Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sanders Is Wrong About The Democratic Party

(This photo of Bernie Sanders is from

"The Democratic Party is going to have to make a very, very, profound and important decision. It can do the right thing and open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change. That is the Democratic Party I want to see.
"I say to the leadership of the Democratic Party: Open the doors, let the people in!"
Those are the words of Bernie Sanders last Tuesday night. He, as usual, is trying to convince voters that the Democratic Party is trying to shut them out and shut them up. That the party is run by an "establishment" that wants to keep the voice of the voters silent. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

It is incredibly easy to become a member of the Democratic Party. Basically, all you have to do is say you're a Democrat. In some states you become a member simply by voting in the Democratic primary. In others, all you have to do is let your voter registrar know you are a Democrat. Neither process is difficult in any way, and neither is controlled by any party "establishment". Anyone who wants to be a Democrat can easily become one.

The Democratic Party has always been a big tent party -- and membership is open to everyone, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, income level, sexual preference, or even political belief (conservative, moderate, or liberal). Everyone is welcome, and no one is locked out. Heck, the party has even accepted nuts like the LaRouchies.

Frankly, Bernie Sanders words sound more like sour grapes because he has lost his bid for the nomination. And that's sad, because I once respected him. He has not been treated unfairly in any way. He and Clinton both knew the rules before either entered the race for the party's presidential nomination, and those rules have been enforced fairly for both candidates.

Sanders wants people to think that the deck was stacked against him by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Not true. The DNC has been scrupulously fair to both candidates. It would not benefit them to do otherwise. Their purpose, indeed their only goal, is to get as many Democrats elected to national office as possible -- and you can't do that by being unfair to any candidate (because that would only drive away the supporters of that candidate).

Sanders seems to be trying to convince his supporters the party is unfair to them. But the truth is that more Democratic voters preferred Hillary Clinton to be their presidential nominee, and they made that clear with their votes in primaries and caucuses.

Sanders, who has only been a Democrat for a few months, doesn't want fairness. He wants his supporters (many of whom aren't even Democrats) to be able to march in and take over the party. That's not going to happen, and it shouldn't.

Democratic candidates are chosen by rank-and-file Democratic voters -- not party officials. And party rules are determined by rank-and-file Democrats in county, state, and national conventions. If anyone doesn't like those rules, all they have to do is join the party and work to change them -- understanding that you don't always get everything you want immediately. You must first convince a majority of your fellow Democrats that what you want is best for the party and the country.

That's the way things work in our political system, and it works pretty well.

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