I have seen a glimpse of the Bernie Sanders Political Revolution and it is pretty ugly. Evidently, Bernie’s revolution will consist of misogynistic insults, vandalism, conspiracy theories, the doxing of party officials and death threats against those party officials as well as their relatives. The Miracle of the Bird has been replaced by the politics of personal destruction, an anti-establishment crusade against anyone not 100% behind Bernie and a nihilistic, counterproductive blueprint for electing Donald Drumpf as the next President of the United States.
I went to the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday to participate in the Nevada State Democratic convention and fulfill my role as a delegate to that convention. I did not go there to get caught up in a Bernie Sanders protest yet that is exactly what I was subjected to. His supporters attempted to highjack our event and turn it into one of their own. We were there as Democrats, they were not. We were there to conduct party business, no matter who had the majority of the delegates, they were not. We followed the rules of decorum agreed upon by an equal number of Bernie and Hillary supporters on the rules committee, they did not.
Here is a list of the decorum rules as passed by the convention. The Bernie Sanders delegates broke each and every one of them with the specific intention of slowing down the wheels of progress, shouting down anyone who disagreed with their point of view and shutting down the event.
- All delegates, alternates, and guests are entitled to attend and participate in the convention free of harassment or intimidation. Anyone harassing or attempting to intimidate any delegate, alternate, or guest to the convention shall be ejected from the convention immediately and shall forfeit any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
- Any intentional disruption of any convention activities may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
- Guests invited to speak to the convention shall not have their remarks or presentations interrupted or interfered with in any manner, including auditory or visual distractions from the floor. Violation of this rule may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
- Noisemakers of any kind are prohibited at the convention.
- Conversation on the floor should be kept to a minimum out of respect for guests, delegates and speakers. Those delegates, alternates, and guests wishing to converse should exit the floor.
In the past I have been patient with Bernie and his supporters. They have abused the front running Democratic candidate. The have accused her and the Democratic Party of corruption. They have essentially spent 1 full year beating the Democratic Party like a rented mule, one they do not have ownership of, affection for or a responsibility to. As I said, I have been patient. Most of the Hillary supporters have been patient. The Democratic Party has been patient. The hope has been that Bernie would be able to bring his newly energized supporters into the Democratic fold and help to push this party forward with new ideas and new vitality. Every party needs this new blood and new energy from time to time, otherwise we atrophy and die. So we were patient. We waited and we hoped. Unfortunately, our patience has not paid off. I now realize that what Bernie has built is not a vehicle to re-invigorate the Democratic Party. Instead he has created a cult of personality populated with Bernie-bots ready to destroy any organization or individual that is not part of the so called ‘political revolution’.
I no longer have patience. I no longer have hope. I saw too many Bernie supporters this weekend attempting to drown out loyal and faithful servants of the Democratic Party with shouts of ‘Bernie or Bust’. I saw too many Bernie supporters take the microphone and call the Democratic Party corrupt and liken them to the Mafia. I saw them disavow publically any pretext of party unity in favor of Bernie Sanders unilateralism. I didn’t see Democrats on the Bernie side of the room on Saturday. I saw a mob that could no longer be controlled by Bernie or his national campaign. I saw a gang of sore losers who now have no more use for a party that won’t overturn the will of the people and appoint their ‘Saint Bernie’ as the uncontested nominee.
I know that there are long term Democrats that are Bernie supporters. I know that there are reasonable new Bernie voters who are interested in building a Democratic Party that will serve their interests in the future. As Senator Nina Turner said on Saturday – “Be civil, but stay committed”. I will always be willing to embrace these Bernie supporters as fellow Democrats. I still firmly believe that there are more things that we agree on than disagree and I know that there are many of the Bernie people that believe the same thing. But there are obviously many who don’t believe that and never did. They’re wrong, but like all zealots, they are committed to being wrong. Well, go be wrong someplace else. You want your way or the highway? Let me point the way to the on-ramp. You say ‘Bernie or Bust’? Good luck with ‘bust’ as you flee to the Libertarian Party, organize a write in campaign or even sell your soul to Donald Drumpf. Don’t tear down my Party. It doesn’t belong to you and is not yours to destroy. If you think that Hillary is evil, or the Democratic Party is evil or the process is beyond redemption and needs to be blown up, we don’t need you and we don’t want you. We don’t need your passion if it is only focused on destruction. We don’t need your energy if it is only going to be used to back one specific candidate at the expense of all other Party business and we don’t want your numbers if it is going to be accompanied by your chaos.
The Democratic Party is bigger than you and bigger than Bernie Sanders. It has been pushing a progressive agenda for decades and can survive just fine without you or your ‘all or nothing’ path to political insignificance. In the immortal words of John Lennon: “You say you want a revolution? … You can count me out.” Goodbye, good riddance and don’t let the mule kick you on the ass on your way out.
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