Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Political Conventions Are Over, But Not Forgotten

Some convention highlights you might have missed:

“Censorship police” wearing yellow vests covered up signs they didn’t agree with and started patriotic chants to drown out protesters.

Signs criticizing the party’s nominee were covered over with huge American flags.

A delegate who hoisted a flag deemed politically inappropriate was thrown out of the convention.

“They tried to bully us, under the assumption that we would all just fall in line,” said one delegate. “We were called crazy, and some of us, including myself, were physically attacked. They tried to intimidate us, but their attempts only fired us up more.”

There you have it. The Republican Convention was an Orwellian nightmare…wait, what? That wasn’t from the Republican Convention? That happened at the Democratic National Convention? Yes, indeed.

Sanders supporters at the convention who did not experience an immediate epiphany and turn their enthusiastic support in the direction of Hillary were harassed, belittled, bullied and, in a few cases, physically assaulted. It was an attempt by the Clinton juggernaut to convey a united Democratic front to the media covering the event, in ways that were as undemocratic as one could possibly get. The Clintonites at the convention went so far as to pay actors to fill up empty seats and cheer for Hillary.

As you might guess, many Sanders supporters went home from the Democratic convention defeated and dismayed by the Trump-like tactics used to shut down protests from the party many thought represented minority voices and the underdogs. That’s so 1960s. Today’s Democratic Party is as beholden to money and special interests as the Republican Party, and is just as ready to stifle descent and discord. Hillary Clinton, with her vast network of rich and famous donors, is the perfect figurehead for a political party that has sold its soul for a shot at the Oval Office, where loyal members can make millions from their experiences.

Luckily for the Democratic Party and Hillary, Trump is the perfect opposition candidate, drawing media attention away from the sleazy tactics and heavy-handed suppression of Sanders with The Donald's daily gaffes and buffoonery. However, the Sanders delegates will remember their treatment at the convention and how the DNC betrayed them, and, with any luck, will take the energy they had for Bernie and build momentum for a new progressive coalition in America.

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