THIS is the revolution Bernie Sanders has led us to – and neither he nor we will stop it

BoB-or-Fall-in-Line

The media narrative these days seems to be that Bernie Sanders is “defiant” and going “scorched earth” in his primary battle – but I read something today about the DNC throwing Bernie a bone at the convention – appointing more of his people to the committees, maybe, or something – and as enticing as it sounded, for a minute, my ultimate response was, “Meh.”  Here’s the thing:  We no longer want, or need, or seek anything from the DNC, or the Clinton camp, or Debbie Wasserman-Elect-Hillary-Schultz, or establishment Democrats, or media pundits or “journalists.”  We’ve done all of this without any of them so far, and we’re willing to continue this journey without their 11th hour peace pipe.  We’re not stupid, and we all realize that any concession at this juncture is a not-too-subtle effort to lure Bernie Sanders’ supporters into their den of inequity.  An olive branch may be extended, but only until they’re fully assured that we’re all once again comfortably ensconced in the arms of the Democratic establishment that has brainwashed us for far too long – and then it will be yanked back.  They don’t want us any more than we want them, but there’s one difference:  They need us, but the reverse isn’t true.

Many of us who’ve always claimed the Democratic Party as “home” perhaps began this journey with Bernie as a “Dem supporting Bernie Sanders” who would, of course, vote for whatever “blue” nominee the Democrats chose.  During the past year – for me, maybe six months ago – I became uncomfortably aware that that course wasn’t an option any longer.  It took me a little longer to publicly proclaim on social media the fact that I wouldn’t even be able to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton.  From there, it was a short leap to Bernie or Bust, and from there it was no leap to declare myself no longer part of the Democratic Party.  I’d been at that place, emotionally, for a year, but had only been willing to admit it, publicly, for about half that time – that’s how embedded I was – many of us were – in the Democratic Party.  That was then.

As brilliant writer and Sanders supporter Shaun King wrote in the NY Daily News,

Right now, the Democratic Party, which I have called home my entire life, is deeply in love with money. Consequently, its leaders have supported and advanced all kinds of evil, big and small, in devotion to this love affair . . . In essence, Hillary Clinton and the DNC each wants us to believe that lobbyists and SuperPACs don’t expect anything from them in return for their money. This is the most basic, foolish, offensive lie they could ever tell. Of course they want something in return. That’s the business they’re in . . .

. . . The thing is, though, the Democratic Party isn’t really very democratic. It’s sincerely just a machine for Hillary Clinton . . . Debbie Wasserman Schultz will say or do anything to get Hillary Clinton elected, even if it means completely ignoring the political reality that nearly half of the people who’ve voted in this primary have declared that they want to see lobbyists and SuperPACs out of politics. Her words and her deeds throughout this campaign have not only been unethical, but are out of step with the future of the party. Voters under the age of 45 prefer Bernie because they trust him and his principles. Wasserman Schultz and Clinton represent a brand of politics that they know well, but we’re simply tired of it.  Another op-ed was just released calling on her to be replaced . . . Robert Reich, the famed economist who served as Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, went so far on Thursday to suggest that a new party should be formedif Hillary wins the election.

I’ll start where I left off — the root of all of this is the love of money. In this campaign, Bernie Sanders, with a ragtag group of misfits, proved to the world that another way exists. He has created a blueprint for us on how we build a political movement without the money from billionaire class and their special interests . . . Don’t believe what anyone tells you — the ball is in our hand and we have more power than progressive people have had in a very long time in this country. I will fight for Bernie Sanders until he is no longer running for president.

After that, this will be my last election as a Democrat. I’m moving on and hope you do, too.

Frank Huguenard, writing for the Huffington Post, had these words of encouragement and truth for Sanders supporters:

. . . pandering doesn’t work on the kinds of people who support Bernie Sanders because more and more these days, people are waking up to the reality that the only thing we can be truly certain of is that there is no such thing as certainty.  Change is inevitable and Bernie supporters are fearless. People are understanding that in the past, when we’ve sold our own personal truths to purchase someone else’s political rhetoric, the country and the world have suffered for it . . . Whatever the DNC-RNC-MSM complex is selling, we’re no longer buying . . . This is the simple reason why Bernie is going to win.  There is a mass awakening happening on the planet right now and enough people have become immune to the pandering and lies of politicians that we are no longer susceptible to their manipulations and deceit . . . In spite of all the voting irregularities, illegal activities, purging of databases, Main Stream Media’s blatant bias towards Hillary as the presumptive nominee, Bill Clinton campaigning at Massachusetts polling stations, an incredibly lopsided democratic apparatus and mass numbers of voters having their party affiliation switched, it looks like Bernie is still going to win the pledged delegate count.  This is astonishing.

Bernie is going to win because the number of people willing to embrace the illusion of certainty is no longer the majority.  You can see it on the faces of Bernie supporters at his rallies, you can see by the vast number of crowds at his speeches, you can feel it on social media, you can see him running the table for these last 10 contests (including New Jersey).  You can see it in his campaign out-raising his opponents without being financed without super PACS and you can see it with both Trump and Clinton starting to take his potential nomination seriously.  This is our time.

More and more Democrats and pundits are now seriously eyeing Bernie Sanders as a better bet than Hillary Clinton – and why shouldn’t they see what we see?  But it’s too little, far too late.  During a time when the playing field should have been level for both candidates, they collectively retrenched to tilt it.  During a time when all Bernie and his supporters were asking for was fairness, the media and the DNC scoffed and mocked and insulted.  During a time when a man of integrity was drawing tens of thousands to hear him, see him, support him, the media yawned and ran reports on spawning salmon or Trump.  During a time when the nation was just getting to know Bernie Sanders, the DNC in the form of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz intervened to relegate him to the sidelines by fixing debate schedules, cutting him off from important campaign data, and funneling money and influence toward his rival.  Arrogance and ego have known no bounds in the collective quest to fix Clinton as the only viable candidate.

But olive branches and peace pipes and white flags are meaningless symbols of their fear, now, when we don’t care, won’t forgive and when it really doesn’t matter to us.  Article after article in the mainstream media has proclaimed that Bernie has overstayed his welcome and it’s time he went home (but hey, they remind him, don’t forget to leave your millions of supporters and donations at our doorstep on your way).  Democratic leaders are slightly more subtle, but the message is clear:  Get in line, Bernie, corral your supporters, be a good little soldier, because we’re gonna need all of you come July when the Anointed One receives her coronation, and you don’t want a Trump presidency on your conscience.

I take the liberty of speaking for millions of us when I say, We are sick to death of all of you, mainstream media, the DNC, establishment Democrats, sick of all your scorn, your mockery, your lies, outright lies, your refusal to see what polls and millions of voters are telling you, your refusal to do the jobs you’re being paid and trusted to do, your refusal to even permit a Bernie Sanders candidacy, and your inability to conceal your disgust that you are forced to tolerate Bernie’s ascendancy with millions of American voters.  You thought you could ignore us and we’d go away.  Dead wrong.  You thought you could shame us, deride us, and we’d shut up.  More wrong.  You thought, in the end, you could do whatever the hell you wanted and we’d all fall in line behind your chosen candidate at the convention.  Epic fail in that calculation.

They can call it mission accomplished:  They’ve effectively alienated millions and millions of Democrat and independent voters, and the cocky little gamble that they’d get us back in the end for the sake of “party unity” will no doubt go down as one of the worst political calculations in political history.  This is our time, as Frank Huguenard wrote.  This will be my last election as a Democrat, wrote Shaun King.

Clinton can declare herself the Democratic nominee on CNN if she chooses, can dismiss Bernie Sanders as a viable opponent if that’s what lets her sleep at night, but she does so at her own peril, because THIS political revolution will have something to say about that particular edict.  THIS political revolution is staying the course with Bernie Sanders until the convention.  THIS political revolution has no more alliance to the Party or the powers that be, and as Huguenard noted, Bernie supporters are fearless.  We are, and we’re determined, and what’s more, we’re fully pissed.

Clinton isn’t winning the popular vote as she claims (one of her many “misspeaks”), her negative ratings are as high in some polls as Trump’s, and a majority of the country doesn’t consider her trustworthy (because she isn’t).  That kind of candidate isn’t someone the majority of Bernie supporters, who find integrity and honesty to be critically important character traits, are ever gonna get behind.