‘HILLARY Clinton must become the next president of the United States,’ Bernie Sanders told the Democratic Convention on Monday. These words touched off huge cheers of celebration from Clinton supporters, but angered and shocked thousands of his own supporters.
Sanders said he would do everything he could to help her get elected and that she would make ‘an outstanding president’. Sanders had won 13 million votes for his ‘political revolution’ and millions of dollars in small ‘workers’ donations’, only to reveal that he is not a revolutionary at all.
His supporters at the Convention are, however, determined to continue the revolution and to turn it into a social or socialist revolution, mobilising the 13 million Sanders voters to fight for a socialist USA.
Sanders had a message for his supporters who have said they may not back Clinton in the November general election. ‘If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country,’ he said.
However, his supporters and the workers that voted for him are in no mood to give up. After his speech, his supporters took to the Convention halls to chant ‘We won’t vote for Hillary’ and ‘This is what democracy looks like.’ Earlier, before his speech, speaker after speaker who mentioned Clinton – even in passing – were booed and jeered. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings was booed when he took to the stage.
Sanders delegates stood, waved signs and chanted against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal which Cummings supports. Even the Convention opening prayer was disrupted by chants of ‘Bernie’, while mass jeering greeted the remarks of Democratic National Committee chair Marcia Fudge. The anger of the demonstrators was fuelled by the revelation by Wikileaks of e-mails that showed that Democratic National Committee officials, supposedly neutral, had actively plotted to disrupt the Sanders primaries campaign to give Clinton an extra boost.
The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating the leaked allegations. Democratic Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned on Sunday as pressure built on the party to address the scandal, while Democratic Party bosses later issued an apology to Sanders for the ‘inexcusable’ e-mails which tried to undermine his White House campaign.
An additional cause of fury was the nomination of right winger Tim Kaine as Clinton’s vice president. Norman Solomon, who serves as national co-ordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network, says that more than 80% of the nearly two-thirds of Sanders delegates he polled objected to Kaine.
About 5,000 party delegates are among the 50,000 people expected to attend the four-day Convention, which is scheduled to end on Thursday with Clinton formally accepting the nomination for president. Both her and Kaine’s nominations are expected to be challenged by pro-Sanders delegates.
For the future: ‘Bernie Sanders’ political revolution does not depend on Bernie Sanders or any one person,’ Lauren Steiner, a California Sanders delegate commented. ‘It’s millions of people getting up and saying enough is enough, this country belongs to all of us.’
‘We take very seriously the principle Bernie enunciated from early in the campaign, that social change comes from the bottom up,’ said Karen Bernal, one of the leaders of the state’s Sanders delegation. ‘As beloved as Bernie is, he’s not running the show.’
The movement for a ‘political revolution’ has won the support of the Nurses and Communications Workers trade unions as well as millions of workers and youth. The vast majority of the movement will vote for Clinton to keep Trump out of office. However, the revolution will continue, and see trade unions and youth breaking with the Democrats, to form a US Labor Party, to fight for a socialist USA.
The political revolution will become a social revolution of the US workers and youth to take the power. It is absolutely essential to build a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in the USA, to play its part in the struggle for a socialist USA.