Amid increasing calls to unite the Democratic Party by pro-Clinton Democrats, Bernie Sanders supporters have urged the Vermont senator not to share their details with the DNC, or, indeed, Hillary Clinton.
Although Democratic presumptive nominee Clinton has appeared confident in winning over Sanders supporters in the race to the White House, even a superficial look at the Democratic voter database suggests a deep divide. A considerable chunk of Bernie Sanders supporters, belonging to the “Bernie or Bust” movement, have already declared that their allegiance lies only with one candidate, and even others have claimed that Clinton needs to win them over with progressive policy-making, something Sanders has himself insisted Clinton needs to do.
Other Bernie Sanders supporters have even threatened to leave the Democratic Party if their voices are not heard in the Philadelphia convention next month.
All this appears set to create even more problems for Hillary, who might have believed at one stage that at least registered Democrats would be in her bag post-nomination.
But that clearly does not seem to be the case, as Bernie Sanders supporters appear keen to explore other options before the convention.
In a recent live-streamed address to his supporters, Sanders urged them to make use of the grassroots foundation that his campaign has been able to build over the course of the last several months, imploring them to run for offices around the country.
“I have no doubt that with the energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown that we can win significant numbers of local and state elections if people are prepared to become involved. This will be part of transforming our country from the bottom on up.”
It is a strategy that could work, too, with a recent report showing that 7,000 Sanders supporters had already signed up to run for office. After all, Sanders is responsible for creating an unprecedented grassroots campaign, well-padded with millions of individual contributions.
If there was a need in America to create and nourish a grassroots campaign that could, in the long-term, overthrow the Wall Street-controlled political culture of the country, Sanders has already laid its foundation.
This is why, at the People’s Summit over the weekend in Chicago, progressive groups, including the Physicians for a National Health Program, National Nurses Union (NNU), Hedge Clippers, and the People for Bernie, assembled in order to “bring together activists committed to a different kind of agenda: a People’s Agenda that can enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality, and freedom.”
RoseAnn DeMoro, executive directive of NNU, outlined the reason that so many progressive groups had gathered for the People’s Summit.
“Community organizing—on healthcare, the climate crisis and environmental pollution, poverty, income inequality, racial justice, immigration rights, affordable housing, student debt—has been underway for many years, far from the media spotlight.”
“A signal accomplishment of the Bernie Sanders campaign has been to highlight so many of these issues, through the vehicle of a national presidential campaign, and demonstrate the broad public support for real, transformative change.”
Just as Bernie’s supporters have helped him throughout the campaign trail, now they want him to help them back. At the summit, his supporters asked Bernie Sanders not to share their data with Hillary Clinton, or the DNC.
It is a view echoed by many Bernie supporters. Just recently, a Sanders supporter made a plea on Reddit, asking the Vermont senator not to share information of voters like him with the DNC. The plea was overwhelmingly upvoted.
“I just saw something on MSNBC where Mr. Mook said they are reaching out to Sanders’ campaign for their support and help/assistance. Now, I can’t speak for the rest of the Sanders’ supporters, but I will tell you that I only came out for Bernie and have always kept my distance from providing too much information to the DNC.
“So, please Bernie, don’t give them my personal data. Thanks.”
While it appears increasingly likely that a majority of Bernie Sanders supporters will not be submitted into voting for Hillary Clinton, for many Sanders supporters, it is not even paramount. The bigger issue at stake here is a continuation of the “revolution,” and that could only be brought about by making systemic changes to the political setup of the country — from downwards up.
The revolution won’t come easy, and it won’t come soon; therefore, Sanders supporters will hope to have him on their side in the long run.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]