What Unites Us? Campaign Finance Reform.
One of the things that draws together supporters of Bernie Sanders is our commitment to effecting campaign finance reform laws. What worries me now is that while Sanders Democrats fight for a voice in the DNC Platform in July, they may forget this overwhelmingly bipartisan platform point in favor of Sanders’ other ideas.
This is scary because without campaign finance reform, there is little hope of effectively addressing many of the inequalities in our system. By disregarding the fact that Republicans and Libertarians were willing to vote for Bernie for this reason, and assuming that a nod to a $15/hour work week or equal pay, or any of his other economic policies will carry as much weight with his supporters outside the Democratic party (of which I am one, now, having left the party I’ve been a member of for years) is unrealistic.
Of course, at this point, what can the DNC do to make a genuine peace offering to Sanders supporters? One that might go a long way towards repairing the damage done by a race that was biased in favour of Clinton since day one?
They can reinstate the ban on money from lobbyists, which President Obama put in place and which Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently reinstated.
Candidates who want to appeal to Sanders supporters in their district can immediately renounce corporate donors and SuperPAC money in favour of small donor money.
Congressional dems can begin — immediately — proposing legislation for serious and effective campaign finance reform.
Will steps like these guarantee a “return” (since many were not Dems before Sanders’ candidacy) to the DNC fold for every Sanders supporter? Will they recapture the votes Sanders was garnering from the right? Who knows, and it would almost certainly take time even if it did happen. Trust, once lost, is hard to rebuild, and the establishment in both major parties have lost the trust of the governed.
But without immediate demonstrations of good faith in adhering to Sanders’ main uniting political message, the DNC will surrender the major point that truly brought the American electorate together (not just registered Democratic primary voters) in crowds that overflowed stadiums all primary session long. If the Dems refuse to reform a rigged system, those voters will almost definitely go elsewhere, and the DNC will have no one to blame but themselves.