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Independent voters do not build the party. Chasing the damn middle is what got us here. We need to educate and build a strong base, something we’ve neglected for aeons, that Dean started working on. We need to be teaching people about real applied politics and civics again — like that we don’t elect a president, we elect an executive transition team of between 5000 and 35,000 people — and the higher number applies in times of party change or outsider elections.

Tell me where Sanders, a gadfly and near anarchist (and I say that in a kind way, as the grand-daughter of syndicalists) is going to find 35,000 quality appointees to fill his executive branch posts with people who will be loyal and qualified to run this multi-trillion dollar ship of state without it being business as usual (and/or stabbing him in the back)?

It’s taboo to say it, but independents don’t build the party, they take away the resources from it. They are the ones spitting in our face. Look what the Tea Party is doing to the GOP right now: they ran candidates as Republicans specifically to tear down the party structure because they believe that the party is corrupt. The Sanders supporters express the same sentiments. Given encouragement without education, they will become the same kind of insurgency.

But we have needed their votes for decades, and we’ve had to compete for them with the GOP, so we’ve had to pander to the middle and end up sounding like Repulicrats so we can attract the votes in the middle — and then we get spat on for sounding like centrists. Those independents are the problem not the solution. When they decide it’s fashionable to spit on us for not holding to our leftist ideals, we pander left. Then they’ll say we’re too left, and things will change. You can track it in the campaigns from year to year.

The Democratic Party *platform* hasn’t changed from middle left, in decades. The candidates, however, in order to attract the independents, have to chase the middle to win elections. The DLC were geniuses at this — they were the first to use computer modeling and marketing science to completely ditch the party rank and file in national elections and open wide for the independents you so generously defend.

So it was the Clintons who have always courted the middle, with SCIENCE. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ve always resented how coldly they courted the middle, and Hillary must feel like she’s been outplayed by the fashion police.

The Dean campaign was trying to bring the party back to the grassroots and rank and file. Back to the Wellstone Democratic ideal of the “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.”

The Dean Progressives were an insurgency who worked with the party and integrated, learned the ropes and have been reforming from within.

By polling, most Sanders supporters are uninterested in party politics and will not support other Democratic Party candidates. They will not support the nominee if it isn’t Sanders. They are not interested, Andrew. They are hostile. They would rather burn the house down than see Hilary win, because they have no sense of what it takes to deal with the rats’ nest DC has become.

Your independents are naive, they want a Gordian knot solution. It isn’t coming. It just opens the door to snake oil salesmen and miracle workers, tent revivals selling salvation by the pint patent medicine vial.

It’s not good for them and it’s not good for us. Just, no one is willing to say it out loud, are they?

Decades of dumbing down the electorate and the education system has taken its toll on all sides, and the prospect we could see a business-class populist fascist in the White House this fall doesn’t seem to daunt anyone enough to unite and act. It’s a mess, and well beyond my ability to influence from retirement.

You’re “disappointed” in me? Go ahead, dear, you can’t hurt me with infantalization — I’ve worked in politics since I was young enough that it was working from the other end. Dismissing someone’s words wholesale is a tacky rhetorical form, but your team is redolent with cheap shots. Care to try again?

Bernie is 74. He’ll be 80ish before the end of his first term. I’m 56 and often speak of myself as pushing 60 — at this point in life the decades dilate. His routine has not been as stressful as Clinton’s and its not clear he’s up to it as an older man, honestly, but that’s not my point regardless.

Modern campaigns are expensive — I’ve helped run some. Your accusations of corruption are attacking systems that are endemic, and frankly that Sanders is not excluded from nor can he sidestep as president regardless of his campaign into the presidency, because every person on his team will have a network of favors. To ignore this is to take an attitude that the president runs the country on his own. Do you believe that?

Talk to me after the election, maybe in 8 years to give it all room to digest historically. If I’m still here, we’ll see what you think of what happened. It will be an interesting conversation.

Or, you know, you can do that internet thing and respond now, and give it your BernieBro best.