Bernie Sanders Cannot Unify a Party That Disrespects Him and His Supporters

The Democratic Party derides its most popular politician at its own expense

Sen. Bernie Sanders delivers a speech on February 27, 2017.
Sen. Bernie Sanders delivers a speech on February 27. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Bernie Sanders stated his frustration that the Democratic establishment has resisted all calls from progressives to reform.

“We need a total transformation,” Sanders said. “We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad.”

The Democratic Party went the opposite direction by electing former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to DNC chair over Rep. Keith Ellison, who Sanders backed. Perez was a surrogate for the Clinton campaign during the primaries, and emails released by Wikileaks from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta exposed that Perez advised the Clinton campaign to whitewash Sanders’ campaign. Though Sanders wouldn’t admit the election process for DNC officials was rigged, he did criticize the process for being undemocratic. “That’s what the system is—and one of the things [new DNC Chairman Tom Perez] is going to have to change is to figure out how we elect national Democratic leaders,” Sanders said. “I’m not quite impressed with the process that exists.”

Perez was selected by the Democratic establishment specifically to prevent a Sanders’ supporter from running the DNC. Every other DNC official position that was up for election was filled with Clinton loyalists and surrogates. Though the Democratic Party claims that it’s unified against President Donald Trump, they haven’t made any concessions to progressives to earn that unification. In an effort to exploit his popularity, the party appointed Sanders as head of outreach, and Ellison was given the fabricated concessionary position of DNC deputy chair.

The Clintons still loom over the Democratic Party despite Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing election loss, and Perez refused to rule out that she would run again in 2020. The Democratic establishment has focused on allegations of Russian election interference more than any other issue, propagating the myth that Hillary Clinton lost was because she was cheated.

While avoiding accountability and reform, Democrats continue to attack progressives and tell them to fall in line behind the establishment.

On February 26, Maine’s Portland Press Herald published an editorial written by former State Senator Cynthia Dill titled, “Democrats need to cull the fringe-starting with Bernie Bros.” Blue Nation Review’s Peter Daou tweeted a similar response claiming that Trump used all of Sanders’ attacks against Clinton and that he fell victim to Trump’s strategy of baiting centrist Clinton supporters from continuing attacks on progressives, leaving Democrats disjointed and fragmented.

With attitudes like these among the Democratic Party, it isn’t surprising that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election and Democrats across the country have suffered drastic losses up and down the ballot. Democrats somehow think that attacking progressives is a good strategy to get them to fall in line so that Democrats can start winning elections again. There are few strategies that could be worse for the Democratic Party than continuing to attack the supporters of its most popular politician.

Bernie Sanders Cannot Unify a Party That Disrespects Him and His Supporters