It’s no secret that Bernie Sanders supporters are not happy with the Democratic Party establishment. From the moment it became apparent to them that the party was playing favorites in the primaries to help Hillary Clinton beat Sanders, Bernie’s supporters felt slighted. Then came all the Podesta emails from WikiLeaks, and the fact that the Democratic National Committee, then led by Clinton associate, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, was actively working with The Clinton team to defeat Sanders became more than just wild speculation. There was proof, at least in the eyes of Bernie’s supporters.
And it’s not as if they don’t have a point. According to ABC News, Wasserman-Schultz in one email called the Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver a “liar” over disputes about supposed “violence” that the DNC claimed was perpetrated by Sanders supporters at the Nevada State Democratic convention. No proof of any violence having occurred has ever come to light. Which makes sense, since DNC party insiders were apparently involved in crafting damaging narratives against Bernie Sanders in multiple instances, including in an email from DNC National Secretary, Mark Paustenbach.
“Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” Paustenbach wrote in an email to National Communications Director Luis Miranda on May 21.
“It’s not a DNC conspiracy it’s because they never had their act together.”
Another email from Brad Marshall, the DNC’s chief financial officer, suggests using Bernie Sander’s apparent atheism against him.
“It may make no difference but for KY and WA can we get someone to ask his belief,” Marshall wrote.
“He had skated on having a Jewish heritage. I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Then came the eve of the California primary. Sanders was still running, and it was the most delegate-rich state of the contest. According to Democracy Now, the night prior to the California primary, the Associated Press reported that Clinton had clinched the nomination over Bernie Sanders based on superdelegate totals, even though superdelegates would not be casting their votes until the national convention months later. Many Sanders supporters described this as a media “psy-op” designed to negatively impact Sanders in the California primary. Due to evidence of major media collusion with the DNC, it was assumed by many Bernie supporters that the DNC played a role in making it happen.
This brings us, after a long string of events that includes Donald Trump winning the election against Hillary Clinton, to this past weekend. Democratic Party insiders gathered in Atlanta to decide who would be the next chairman of the DNC. Bernie Sanders had endorsed progressive congressman, Keith Ellison. Several weeks later, the party establishment found their own choice in former Barack Obama labor secretary, Tom Perez. According to Free Beacon, Tom Perez sent an email to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta about Bernie Sanders on February 5, 2016, in which he dismissed Bernie supporters as “young white liberals.”
The Democratic Party’s insider-friendly strategy failed, we now have President Trump and a GOP-controlled House and Senate, and many Sanders supporters feel that the Democratic Party establishment is dead-set on making sure the “revolution” spurred by the Sanders campaign does not take the reins of the party. So Sanders supporters are talking amongst themselves about what they need to do next.
Some feel that the best strategy is to take Bernie’s advice and continue trying to change the Democratic Party at the grassroots level. Sam Ronan, arguably the most progressive of the candidates for DNC chair, but who received no votes from the party insiders who decided, is one of them. According to a previous Inquisitr article, Ronan believes the skeletal structure of the Democratic Party is salvageable and provides a necessary framework for winning future elections.
It’s true that to start a new party from scratch or join the Green Party places Bernie Sanders supporters at quite a logistical disadvantage. But some of them see it as a necessary path. They see the Democratic Party as completely at odds with what they feel needs to be accomplished, that trying to “save” it will only result in failed attempts, frustration, and time wasted.
It’s a tough decision, and it’s possible there’s a middle path: to try and form new third parties or strengthen the Greens but also attempt to infiltrate the Democratic Party at the grassroots level and run primary challengers against incumbents and other establishment-friendly candidates. There can be multiple strategies, one might argue, and not everyone needs to be on the exact same page all the time. According to Mother Jones, Bernie’s position is the same as it’s been: for his supporters to continue to work on improving their future.
“Those of you who attended rallies or town hall meetings: keep showing up, keep calling Congress, and continue to fight,” Bernie Sanders said during his response to Donald Trump’s speech before congress.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]