I realize that the nature of punditry generally involves people who are outside of movements, groups, or political campaigns telling those on the inside what they should do. But this piece by James Downie suggesting that Sanders’ supporters should use their momentum to change the delegate selection process is just stupid.
It’s not that the delegate selection process isn’t ridiculous–as I noted in 2008, it is (and it’s not just the caucuses either, but that there are often two or more rounds which can significantly alter the outcome of either caucuses or primary. By the way, Clinton’s team isn’t paying attention to these details. But I digress).
Granted, the BernieBro phenomenon and with the huge age and racial gaps in support for Sanders versus Clinton have overshadowed why Sanders’ supporters, well, support him. Is some of it a kind of nebulous anti-establishmentarianism? Sure. But many of those answers should be seen as equivalent to the response of when people are asked “what’s wrong with the economy?” and they respond with either the deficit or inflation (neither of which are problems right now). There are a lot of newbies who aren’t policy wonks and don’t know the lingo used to sound intelligent (which is quite different from being intelligent).
But Sanders supporters want things, some of which I’ve discussed here and here. A short list would include: a $15/hour minimum wage, better healthcare, stronger regulation of banks, support for unions and unionizing, and massive infrastructure rebuilding. As an aside, it’s worth a reminder that one way to get them on board, if Clinton wins, is to offer policy concessions, as odd as that might feel for the Democratic Party establishment.
I guarantee, however, reforming the delegate selection process is not what is motivating Sanders supporters, nor is that why they fight. To the extent they have any clout in the party, they shouldn’t piss it away on a better delegate process. Fight for something that will change lives.
Don’t bother with delegate concepts or platform points. Just create a list of possible executive actions to push for since the H of R will still be in the hands of the other party. John Edwards changed the lives of homeless vets by educating the public about their plight. Similarly, Sanders needs to continue to talk about college debt and be very specific about other ways to
and be very specific about other ways to create jobs and find income from the financial sector.