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Sanders: Democratic primary not a ‘monarchy’

Bernie Sanders called out the Democratic presidential nomination process on Tuesday when he said that it wasn’t a “monarchy.”

“We don’t live, thank God, in an authoritarian country. People dissent,” he said during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show. “If we take your assumption and Clinton’s supporters’ assumption of the logical conclusion, you know what we should do? We should go back to a monarchy and not have any elections at all.”

The Hill reports:

Sanders rejected the idea that his candidacy hurts Clinton’s poll numbers delaying party unity. He also tried to temper his recent comment that the Democratic National Convention could get “messy,” which raised eyebrows after a contentious party convention in Nevada erupted into heated protests earlier this month.

“The media takes words out of context. The context of that was ‘democracy is messy,’ that people will have a vigorous debate on the issues,” he said.

But when asked specifically whether he believed the party’s national convention in July would get messy, Sanders said, “Of course it will be — that’s what democracy is about.”

He brushed aside questions about whether he would campaign for Clinton in the fall, cutting off NBC’s Kristen Welker when she tried to ask. But he also repeated his assertion that presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump “would be a disaster if he was elected president.”

Photo credit: PBS / Screenshot.

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  • Sue

    Unfortunately, Sanders is also injecting one of the most wrong-headed and frankly embarrassing aspects of lefty thought into our discourse: The tendency to dismiss people who disagree with you as dupes who have been misled by a shadowy cabal of evil masterminds who brainwash the masses in order to perpetuate economic injustice.

    This is the premise of Sanders’ “political revolution” argument: That the only reason voters hadn’t backed a socialist in the past is they never really had a chance to. But once they heard the good news about democratic socialism, they will throw off their shackles, embrace the truth, and usher in our socialist paradise.

    , Sanders has started to dismiss his loss as inauthentic, the product of shadowy forces misleading the easily duped voters rather an an authentic rejection, by the voters, of his ideas.

    “I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Sunday. “I want the American people to be voting for a vision of economic justice, of social justice, of environmental justice, of racial justice.”

    The implication is loud and clear: The people are somehow being denied a choice, and if they were just allowed to vote for him, they would.

    He made this implication even clearer when speaking with Jake Tapper on CNN on Sunday. “I am the stronger candidate because we appeal to independents, people who are not in love with either the Democratic or the Republican Party,” Sanders argued.

    To hear Sanders talk, you’d think the public hates these parties and that the only reason they win almost all elections is that the people are denied an alternative.

    To which I say hogwash. In the year 2000, Ralph Nader ran on a similar platform to Sanders, but as a third party candidate, making him the alternative to voting either Democratic or Republican that Sanders is speaking of. Nader got less than 3% of the vote. Moreover, the notion that independent voters are really a thing is mostly a myth. more in-depth research shows that the vast majority of them vote consistently for one party.

    But Sanders seems unwilling to admit this, instead resorting to insinuations that the game has been rigged against him. During the CNN interview, Tapper kept pointing out that Clinton has straight up won the majority of votes in the primary contest,

    Sanders has long been a proponent of this belief that the voters only reject the socialist revolution because they are duped by the system.

    Sanders likes to portray himself as the champion of the little guy, but his theory of politics is elitist. His rhetoric paints everyone who disagrees with him is either a sell-out or a dupe who doesn’t know what’s really good for them. And that, in turn, is breeding paranoid, vindictive behavior from Sanders and his camp, who are unwilling to accept the possibility that he lost the primary in a fair fight.

    In reality, most people who disagree with Sanders are not bamboozled or corrupt. In most cases, they simply have different priorities or values. Republican voters aren’t being tricked by the Republican party into voting against their own self-interests. If the party was that good at manipulating the voters, it’s impossible to imagine Trump would be the nominee. No, they really are conservative and put a value on maintaining racial and social hierarchies over policies that would improve their economic wellbeing.

    Nor are Democrats somehow cheating some silent majority of socialists out of the nominee of their choice. Sanders had a chance — he even outspent Clinton for most of the primary race — and the voters just had more faith in Clinton’s theory of political change. If Sanders is as big an advocate for the people as he claims to be, he really should work harder at respecting their intelligence.


    • dddfaber

      Bravo. Very insightful.