Sanders Sticks to His Pledge, But His Supporters…

Two notable things happened on the first day of the Democratic National Convention:

  1. Bernie Sanders unambiguously endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
  2. Sanders delegates vocally opposed endorsements for Clinton, including from Sanders himself.

Much like the Republican National Convention the week before where the #NeverTrump crowd threatened to try to thwart the presumed nominee, the DNC’s minority contingency refused to follow the script the Democratic Party laid out.

The Democratic establishment has been hopeful that the convention would help unify the party behind Clinton. Perhaps that was overly optimistic given the timing of the DNC email leaks that showed party officials did not remain neutral in the primary race.

Reactions to the crowd’s frequent chants were divided. Many think the disruptions were rude, but others saw the progressive members’ cries as a way of ensuring that a party that has largely ignored their input hears them.

One thing’s for sure: Sanders is not to blame for his supporters’ outbursts. In advance of the convention, he sent out messages imploring his backers to not protest on the DNC floor.

On top of that, he’s followed through on the pledge he made early in the campaign – to support Clinton if she won the nomination. Democrats had worried Sanders might rescind that promise after a contentious campaign season, though arguably no more contentious than the Clinton/Obama showdown of 2008.

In his DNC speech, Sanders insisted that the “choice is not even close” in a contest between Clinton and Trump. He credited his supporters with helping to push the party further to the left, while simultaneously asking them to back Clinton.

Indeed, the choice is not close between the two. Sanders ran on the Democratic ticket because he didn’t want to play spoiler and let a dangerous Republican win the White House. Whether it’d be a fair label or not, he wouldn’t want his legacy to be the man who helped to get Trump elected president.

The fact that so many Bernie delegates are even willing to boo their own candidate when he endorses Clinton is a good indication that these people are more committed to the values than the candidate himself. They’ll continue this movement with or without him going forward.

Given just how atrocious a candidate Trump is, polls show that nearly all of Sanders passionate supporters will ultimately vote for Clinton in November, no matter how disgruntled they are now.

Still, if this crowd is any indication, a large portion of liberal voters are tired of being told to accept what they feel is the lesser of two evils. The Democratic Party would be foolish to continue to ignore these cries if they want to win elections in the future, though – because progressives are making it plenty clear that they aren’t willing to stomach the same-old-same-old for much longer.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

112 comments

John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks Kevin for sharing.

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william Miller
william Millerabout a year ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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JT Smith
JT Smithabout a year ago

I will never vote for Trump And while I support Sanders, I cannot in good conscience vote for Clinton with her war-hawkishness or her deep ties to Wall Street. This is why I'm voting for Jill Stein.

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Marie W.
Marie Wabout a year ago

Jill Stein has some issues-
1. Check out her list of campaign contributors per the FEC. The top five donations are from corporate interests -- AON, Xoom Global Money Transfer, IBM, Thoughtworks, and UPS. Would Bernie take money from any of these?

2) Check out Stein’s hand picked choice for VP, Ajamu Baraka. He's a radical agitator who has publicly referred to Bernie Sanders as a "white supremacist" and labelled Sanders supporters as naive shills.

3. Stein is an opportunist looking to cash in with disgruntled Sanders supporters. She is building a war chest for her 2018 run against Elizabeth Warren's in her home state of MA. Her running might siphon enough votes from Warren to give the Senate seat to the Repubs.

4. Stein has virtually NO political experience. She is an ex-musician and medical professional. She has won just one election in her life -- a town meeting seat where 7 of a larger group of candidates were elected -- in which she got a whopping 539 votes. In her 2012 Presidential bid she received one-third of one percent of the votes.

5. Check out her foreign policy positions -- she's more like Trump than Sanders. Pro-Russian. Anti-Israel.

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Robert Hamm
Robert Hammabout a year ago

As usual David is HALF right. Socially he is liberal.....in every other way he is Deeply Conservative

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeldabout a year ago

Kate and Bill, a third party vote is not necessarily a vote for Trump. Many conservatives will likely vote third party, which could be considered a vote for Clinton. Many third party voters support neither candidate.

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Katie and Bill D.
Katie & Bill Dabout a year ago

We have to understand the BOOER"S were the first time ever to do anything ACTIVIST'S style.
Unlike many of us have ever done. They should have listened to Bernie and respected what was going on. BERNIE DID NOT SELL ANYONE OUT! He has done his very best for all, He accomplished so much towards all of us.As some don't get it to Vote for a 3rd party is a VOTE FOR TRUMP NOT AGAINST HIM.
Let's all look to the future for everyone.

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Robert Hamm
Robert Hammabout a year ago

Wasn't the presidency that was important I meant

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Robert Hamm
Robert Hammabout a year ago

How can you simply throw Sanders under the bus like this? The Man YOU trusted to have his fingers on the nuclear button is now a lunatic?? Or is it you only trust the people who echo your only thought? You only trust them when they do what YOU want. NO Candidate is going to give you everything YOU want. Sanders from the very start said he was creating a revolution of some sort. Right from the start he indicated it was the presidency or the candidates that were important.
ike ALLLLLLLLL Candidates do they spoke ill of each other eventually. You got emotionally wrapped up in the parlor games of political BULLSHIT. Bernie didn't dislike Hillary or any of her platforms. He walked with Hillary a long time. I doubt serious Sanders ever wanted the "prize" of the white house. He wanted the Democratic party to go LEFT instead of simply staying in the center where they have been the last few cycles. He forced his vision into the platform. THATS was his MAJOR Goal. You act like this is Bernies first rodeo. For Chrissakes he has been doing this his whole life. He KNOWS how the system works. He never expected to get into the white house.
Burt now SUDDENLY he is an IDIOT because he says vote for our standard bearer., NOW you don't trust his ability to politic at ALL?? He didn't sell you out........he, unlike some of you, is a GROWNUP and sees the system for what it is. Bernie won farrrrr more than you are giving him credit for. And he has done it with wisdom and intelligen

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