Bob Mulholland, a member of the Democratic National Committee, is proposing a resolution that will pressure Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME) to run as Democrats in their 2018 re-elections. Sanders and King have previously caucused with the Democratic Party since entering Congress. King officially left the party in 1993 before running for Governor of Maine. Sanders has been an independent since running for Mayor of Burlington in 1981. Many in the party criticize Sanders for maintaining his independent label since he campaigned against Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination for president.
Sanders joined the Democratic leadership as outreach chair in November of 2016, but still considers himself an independent. He recently told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “If the Democratic Party is going to succeed—and I want to see it succeed—it’s going to have to open its door to independents.” He continued, “There are probably more independents in this country than Democrats or Republicans. It has to open its doors to working people and to young people, create a grassroots party. That’s what we need.”
Most in the party believe that Mulholland’s resolution is just a stunt and will be a futile attempt to avoid making the reforms that the party needs to make to court independents. According to recent polls, the number of voters who identify as independents is growing. Forcing independents to toe the line with the Democratic Party will most likely backfire.
Do you think Sanders should be pressured to close ranks with Democrats, or do you think the party should open their doors to independents?