Former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers, delegates and volunteers have organized quickly in the wake of the Democrat party’s selection last week of establishment-enthusiast Tom Perez to lead the Democratic National Committee instead of a progressive candidate endorsed by Bernie Sanders.
The rebuke inspired disenfranchised Sanders supporters to form a non-profit organization called Draft Bernie, and launch a campaign to draft Sanders as the leader of a new People’s Party to “finish what we started on his presidential campaign.”
According to an organization press release, members of the organization are “people working for a democracy” who see the selection of Perez as a signal that the Democratic Party has chosen not to join them in continuing the political revolution Sanders kindled last year.
The organization sees no future for progressives in the Democratic Party, citing the belief that the last two chairs of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile, helped rig the primary against Sanders. They also view Perez as “the man who urged Hillary Clinton to whitewash Sanders’ campaign” and lamented that he will run the DNC during the 2020 presidential election.
The Draft Bernie campaign urges its supporters and would-be members to declare that their commitment to the political revolution and the struggling people across America is stronger than their allegiance to the Democratic Party.
The new organization asserts that If Sanders agrees to head the new party, they would begin with at least half of the Democratic base. Ultimately they expect to recruit “independents, anti-establishment voters, the white working class, young voters, third party supporters, people who’ve given up on the political process, and many conservatives who just want a decent life.” Should they reach that goal, they foresee a party much larger than the Democratic and Republican parties.
“Our country was much more sharply divided over slavery than it is over present-day money in politics and inequality,” the organization’s statement claims. “Yet Lincoln’s Republicans replaced the Whig Party in four years. If Sanders starts a people’s party representing the views of the large majority of the American public, we can replace an establishment party in four years too.”
The Draft Bernie campaign claims they will never accept large donations from billionaires and corporations.
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