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The Democrats' War Against the Progressive Left and Bernie Sanders

Duane is an avid reader and follower of all things social, spiritual, and political, and a committed leftist.


The Democrats' War on Progressives Started Before Bernie Sanders

The Occupy movement of 2011-12 was the Democrats' first chance, but they were haughty and silent.

Occupy changed the political landscape the same way hip-hop and rap changed the music industry. In the early 1980s, everyone was sure that rap and hip-hop were passing fads that would die out in a few years. Thirty-five years later, rap and hip-hop are the foundation of the music industry.

Occupy was the most significant mass political movement since the 1960s and the formation of the new left. The mainstream corporate media and the Democrats ridiculed and mocked Occupy, but the movement was the fertile field that sprouted Bernie Sanders' candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Only Sanders saw what the Occupy movement foretold.

Anna Kasperian of The Young Turks, (TYT), said this:

"The establishment, including cable news networks and corrupt politicians who take advantage of legalized bribery did everything they could to belittle or delegitimize the movement from the very beginning. CNN’s Erin Burnett famously mocked the protesters in her 'Seriously' segment by making them all seem like uneducated and ignorant hippies looking for government handouts. It wasn’t surprising to find that Burnett had close ties to Wall Street as a former financial analyst for Goldman Sachs."

Here's why the Democrats completely ignored Occupy:

According to several sources, the Democratic party received more special interests money, by a two-to-one margin, than even their corporate Republican counterparts. Had the Democratic party utilized some foresight, had their leadership remembered the core tenets of what being a Democrat stands for, they could have tapped into the youthful energy, mobilized it into new voters, and carried itself to sweeping congressional victories in '12, '14, and '16. Jake Johnson at writes:

"Democrats, for instance, remain committed (in word) to curbing the influence of corporate money on the political process. But such gestures seem utterly meaningless after a convention that was overflowing with lobbyists and influence-peddlers looking to gain access as protesters marched in the streets, alongside the luxury hotels arranged for the donor class.

"We must have set up five fund-raisers today," one particularly eager Democrat, now running for Congress, said of his work at the convention. "This is the bank."

That is why, instead of Occupy infusing the Democrats with new electoral energy, it exposed the Democrats as the party of Wall Street and the corporate lobby.

The Occupy Movement and Bernie Sanders

The Occupy movement was the beginning of the revolution. It started in late '11 and early '12 and although it didn't end in the spring of 2012, it retreated to organize. That reorganization has brought us the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, Independent, Democratic Socialist.

“Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy,” Sanders said.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC), heavily committed to Hillary Clinton, chose, by procedure and propaganda, to sabotage the Sanders campaign. In turn, they sabotaged, dirty tricked, and invalidated millions of voters. The Democrats engaged in the worst practices of establishment politics. By subverting Sanders and his supporters, the Democrats ensured their own defeat.

The 2016 election had the lowest voter turnout in twenty years. The story of that election was not how people turned out to support Donald Trump, it's how people didn't show to support Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton actually had more popular votes than Donald Trump, but that was nullified by the fact that she didn't invigorate white working class voters to come out and vote for her. Her most damaging losses were in the rust belt states, which ironically were Bernie Sanders' strength. That is where the Democrats lost the election, a defeat that was sealed at the Democratic convention in July. The Democrats treated the Sanders delegation like second-class citizens and told them they were "being ridiculous."

That is not how you inspire people to vote for your candidate. Scolding condescension is a huge turn-off to voters. The Democrats neglected the fact that Bernie's supporters were not seeking Democratic party unity. They wanted fundamental change in the social system and the Democratic party.

A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.

— Teddy Roosevelt

Hope vs Resolve

President Obama's 2008 campaign hinged on the word hope, a shrewd choice given the previous eight years of Bush/Cheney and the Wall Street meltdown of '08. But President Obama quickly squashed the hope he inspired with his choices of economic advisors straight from Wall Street. Also hopeless was the manner in which he, through the DNC, unilaterally took universal healthcare off the table in favor of the corporate-friendly Affordable Care Act (ACA), essentially the same plan proposed by Republicans a couple of decades ago. ACA is based on the plan passed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The DNC Wages War on Itself

Turns out President Obama was a corporate Democrat, in political terms, a neo-liberal. Starting in 2010 and continuing until this day, the Progressive and leftist wing of the Democratic party stopped showing up in mid-term elections nationally and on the state level. The Democrats got their electoral asses kicked in every election except the 2012 Presidential election. Even in 2012, they lost more ground in congress and state governor races.

Still, the Democrats didn't get it. Six years of getting killed at the polls because they couldn't—or wouldn't—connect with their constituency, and they still remain obtuse.
There has been a definite, undeniable shift to the left in American politics, but the Democratic Party lurches the other way with neo-liberal, corporate-inspired, market-based policies.

Democrats Lose Lose Support

Bernie Sanders supporters are displaying a resolve for fundamental systemic change. An insurgent resolve. The Democrats better understand that Bernie or bust is a real and deeply seated thing. DemExit, already in the works before the convention, is being supercharged by the Wikileaks expose that the DNC colluded with the media and state-level Democrats against the Sanders campaign. DemExit has resulted in an unprecedented surge in Green Party registrations. A third party option that could win. Independents are the largest voting block in the country.

Given the probability that the Greens won't win, it won't be a wasted vote. Voting Green will build a base for a progressive third party option in the years to come.

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The DNC Gave Trump the Presidency

As we endure the next four years of Donald Trump, bear this in mind: It was the Democrats' blind allegiance to the status quo, devotion to Wall Street corporations, and neglect of the concerns of millions of new voters that gave Trump access to the White House. Do not let the Democrats blame you, the voter, for Trump. Donald Trump's Presidency is solely the responsibility of the Democratic party.

Lesser of Two Evils, Again?

Political Insurgencies Are Not Convenient


© 2016 Duane Townsend


Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on July 10, 2017:

Bill...Bernie in 2020 will be nice. But he'll be almost 80 by then.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 10, 2017:

Oh, what might have been, eh?

I used to write political articles, but I finally got tired of the arguments and beating my head against the wall. I admire that fact that you are still at it.

Bernie in 2020? I doubt it, but we need a clone soon.

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 06, 2016:

Mr. Happy,

What keeps me sane about commenters on my Hubs is the quote:

"Many people don't see things as they are, they see things as THEY are."

See things through the filters of their biases and fear.

Thanks man

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 06, 2016:

Haha, I see You're having fun with Hub-pages commentator(s). It reminded me about previous years when I would have this back and forth with people on Hub-pages. Many simply do not have knowledge to debate but they are full of anger and fear. That is what drives most comments here on Hub-pages when You are talking politics and religion. I say this because I have been around for years and years here and not much seems to have changed.

So, just wanted to say once again: keep your Spirit up and thank You for your diligence! We have a lot of nay-sayers to deal with lol Patience helps. Cheers!

(Might want to erase my comment here since it is not exactly on topic).

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 06, 2016:


You've been allowed your rant against Sanders. This Hub is about the environment, the circumstances, that fueled Sanders' campaign.

Please comment on the substance of the Hub.

Any comment you make from here on that concentrates solely on Bernie Sanders will not be approved.

ahorseback on May 06, 2016:

How do you define consistency in doing nothing , exactly ? My ire is in this exactly . That talk , that rhetoric is cheap and following Sanders for years as a political junky , that is Sen. Sanders greatest accomplishment . Nothing.

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 06, 2016:

As your comment demonstrates ahorseback....Bernie Sanders is consistent.

You're neglecting everything else this Hub says and focusing your ire on Bernie Sanders.

ahorseback on May 06, 2016:

Perhaps you could name one "real " legislative accomplishment of Bernie's instead of rolling on with the political correctness' re- vitalization of his sixties outdated socialist , communist manifesto . Bernie has a rather short line of the same old, same old, same and old " hippy" days "Woodstock " rhetorical stump speech .

His entire speech line is memorized from 1965.Chicago or San Francisco , but just ask yourself Where IS the beef? Todays younger Bernie voters SHOULD be smarter , it's older ones cannot be .

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 05, 2016:

Still ahorseback,

Bernie Sanders had no effect on Vermont state policies.

The Vermont governor and legislators are responsible for Vermont's economy, not Bernie Sanders.

Your premise is not based on fact.

You hate socialists, we get that. But you have to make a better argument that Vermont's economy is Bernie Sanders or democratic socialism's fault. Right now, all you're doing is ranting.

ahorseback on May 05, 2016:

He is instrumental in bringing socialism , with the help of his peers , Gov. Shumlin , Con. Peter Welch , Sen. Pat Leahy , all democrats , all leftist extremists in ideology , to Vermont ,all supported by an eighty percent democrat legislature ! The economic state is piss poor , the unemployment rate well above 15 percent when you consider the reality of the welfare state that Vermont has become .

Your hero Bernie Sanders never even had a job until he was over forty years old ! Vet him !

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 05, 2016:


Bernie Sanders has been Vermont's congressional rep from 1991 to 2007 and its Senator since 2007. He was in no position to destroy the state's economy.

Wouldn't that be responsibility of state and local officials?

ahorseback on May 05, 2016:

Living in the state where Sanders is from and has been more than instrumental in destroying an entire economy , I can say that the left has failed miserably to vet a candidate that has nothing in his political pocket except empty, political sixties, mindless ,socialist, non-sense rhetoric . Back then it was the "Chicago Seven ", today it's the genetic offspring of the same .

Unhappy with the income gap now ,wait until he spends your great great ,great , great , great grandchildren's piggy -bank . There was a saying back in the eighties before you were born , "Where's the beef "? That's what I'd ask the Bern!

Duane Townsend (author) from Detroit on May 04, 2016:

Mr. Happy...good work my friend.

Daniel Guillot on May 04, 2016:

Neither Cruz OR Trump can win against either Bernie OR Hillary that is the real race and the direction of this country goes No One expected Bernie to win in a landslide yesterday,seems like firing your entire campaign staff has little effect on the voters...

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 04, 2016:

Nice Hub, I appreciate it.

I'm one of those people who camped-out in the financial district for nearly a month, here in Toronto. At one point, I went and visited Occupy Tampa too (the hubs and photos are all on my profile). As many people kept saying that the Occupy Movement achieved nothing, I saw: passion, energy, people organizing, sharing ideas and mobilizing better and better as time past. New organizations sprung-up and more and more people joining ranks.

To this day people say that the Occupy Movement did nothing but I look around and I see members of the Occupy Movement everywhere. Now they are older, a little wiser and have been spreading the message pretty good in my opinion. The talk about the 1% only got more intense over the years.

This is not about to stop, serious changes will indeed have to be made regarding the political system. People are not asleep at the wheel anymore.

Keep your Spirit! Social changes take decades sometimes but that is fine, as long as we're moving forward!

"Together United We'll Never Be Defeated!"

CJ Kelly from the PNW on May 04, 2016:

Although the country has shifted to the left on economic matters, this is a different age in terms of international affairs. It's a much more dangerous world than it was just 15 years ago and the President needs gravitas when it comes to foreign affairs. So I'm not sure Bernie could get elected.

President Obama's domestic agenda has been usurped by foreign policy and terrorism issues. Much of that is his fault in not wanting to negotiate with Congress, but world events still have a way of taking over a Presidency.

I don't think Bernie has that; he's kind of a one trick pony.

However, you're right. It's a movement. He certainly has inspired lots of millennials and no doubt one of them will be running for the Presidency in 10 or 15 years.

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