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Senator Bernie Sandersby Jake Tapper on CNN this morning, and the subject was the Wikileaks that revealed the efforts by staff members of the Democratic National Committee to undermine his candidacy. Senator Sanders said he was not shocked; he has known for months that the DNC was not playing fair, and he once again called for the resignation of its chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Washerman Schultz must be held accountable, and it is only a matter of time–minutes, hours, or days–until she steps aside. If she should appear at the podium during the convention, she will get a hostile reception from the delegates. The DNC staff must support all Democratic candidates in primaries. It compromised its integrity during the primaries in this election.
Whoever takes her place should be committed to broadening the base of the party and reaching out to the supporters of Senator Sanders. Not as a gesture, but as a genuine program of remaking the Democratic party and restoring its progressive values. As Senator Sanders said in the interview, the focus for now must be on uniting to prevent the election of Donald Trump. Jake Tapper asked him about Tim Kaine, his colleague in the Senate. Sanders replied that Kaine is not as progressive as he (Sanders) is. But on Kaine’s “worst day,” he said, he is 100 times better than Donald Trump. Trump is already reaching out to disaffected Sanders voters, hoping to woo them and win them at the height of their rage and disappointment.
Bernie Sanders created a political earthquake, and it won’t go away. He raised the issues that had been brushed aside for years by a faux bipartisan consensus: about economic inequality, about further enrichment of the 1%, about the need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and produce good jobs by doing so, about disastrous trade deals that outsourced jobs and hurt working people, about making public college tuition-free for all students with the aspirations to go to college, and a host of other issues that go to the character of our country and our future. The movement he started will not disappear. He will use his energies, first, to defeat Donald Trump, and second, to build an organization to sustain the movement for a fair and just society that serves all people, not the 1%.
Bernie has won a place of honor in American history as a seer, a champion for causes that will survive and continue until they have won general acceptance and are no longer controversial.
If you believe in his ideals and goals, help him build his organization. Keep the momentum going.
Norman Thomas, the Socialist who ran for president six times, once wrote something that could be a description of Bernie’s contribution to political discourse:
“I am not the champion of lost causes, but the champion of causes not yet won.”