Rolling Stone has an interview out with Jane Sanders, wife of Sen. Barry Sanders. It is a great read and gives you some insight into the personal and political dynamics of bringing a Presidential campaign to a close. The title of the article is "Why Bernie Voters Shouldn't Get Over It." In the piece Jane Sanders says:
We did everything we could, but we didn't win. And they were so sad about it. People have been making it sound like they're mad, and they should just get over it. No they shouldn't! They shouldn't just get over it! What do you expect? How do you turn on a dime? We understand that. We understand that we earned their support and their trust. Now Hillary Clinton has to earn their support and their trust. And we will hold [the Clinton campaign] accountable because we are endorsing her.
With all due respect to Ms. Sanders, after the last four days of the DNC, yes they should.
At what point do you lick your wounds and move on? Can you imagine if Hillary supporters had treated Barack's convention in 08 the same manner? We would be having a discussion on privilege and entitlement. Progressives were already upset with Hillary bowing out on her own terms, but at the convention she and more importantly her supporters offered no resistance. There weren't any walkouts or ongoing protests. It was time to unite around the candidate who had won.
This is politics and there are winners and losers in elections. The stakes are just as high in 2016. Sanders supporters and the man himself were treated with all the necessary respect at the convention. The same cannot be said about a number of Sanders supporters and their behavior. Some of the protests were justified especially as the relevations about the DNC came to light. The DNC staff and Rep. Wasserman-Shultz need to be held to account for their actions. Safeguards and trustbuillding steps for future elections likewise need to be estabished.
The truth is that most Bernie supporters like myself have already been persuaded to vote for HRC to the tune of 90% or so. The man himself has been convinced. Why? Because a strategy was put in place to make major concessions and get alignment on the platform of the party. The strategy was to honor the contributions of Sanders and his supporters throughout the convention. The strategy is to have Sanders campaign aggressively for Hillary. The Sanders holdouts (and really they are very few, were really quite disrespectful at some points during the DNC) need to put on their big person pants and realize that our candidate lost and there's still ton of work to do within the political system to make change happen. Taking your toys and going home is not what people committed to change do.
The Clinton campaign strategy largely worked. It is been 6 weeks since the election was decided, the platform has been changed substantially, the candidate himself gave a full throated endorsement of HRC, so what's holding anyone back at this point? I can't think of a good reason. The problem is real as there are a small number of Sanders supporters still not willing to support Secretary Clinton. Some have said they will vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The media has reported some will vote for Trump, but i am sure that is non-existent problem. The Stein thing definitely is a problem. My call to them is to demonstrate maturity, work hard to continue to build the movement and realize there is a modern day fascist on the other side of this election.
Sanders supporters do not need to be coddled to get over it at this point. We need to go out and continue fight for making the platform a reality. Run for local office, ensure that state houses and school boards and city councils represent the movement. Our hard work may result in a Democratic senate and in the most wishful of thinking a Democratic house. Break the gridlock and ensure that Hillary doesn't triangulate herself away from the platform. So much to do, so little time for some of the whining and handwringing we've seen.
With a true focus on movement building, Bernie's success portends a more progressive future for the party. But right now, Sanders lost. I'm a Sanders voter and donor and yes it sucked. Choosing not being a good loser or seeking ideological purity when there's a fascist on the other side, seems to be immature at best and yes, privileged at worst.
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