I wrote all of this down to try to grok what’s happening at the DNC.
History only makes sense in retrospect. When we look back on historical events, we can say, “Sure I can see how that happened.” Of course, there’s every possibility that the narrative we tell ourselves to make sense of things only satisfies our need for certainty. As Nixon once wrote, “The judgment of history depends upon who writes it.”
But I sure never saw this coming. My expectation was that the DNC would meet in Philadelphia, continue to diss and dismiss Sanders supporters, nominate Hillary, and set out on a campaign founded on the inspiring principle that at least Hillary isn’t Trump. Of course, all that did happen, but against a backdrop I don’t think anyone expected, and that is confirmation of what we really knew all along, which is that the primaries were rigged in Clinton’s favor. Given that the entire party apparatus opposed him, Bernie is quite justified in pointing to his showing in the primaries with enormous pride.
What difference does it make that what we felt was true has been confirmed? Does it make us dislike HRC and her cronies any more? Not really. If we knew the process was rigged, Bernie must have known (he said as much just this last weekend), and yet in the last two weeks Bernie has gone all in for Clinton, to the dismay of many of his supporters and the bewilderment of others, like me. Bernie raised the hopes of the people with the prospect of putting a semblance of integrity into our national government. He told us he wouldn’t abandon that goal, and yet now he’s advocating for tweedle-awful on the proposition that at least she’s not tweedle-awfuller.
Bernie Sanders has a decades long record of integrity and consistency in his views. He has stood up for his beliefs even when it has been politically difficult for him. He promised his followers that he would not betray us or the principles of his (our) political revolution. What could Hillary Clinton and the DNC possibly offer him that could persuade him to give all that up and sell out to the establishment? The answer, of course, is nothing. So what’s up?
Well, here’s something. On the day that Bernie announced, absolutely nobody thought he stood a snowball’s chance, probably including the Senator himself. I sent in my $10 donation (I never could afford the $27, but at the same time I had never donated to any other candidate) knowing that there wasn’t much hope; only a fool’s hope. What he did next electrified. He mobilized millions of people with a vision of an America that is truly as great as we tell ourselves it is (but isn’t). He showed us that you can run a campaign backed by just the people and not the fat cats. He gave us hope and unity in response to fear and division. And even with the whole system rigged against him he won 22 states and almost 50% of the vote. That is a testament to the strength of his (our) ideas.
Bernie told us from the start that the revolution wasn’t about him or the presidency, but rather about recovering our democracy. I, and I know millions of my brothers and sisters, are heartbroken that he wasn’t allowed to win the nomination. But given where we started, he has still won an amazing victory. And I’m not saying that just to make us feel batter. Our agenda is part of the national conversation now. And if we don’t blow it, we have the beginnings of a movement that can bring progressivism back to the center of American politics. Bernie has set in motion grass roots organizations that can fundamentally transform American politics from the ground up. None of that would have ever happened if Bernie hadn’t run, and we hadn’t stuck with him, hoping against hope. Us.
Politics as usual is dead. The Republican Party has been hijacked by the lunatic right, led by a narcissistic and probably deranged demagogue. The Democratic Party is in the midst of collapsing under the weight of its own corruption as demonstrated in the leaked DNC emails. If you watched Bernie’s speech at the DNC, you will notice he put Hillary on the hook for his (our) entire agenda. Hillary is slippery and can’t be trusted, but backtracking now will only hasten the collapse of the Democratic Party establishment. In short, Hillary and her stooges and Paul Ryan and his stooges and the whole political establishment is collapsing. It is on the verge of being swept away. If I vote for Hillary (still not decided, and since I live in California it won’t matter either way), that will not be a vote for the arrogant contemptuous dishonest shill, it will be a vote to accelerate Bernie’s (our) revolution. I might be able to do that with a clear conscience.
I feel much better now.