”, we are being encouraged to “wake up”, give up, let it go, and “face reality”.  Why exactly is this the case?  Why are each of these centers of Establishment power so eager to convince us that we can’t win?  You know the answer:  It’s because they know we CAN win.  They know that if we are united and if we are determined, then we WILL win.  And they know that the only hope they have of beating us…is to convince us to beat ourselves!

Progressives “of a certain generation” have literally lived through decades of disappointment and disillusionment – from the Camelot era of JFK that came to an abrupt and tragic end, to the promise of progressive reform that died that June night in Los Angeles with RFK, to Nixon’s election in 1968, Nixon’s landslide reelection in 1972, and many, many occasions ever since.  Understandably, a certain fatalism and cynicism has taken deep root among some of us – a fatalism and cynicism that the Establishment has long nurtured and cultivated, and often used against us, with devastating consequences.  That attitude must change, and it must change now.  With respect to this needed mental discipline, our comrades among Bernie’s Millennial supporters can be most helpful.  Those of us who have become discouraged and jaded can renew our spirits with their optimism and their energy.

My friends: Winning doesn’t come about by, in essence, saying to ourselves, ‘Well, I’ll try...but if it doesn’t work out, at least I’ll have other options.’  Winning doesn’t come to pass by working for the win, yet preparing for defeat, ‘just in case’.  Because such timid, insecure approaches carry within them the seeds of their own defeat.  They actually promote defeat.

Victory comes when we program ourselves for victory – and that means willing victory into existence, by any means necessary, no matter what it takes.  Victory requires complete commitment and absolute determination.  Victory leaves no room for doubt, no room for fear, no time or energy for laying alternate plans.  Period.

If we actually, truly, genuinely want to bring to pass the political revolution for which Bernie Sanders has called, then we have it within our power to do so: No more wasted time or wasted energy preparing for contingencies that need never arise.  Ultimately it starts, and ends, with the will that is within us – within our own hearts, and within our own minds.  That is the actual battleground on which the fight for our political revolution must, and will, be won.

45 Replies to “What happens if Bernie Sanders doesn’t win?”

    1. No, it is a horrible stand to take. To advocate letting debbie, hillary and her wallstreet and corporate sponsors decide for us who the nominee is. This is not a threat, but a promise: If hillary steals the nomination, she will lose. So, hillary and debbie need to endorse Bernie because in the polls he BLOWS AWAY the GOP candidates – hillary doesn’t.

      I don’t think hillary will finish the race: the lawsuit over the dnc voter data breach, the questions about voter fraud in her campaign and her missing campaign lawyer, the FBI investigation of her emails, and the congressional hearings on Benghazi. ONE of these will bring her down. She is not electable and the party needs to wake up and accept that.

      1. she actually seems to be weakening. Saw her on TV last night and she just looked drained almost sickly, talking about Donny and his bully tactics. Sanders is lucky to be hovering under the radar. After his nomination it’s gonna get weird….but he’ll get through it, and win.

      2. And it’s not like the name Clinton doesn’t start the right-wingers to frothing at the gums ( I’d say teeth, but most are in the denture years )

      3. I guess you don’t know what she said in 08 after President Obama had the nomination locked down. When asked why she wouldn’t end her campaign what she said, and I have no exact quote, was that Bobby Kennedy was shot in June. Yes she used the murder of Bobby Kennedy as a reason to stay in the race. Not sure if she was just being a cold bitch, hoped the same fate for Obama or what the hell that was supposed to mean. But I believe there is no way she will drop out under any circumstance

  1. Unlike nearly every other U.S. politician, Senator Sanders refuses to jump on board the gravy train. He will get my monthly donations UNTIL he is no longer running for the office of President of the United States.

    1. Alert! That’s exactly the kind of statement we are being warned to avoid. The only way he will no longer be running is when he becomes President.

      1. I think Giantsfan may have meant that once hes done running, he will be in the WH..and monthly donations wont be needed anymore.

        ” he is no longer running for the office of President of the United States.”

  2. I’m not worried about him not winning, but I am worried that Clinton will pull a Bush and use her wealth to commit election fraud and we won’t know that Bernie really won… I’ve looked at the real numbers, ignored the land-line polls, she won’t win, but that doesn’t mean the DNC won’t just tell us she won anyway. So what do we do then? Surely that cannot be the same as setting up for a failure or focusing on a plan B?

    1. Don’t be too complacent about a win, Andrew. It will be a lot of very hard work. Nothing is guaranteed.

      As for election fraud, we cross that bridge if/when we come to it. If we succeed in building a movement that wins so overwhelmingly at the polls that Bernie’s win cannot be denied, the DNC will not be able to steal the election, at least not through stealth and subterfuge. Were they to try, they would have a massive, full-scale revolt on their hands – and they know it. It would be 1968 all over again…though this time with the progressive candidate capturing the nomination – not the Establishment candidate.

      If the outcome is close and Bernie wins by only a small margin, it becomes much easier for the DNC to cheat and get away with it. That’s where the legal challenges come in. Rest assured that Bernie’s lawyers will be watching the election results like a hawk, ready to pounce the moment anything sleazy appears to be going down.

      We will be fighting an uphill battle all the way, no doubt about it. But even uphill battles can be won. You just need extra stamina…and extra force!

  3. My problem has been with establishment Democrats, who, most times when I post something on social media in support of Bernie, come at with me with all of this “unelectable” garbage.

    1. And that is exactly what it is: garbage. Clinton and the Republicans are terrified of Bernie. The corporations (and the media they own) are terrified of him; the banks, big pharma, big insurance, etc. are terrified of his being our president. When people say he’s “un-electable”, or Hillary’s the “front-runner” to me, I just smile and refer to the iceberg as representing Bernie’s supporters: You see the tip of the iceberg. The main part is under water. That’s what we’ll see in this next election: All the millennials and older people like me, who are sick and tired of the status quo. 🙂 They tell you that he can’t really accomplish what he’s talking about, and even Bernie has said that there would be huge obstacles–like Congress–that would prevent our seeing these things we would like to see. What Big Corps fear is that the ideas will take root, no matter what, and these things will come to pass some day, whether they like it or not.

      1. well said, excellent in fact, i hope you post that in face book and in all groups and blogs.. he is not ur average candidate like shilllary and the rest, that is why they fear, fear fear.. and we all know he will win, no matter what hillary camp does.. even Karma and Anonymous are with us, so yes shillary the force is with us. BTW did you all know that the guy I cant remember if director or other, made a huge donation to hillary the day before the debate thus she had to say whatever silly thing she said, it is all about her propaganda, paying back to all the corporate elitists of this country – cant stand her, then she compares herself with our abuelas, that is the tip of the iceberg, i cant any longer see her face or listen or read to anything about her, i am boycotting her, and just will post on BErnie, #BERNIEORBURST

      2. Bernie explained exactly how we get congress to behave like representatives of the people: He will go to the districts of obstructionists, conduct the giant rallies that we see he gets, and name the obstructionist(s) to the people of that very district. And don’t those reps constituency service office workers love those phones ringing off the wall with mad voters.! Boy howdy.! As President the media goes to where the President is, whether it’s to the media’s liking or not.

    2. Remember that a great many of them are paid, toward the end of discouraging you. Your job is to be the adult in the room, and calmly explain why what they’re saying isn’t true. Don’t seek to win fights, seek to promote truth.

  4. What a great recitation of the seeds of despair which for some have grown to be an unpleasant yet familiar hiding place from putting our energy and hearts out there again to be broken again. I appreciate that you understand that. I hoped again in 2008 and, while my heart has not been broken exactly, it certainly has not enjoyed the fulfillment of the hopes of those two elections. I feel about Bernie Sanders the way I felt about RFK, not just hopeful — hopeful with confidence. I’m in. Feelin’ the Bern!!

  5. Most of us understand that debbie, hillary and her wallstreet and corporate sponsors have taken over OUR political process. UNLESS WE ACT NOW, hillary will be the nominee. Voting, unfortunately, is NOT enough. I don’t understand why this is not totally clear to some who insist that we just let things be. Take the Bernie or Bust pledge now: http://citizensagainstplutocracy.org/

    If we want to talk about the lesser of two evils, let’s talk about hillary and trump. there are far far worse things than a trump presidency. for example, a hillary one. if we vote for hillary, we would be sending the message that we are OK with debbie, hillary and her wallstreet and corporate sponsors manipulating and controlling OUR political process – that we are OK with THEM deciding who OUR nominee will be. That is the worst of ALL evils. Then, we have become theirs – we’ve handed over our freedom and our will as free people. NO, I say. NEVER. I don’t care if ‘my party wins’. I care if the American people win. We need to get our allegiances right. AFTER ALL, Bernie is an independent. So, if he wins, the democratic party loses and the American people win.

    If you think we should do nothing and let things ‘just happen’ then you are OK with debbie, hillary and her wallstreet and corporate sponsors deciding FOR YOU who the nominee is. IF you think we need to TAKE ACTION NOW, then you think WE SHOULD DECIDE who the nominee will be. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. Those are the two choices. To pretend that nothing is wrong means that you support hillary. The Bernie or Bust pledge is leverage. It stops the internal wheels of the dnc possessed by a self-serving woman with the power of wallstreet and corporations behind her. And, the devious actions of another woman hell bent on becoming part of the oligarchy. We have our self-determination as a free people at stake. Nothing less. This is the apex of the crisis. All that follows from here depends on what happens now. This is no unremarkable election. it is the final move that will decide our path. Make no mistake about it. Have some courage and think for yourself. Take the Bernie or Bust pledge now: http://citizensagainstplutocracy.org/

    So, YOU STOP, and think about what you are saying. It seems you are fine with the way things are and you trust the system to get it right. How absurd is that? This is what this whole election is about. The republicans have rejected the ‘heir-apparent’ bush. And they are right. They have said that we will not tolerate being told who our nominee will be. And we should be doing the same.


  6. Instead you need to ask WHAT HAPPENS WHEN $HILLARY DOESN’T WIN? Because she’s not going to win, Bernie Sanders will win the election and he will beat any Republican no matter who they nominate. And he will beat them by a landslide, and gain more seats in both the House and Senate, and even gain more governors. Why? Simple, he has the support of half the Democrats for now, once he’s nominated the others who are sheeple will follow, and he also has the support of most Independents, an ever growing following of thousands of Fed Up Republicans, and new voter [Millennials], and Bernie has even managed to inspire the 61% of Americans who are normally non-voters and they too are registering in record numbers as Democrats to vote for Bernie in the Primaries. And when he wins and I’m sure he will, with new seats in the House and Senate we will see real change, he will appoint real honest clean candidates for the Supreme Court.

  7. As one of the “voters of a certain generation”, I remember walking home from high school in Arlington VA through a haze of tears, after the principal announced the death of our President, and sent everyone home. It’s been many decades since anyone captured the imagination the way JFK had. Now, we have Bernie. We have someone who’s singing our song, speaking to our thoughts, and why, oh, why, would we ever listen to those who would whisper negative words into our ears? Especially when they have nothing to offer? Nothing to challenge us with, no reason to look ahead, and no way forward? I can speak only for myself; maybe it’s my diy personality, but I still want to be part of my own government. The whispers in my ears said mentioned nothing about that. Bernie didn’t whisper. He speaks out loud. I will listen, I will vote, for the one who speaks out loud.

  8. Nader got it right many years ago…Democrats & Republicans…One party wearing two-different suits. Bernie is an FDR Democrat, not a Hillary moderate Republican.

  9. I disagree with some of these arguments, simply because the idea of masses of Bernie supporters stating their refusal to vote for Hillary could be the difference in the primaries. Why? Because fence-sitters and Hillary-leaners might very well decide to vote for Bernie if they believed that he could win the general election and Hillary probably cannot. There are two reasons to believe this: 1) Bernie does better in polling versus the republicans; and 2) so many Bernie supporters will refuse to vote for Clinton in the general election.

  10. he will win.. we have to continue with that in mind and dont let the shillary trolls and polls and paid media tells us different ; they have for a long time tell people what to say how to think, what to think, to do, etc.. no more, #BERNIEORBURST he will win

  11. #BernieOrBust

    I will not vote for a candidate that I do not support. When people do this, it’s easy to see why things never change.

    If you all want to support a candidate that has been hand picked by corporations, that’s on you. If Clinton doesn’t beat the Republicans because some of us are writing in Bernie Sanders instead of voting for a candidate who is being forced on us, that’s also on you. YOU will be the ones who have brought this on yourselves. Don’t lecture us on giving up the election to the Republicans. WE are telling you that we WILL NOT SUPPORT HER with plenty of time to make sure that we can nominate a candidate that all of us can get behind.

    Hillary Clinton is a moderate Republican in liberal progressive packaging.

    Just during this election cycle she’s received more money from the health care industry than did the top 3 Republicans – COMBINED.

    She is against a single-payer health care system. She does not want to get corporate money out of politics. She wants us to believe that reigning in the greed and wrecklessness of Wallstreet can be accomplished by telling them to “cut it out”. She recently said in Iowa that she would CLOSE any school that performs below average when instead she should be looking for a way to FIX them.

    The American people don’t trust her. Even if Bernie supporters bit the bullet and voted for her, she STILL MIGHT NOT WIN. SHE is the unelectable candidate. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Bernie beating Trump by 13 points.

    If you’re so worried about the appointment of new Supreme Court Justices, you’ll make sure a REAL progressive, like Bernie Sanders, is the one to appoint them. Imagine the strides that could be made when one of the most rarest of occurrences actually occurs – an ethical and honest politician appointing an ethical and honest SCOTUS.

    She’s bought and paid for by big money from corporate America. Her biggest contributors are Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.

    She does not represent me or you. She represents corporate America and she will NEVER have my support.


  12. The contingency plans are to counter measure the dirty tricks that will surely keep coming from our ‘duly’ elected representatives currently occupying offices and positions the electorate no longer support. The Bernie or bust pledge is to inform the delegates party malfeasance wont fly this time

  13. You don’t understand, Michael Kniat. We’re sending a message to the DNC and the super-delegates that they had best stop using un-democratic tactics to thwart the will of the people if they want to win the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. That IS part of plan A, not part of plan B. The DNC and super-delegates need to know this BEFORE the nomination, because this is an important part of the reform process. Bernie has spoken about the need for a larger progressive revolution than just getting him elected. This is part of that larger revolution. Bernie may need to act within the confines of supporting whatever Democrat gets nominated, but he is under constraints that the rest of us are not. We have the power to punish the Democratic Party with losing elections, if they refuse to be properly democratic. They need to know that.

  14. Disagree with the analysis. It is important for the Democratic establishment to know, right now, that Sanders supporters aren’t going to crawl meekly into line if they nominate Clinton.

  15. Do YOU think Hillary is talking about what to do if Bernie wins? How sad, lets get though the primaries then talk. Looser’s always lose.

  16. The whole world is in a revolution! The fight is not between countries, ethnic groups or religious bodies but with huge corporations, the super rich and the politicians that serve them. It is people versus money, humanism versus materialism, values versus profits. America has become an oligarchy where only the rich and powerful have a say in government and ordinary people are ignored or abandoned. Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate willing and able to address these problems. This is the most critical election in our history and our very survival as a democracy is at stake! We have to fight back against corporate greed and regain our influence as a people for determing what happens in our country! Please support Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary elections

  17. The problem is it’s NOT just Hillary’s propaganda machine arguing that Bernie’s going to lose. It’s highly intelligent skeptics about a rigged electoral system, like Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader or the Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford. I’m strongly influenced by their view that the Democratic Party’s corporate masters WON’T let Bernie win because it damages their interests too severely. Hillary has a huge initial advantage in name recognition, funding, and party establishment support, which Bernie could possibly overcome in a fair fight–but the DNC and mainstream media are proving skeptics right by doing EVERTHING to squelch a fair fight. Though I support Bernie, it’s impossible to turn my mind off to the reasoned arguments–supported by accumulating daily evidence–of such intelligent skeptics. I think we need a reject-Hillary strategy (1) to pressure Democrat endorsers to switch to Bernie or risk losing the presidency and (2) to keep some leverage alive for Bernie’s revolution should he lose the nomination. I think that strategy is the most rational for those who plan based on assessing probabilities. The probabilities do NOT favor Bernie.

  18. Just a word of warning: The new ads put out against Hillary is because the status quo are scared. Karl Rove wouldn’t be making millions anymore.

  19. If Bernie noes not win the Democratic nomination it will not matter who is POTUS the results will be exactly the same for the 99% who basically will get screwed in the end. The Grand Experiment will have failed, democracy will pretty much no longer exist in this country, America will officially be a fascist oligarchy. The best thing one can do is get off the grid, protect those you care about as best you can and be prepared for at a first a slow collapse of society which will quickly get worse. It will get ugly, very ugly fast. Those who are unprepared or can’t wrap their heads around it will be victims, there will be many victims. People best prepare now before it is too late.

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