Sen. Bernie Sanders is blasting the Democratic National Committee following the release of emails proving that the DNC sabotaged his primary campaign, but remains supportive of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The treasure trove of nearly 20,000 emails, published by WikiLeaks on Friday, reveals that top Democrats conspired to undermine Sanders’ campaign against Clinton, targeting even his Jewish heritage and religious convictions. Sanders’ supporters have long claimed that the DNC was working against them, and now have proof — though it seems that the extent and nastiness of the plot has shocked even them.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Sanders said, “I told you a long time ago that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton.” He also called for the resignation of Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman Schultz was booed off stage today while addressing delegates at the Democratic National Convention, and says she’ll step down at the end of the week.
However, in spite of anger towards Wasserman Schultz and the DNC, Sanders and his fans remain oddly supportive of Clinton, who benefited from the conspiracy. Journalist and prominent Black Lives Matter supporter Shaun King is even calling for progressives to start a new party from scratch — after ensuring that Clinton wins the election, of course. His statement illustrates the bizarre inconsistency in progressives who believe Clinton stole the election, yet deserves to spend the next four to eight years in the White House:
I do believe that stopping Trump is essential, but I want you to hear it again from me that after this election we must organize and outthink the political elite. We are better than this. I still think our very best chance is forming OUR OWN NEW POLITICAL PARTY AND MOVEMENT.
After the election. Naturally. Progressives have found themselves in a dilemma familiar to conservative Republicans: To support a nominee whom they despise, knowing that doing so will take their party further in the wrong direction; or to reject the nominee as a matter of principle (whether by voting for someone else or not at all), knowing that doing so could hand the presidency to their most dreaded opponent. At the moment, fear of Republican victory seems to be trumping their desire to reform the Democratic Party.
Burned progressives would do well to resist the pressure to vote for Clinton for the sake of short-term Democratic victory, and make an ethical stand. Political parties only respond to votes; they only change to earn the votes they aren’t getting. If Clinton wins in November, the DNC won’t be receptive to demands from the Sanders wing; the entire Democratic organization will shift gears and focus on getting her reelected in 2020.
If, on the other hand, Sanders fans were to unite behind a third-party alternative like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, a weakened Democratic Party would take their concerns very seriously.