Monday, July 25, 2016

Misled by Sanders, Some of his Supporters Still Demanding Revolution

Chris Cillizza:
Bernie Sanders spoke to a large group of his supporters on Monday in Philadelphia. The crowd cheered as Sanders ran through all of the successes he and his self-professed "political revolution" had run up this year: the millions of votes he won, the reduction in superdelegates, the takeover of state parties by Sanders supporters.

Then came time for the pivot. Sanders tried to tell the crowd that now was the time to line up behind Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Timothy M. Kaine. Boos cascaded down. Shouts of "no!" And then a Sanders chant started up.

Sanders was at a loss. Here he was telling his most loyal supporters what needed to happen next in order to unify the party and beat Donald Trump. And they weren't listening. They wanted revolution. Now, not later.

What was clear for anyone watching Sanders's unsuccessful attempts to calm the churning among his supporters is that the revolution he started is no longer one he can totally control. Or maybe even control at all.
See, when you go around the country riling people up with talk that the system is so rotten that only a revolution can solve our problems, some of them will believe you. I think this scene is the best evidence yet that Bernie didn't really mean it. He doesn't want a revolution; his hero is FDR, who was very proud of having prevented a revolution. He wants a much more liberal government, but he wants to achieve that through elections; he has no notion at all of any other way to proceed, and would probably be shocked at the notion of attaining power any other way. Some of his supporters have decided that the elections are rigged, and they aren't interested in abiding by the results.


David said...

The thing is, in any kind of truly revolutionary situation, the Right will eat them for lunch.

pootrsox said...

I'm not sure what Sanders expected when he spent a year ginning up enthusiasm for "revolution."

pithom said...

"He doesn't want a revolution; his hero is FDR, who was very proud of having prevented a revolution."

-Prevented what revolution? Ohio nearly voted for Hoover in 1932. The socialists got less in 1932 than the Greens did in 2000. There was a Democratic revolt in the farms and most (though by no means all) cities, but the rich suburbs were very much for Hoover.

David said...

Moderns can look back on the 1930s and say there would have been no US revolution. But the fear of revolution was rife, especially among the class FDR came from. His inauguration in 1932 was guarded by soldiers with machine guns. That fear, not the objective reality, is what mattered when it came to FDR's own feeling about his achievements.

There probably wouldn't have been a Red revolution in Germany in the 1930s, either. But fear of it led many to vote for the Nazis, and fear of it was part of what motivated some German powerbrokers to make Hitler chancellor in January 1933.

Fear of Red revolution has been a huge historical force.