Progressives who are fed up with the Democratic leadership’s adherence to the status quo are calling for a major #DemExit on July 29. However, progressive groups, such as Black Men for Bernie, are urging voters to stay in the party until they have a chance to vote in their states’ primaries, especially if they live in closed or semi-closed primary states.
Abstaining from #DemExit until after state and local primaries is especially important for Florida, which has a closed primary. On August 30, Professor and legal expert Tim Canova has a chance to unseat Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, whose tenure as the head of the Democratic Party has been fraught with controversy and more recently, allegations of election fraud and rigging.
A mass exodus, therefore, could sabotage progressives’ own agenda to elect officials who are challenging incumbents and establishment candidates. As of now, 23 states and territories have local and state primaries up until September 13, so it is imperative for current members of the Democratic party to stay until they’ve voted and then commit to #DemExit.
The #DemExit sentiment isn’t the result of any one issue. As The Inquisitr reported last week, it is the result of a year’s worth of mockery, election fraud, and attempts to invalidate Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Progressives feel angry and betrayed by a party that has drifted further and further to the right in the last 40 years. They feel deceived by Elizabeth Warren, who has been a beacon of progressive reform, but who recently tarnished her reputation by endorsing Hillary Clinton. #DemExit is fueled by a sense of betrayal by a president who originally ran on progressive principles only to watch as he governed as a center-right Republican.
Bernie Sanders surrogates have fought tooth and nail to get many of his issues on the official party platform. On July 10, the Orlando platform drafting committee session did adopt several of them, but not without a bitter fight. Saturday was the final day of negotiations for a draft going into the convention, and although the platform is much more progressive than it was four years ago, it simply is not enough, especially for those who are disenchanted with the party.
Issues that did not make the final draft of the Orlando drafting committee include language that objects to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, a single payer system, blocking the TPP, and a ban on fracking. What’s more, progressive voters are pessimistic that Clinton will even honor the platform; she has a history of dishonesty and saying anything to get what she wants.
The #DemExit call is also the result of James Comey’s refusal to recommend indictment, despite his scathing report that her actions were illegal and “extremely careless.” Progressive Democrats who had hoped for an indictment are vexed that Clinton is getting away with actions that would put anyone else behind bars. It is just one more reason in the mounting anger bubbling at the surface of a voter base who believes its views have been ignored in favor of special interests and big business lobbying.
The call for #DemExit seems to be supported by many of the same progressive Sanders supporters who also support the Bernie or Bust movement. The Bernie or Bust was more of a protest against Hillary Clinton. The #DemExit movement is a protest against the Democratic Party leadership as a whole. It is a response to years of efforts by the political establishment to subjugate voters through economic and racial means: excessive student loan obligations, the stripping of workers’ rights, a consistently low minimum wage, a Supreme Court that rules in favor of business interest over that of the actual human beings.
States and territories that have primary races until September are Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, Tennessee, Virgin Islands, Arkansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, Guam, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. If you are considering #DemExit, live in one of these states, and are considering participating in the primaries, please check your state or territory’s rules to ensure you do not inadvertently lock yourself out. The progressive movement can only succeed if potential voters remain eligible to cast a ballot.
[Photo by Cliff Owen/AP Images]