A statement of facts:
- Hillary Clinton is leading the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
- She has amassed a few million more popular votes than Bernie Sanders.
- The election rules and processes have been tilted toward Clinton from the start.
- Said subversion of democracy has been in place in the Democratic Party for decades
- Bernie Sanders supporters are not “whiners,” or “sore losers” for pointing out where the tilting and biases have existed.
I hope that statement of facts shows everyone I’m not a mindless “Bernie Bot,” “Bernie Bro,” “Sandernista,” or whatever the fuck stupid pejorative nickname you want to give me.
I want to address my friend Manny’s recent piece, but I want to do it from a place of reality. I’m not “Bernie or Bust” because I’m a child, or immature or unsure of how politics works, as my good friend has implied in the past. In fact, I am Bernie or Bust because of where I live, primarily, but also because I don’t like Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate. Call me “not a Democrat” or a “Green Tea Bagger” if you want, but it’s you that’s generalizing and name calling because I disagree with you, not the other way around.
The point of Manny’s piece was that he’s fed up with Sanders supporters behavior, in particular at the Nevada Democratic convention last weekend. By now, we all know shit got really heated, and Sanders fans protested quite vociferously. Manny mentioned chairs being tossed, but I haven’t found any video evidence of that; while I have seen the video of the Nevada DC’s chair completely ignoring the actual results of a voice vote.
Undoubtedly, Sanders supporters were there to try and use the system to swing some more delegates for him. Funnily enough, they were trying to use the same mechanisms that they get lambasted as “ignorant” of when they complain about closed primaries, superdelegates, etc. So I don’t really want to hear anyone bitching about how they were trying to “steal” anything for Hillary.
But let’s get down the soup and nuts of it, shall we? The bottom line is that whether or not the rule changes the party tried to implement were done in private, behind closed doors, there is still clear video evidence of the party chair completely ignoring the results of a voice vote. Just utterly and completely turning a deaf ear to the people in that room. How the hell is that not proof of a corrupted election process?
To me, that’s the larger point.
Our entire election system, in both parties, all over the spectrum, is rigged. While I am positive if you’re a Hillary Hawk you will condescend to me further for that assertion, superdelegates themselves are a subversion of democracy. And yes, Sanders is one too, but that doesn’t matter to me. If he went against the will of the people in his state, he’d be a dick too. When the system is so obviously corrupt, I have to wonder how Manny and others would expect Sanders supporters to behave upon being rudely and undemocratically dismissed as they were in Nevada.
It’s not like they got all rowdy, broke onto a privately owned piece of corporate machinery, and started dumping assets into the Boston Harbor, right?
This is what democracy looks like when people feel disenfranchised. I have to keep asking this — what would the harm have been in having a debate on the delegates that the party summarily dismissed? Why, in fact, are they trying to retroactively boot delegates they say didn’t meet their internal guidelines, weeks later? It has to be for cynical and purely political reasons, right? And while I don’t disagree that they have a right to run their shit how they want to run it, you have to start wondering at what cost will Hillary win the nomination.
It’s funny that Manny’s tired of defending Sanders supporters, because I would think we all would be tired of defending a Democratic Party that clearly is insulated enough from its people to allow them to start calling themselves “Green Tea Baggers” and the like, rather than opening up their primaries and allowing for more discourse and debate. Nevada is not the only state we saw just some utterly ridiculous bullshit either, is it? There was Arizona. There was New York.
I’m tired of corrupted elections, and that’s exactly what something is if enough people have no confidence in its fairness — corrupt.
But I should also take the time right here and now to point something out that I hope is not lost on anyone reading this piece and/or Manny’s piece. The two of us may disagree a bit on this issue, but I don’t have animosity toward him, and this isn’t some acrimonious bullshit like what he had go down on his last outlet. We’re just two Americans with slightly differing opinions, offering them to whomever wishes to consume them, period. He’s not an asshole for thinking the way he does, and neither am I.
There can be disagreement without it devolving into shit flinging.
The DNC is free to create rules and run their processes as they wish. And while being arrogant, condescending and exclusionary may not cost them in November, it will for cost them for years and years to come. They may win, but the ground they leave behind will be so scorched they may have destroyed the coalition that elected Obama twice. Turning off young, enthusiastic voters to the party is terrible, but turning them off to the entire political process is dangerous for the country, and that’s what behaving as if there haven’t been obvious signs of corruption all the way does — it turns people off.
Maybe you don’t care about turning voters off. Maybe winning this election is all that matters to you. It will definitely matter when or if the Democrats are faced with the same kind of existential crisis the Republicans are going through…then again I happen to think that’s been happening ever since Obama won re-election. No excuse exists for violence or death threats, but similarly, no excuse exists for naked corruption either. Nobody’s hands are clean. So let’s cut the shit, let the last few states have their primaries, and see where we we are then.
Desperation doesn’t look good on anyone.