Bernie Sanders Has Always Sacrificed Pragmatism For Idealism, But Now It’s Hurting Democrats
Bob Cunningham

Overall, a very good, articulate analysis. What Sen. Sanders did to Sec. Clinton and her campaign was disgraceful. Let’s not forget his campaign also broke into her campaign’s data, a precursor to Donald Trump and his campaign colluding with the Russians do the same to the DNC’s and Sec. Clinton’s staffers emails — just truly disgraceful.

One of the only things I don’t agree with is your critique of Rep. Ellison’s comments regarding President Obama. President Obama was not a good party leader: following his election in 2008, he foolishly accepted and internalized the media-created idea that America had officially become post-racial; he and party leaders — the institution — allowed Democratic voters to become incredibly complacent, thinking that all their work was done following the 2008 election (both culturally and electorally/politically); then throughout the next three elections, Democrats lost the House — and hundreds of state offices — and the newly-elected Republicans, Republicans already in office, and their base had become much more radicalized and resentful because of this change, and the changing culture around them, that they somehow could not undo (of course, the new census was conducted in 2010, so bring on the intense gerrymandering by these newly realized radicals). Who became the unofficial leader of this resentment? Donald Trump and birtherism.

Then the 2012 election comes around. All of a sudden Democrats and President Obama are ready to get people out to vote again, and they are successful, despite winning 4 million less votes nationwide…Republicans and their base thought that after three years of desperately trying to end this steady realization of a multi-cultural America, they would’ve succeeded, but they didn’t; and thus, they become more radicalized, bewildered and unhinged. But who were those 4 million less votes? Predominantly white male Democrats who were also feeling concerned with this rapidly changing culture of America (Gov. Romney only got 1 million more votes nationwide than Sen. McCain in 2008).

And then we fast-forward to nearly three years, three elections later in early 2016. Democrats had lost the Senate, and hundreds more state offices. Republicans and their base are piping hot — marriage equality, transgender community’s emergence, early awareness that Sec. Clinton would become the first female president next, and the other legislative and executive achievements President Obama and Democrats achieved federally — and you have the perfect storm for Donald Trump to run and become the GOP’s nominee (and also why Republicans became so obstructive).

Now let me interrupt myself by saying what has happened to the Republican party and ~1/4 Americans over the age of 18 did not start with then-Sen. Obama’s election as president and Democrats taking near-supermajorities in both chambers of Congress. This has been an ongoing deterioration of civility, decency and truth for decades, easily, and acutely, dating back to Sen. Goldwater becoming the GOP nominee in 1964. But it was certainly intensified over the last eight years. Add in an intensified agitation of Democratic voters who are also uncomfortable with the changing tide (Sec. Clinton being white and female, succeeding the first man of color), the 25-year smear campaign by the media and Republicans against Sec. Clinton, Donald Trump and his campaign colluding with the Russian government, Donald Trump and his campaign colluding with Republicans in the FBI, Sen. Sanders smearing Sec. Clinton, and Sec. Clinton and her campaign’s naivete (including myself) thinking that we could overcome all of that no matter what, and you have the perfect storm for Donald Trump narrowly winning the Electoral College and occupying the office of the presidency.

Essentially, the eye was taken off the prize — a just, equitable and multicultural, essentially progressive, America — because a good number of good people thought it was already achieved. And we, elected and unelected citizens, can never let that happen again.