Bernie Sanders answered journalist Dena Takruri’s questions about his involvement with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in a one-on-one interview recently. Takruri asked Sanders some of the uncomfortable questions that the mainstream media rarely asks Sanders.
“I know what happened during my campaign,” Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged when the journalist stated that many supporters feel that the DNC undermined Sanders’ presidential campaign. She didn’t mince words in telling Sanders that some progressives aren’t happy seeing Sanders on a unity tour with the DNC.
“They say, ‘This is a party that burned you, that undermined your campaign, that is not moving to the left. that has not learned its lessons from the election. Why waste your time on them?'”
Sanders admitted that her question was a good, fair question. Then, Sanders told her that he can’t let it get personal for him. He told her that he is doing what he feels is the right thing to do for the future of the planet and for our families.
“We don’t take these things personal,” Sanders said, acknowledging that he knows how unfairly he was treated by the DNC during his presidential campaign.
He told her that he also knows what President Trump “and his extreme right-wing billionaire friends are capable of doing to this country.”
Sanders explains that what he is trying to do by participating in the unity tour is to transform the DNC.
— Jacob Shaver (@Jacob_B_Shaver) April 20, 2017
Sanders told Takruri that he and other progressives are having some success in moving the party closer towards a grassroots party.
Sanders pointed out that in California, “progressives are gradually taking over the Democratic Party.” He says that that is what he is trying to do now, by working with the Democratic Party. Sanders admitted that he might not succeed if the resistance to progressive ideals is too strong within the party, but he feels it’s the best chance right now that he has to save the planet.
“But I do want to also say to you as somebody who knows, I think, more about this than anybody in Congress: Doing third-party politics is not so easy. If you think, ‘Oh boy, we don’t like the Democrats. We need to start a third party, and wow, in a couple of years.’ Maybe. You know? Maybe. But that has not been the history of the United States.”
Then, Takruri brought up how Dr. Cornel West and others support the DemExit. She mentioned that many of them say they want to start a populist, progressive, people’s party and they want Bernie Sanders to lead the party.
Sanders told her, “I love, I love Cornel.”
Then she asked, “Do you accept the invitation?”
“No, I don’t,” Sanders said without hesitation.
“Right now, what I am trying to do is to transform the Democratic Party. You know, starting a third party, it is easy to start it. It is a lot more difficult to make it into a strong reality. That’s just an historical fact.”
— Dena Takruri (@Dena) May 6, 2017
The unity tour made the division among the left even more apparent to DNC chairman Tom Perez, according to NPR. It was chock full of anti-DNC heckling and cheers of, “Bernie would have won!”
NPR reported that Perez brought Sanders on the unity tour, even though he remains an independent because the DNC wants to show progressives that they can trust the DNC now.
Despite all of these efforts, NPR reports that Sanders just can’t seem to embrace the DNC. Sanders reportedly says repeatedly that Trump didn’t win the election, Democrats lost it. Sanders elaborated, according to NPR, by explaining how Democrats keep losing elections.
“How in God’s name are they winning elections?” Sanders asked.
“And I think the answer to that is the failure of the Democratic Party — to have a progressive agenda, to bring people into the party, to mobilize people. And that’s what I’m running around this country trying to do.”
[Featured Image by Matt York/AP Images]