Bernie Sanders, junior Senator from Vermont and crazed unpasteurized goat cheese guy at your local farmers market, wants to be your President. Despite having the least Presidential persona of anyone running for the White House since Bob La Follette, it’s Bernie Sanders’ positions that make him all but technically unelectable. He would be the definition of “an issue” candidate, except his issue is that the Democratic Party is not the Socialist Party. Simply, he is the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party.
His candidacy really does beg the question, why is he not running atop a third party? Sure, maybe he’s afraid of what happened to Ralph Nader, being remembered as the guy that gave us George W. Bush instead of the guy that gave us seat belts. More importantly, Bernie’s supporters would have the demographics and general ambition of a Grateful Dead concert and he wouldn’t do even as well as Nader, which would be humiliating for a sitting Senator. For a party to hold the White House after 8 years in residence, they must move to the center and appeal to the less ideological, more pragmatic, and generally aged part of the electorate than the coalition that got them there. Even if that commandment is wrong, the Democrats aren’t going to win in 2016 by nominating a registered Independent who has devoted years insulting Democrats. They aren’t going to nominate a self-described socialist. They aren’t going to nominate Bernie Sanders.
However, Bernie might be the most powerful crazy old man in the country. If Bernie Sanders finds himself a billionaire (wouldn’t that be ironic) to pay and organize a third party 50 state ballot campaign, he would nearly guarantee a loss for the Democratic Nominee and a more liberal Democratic Party in 4 years. More likely, he’ll be on stage next to the other Democratic candidates as a means of demonstrating their relative sanity and superior hairstyles.