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Bernie, Biden, and Trump
June 14, 2020
by William P. Meyers

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Reporting from inside the Democratic Party

I was recently a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Washington State Democratic Party Convention. If you have been reading this column since, say, 2015, you may find that weird. So before I whisper secrets, allow me to say how that happened.

First, because they met near my new residence in Seattle, and there was no Green Party structure in Seattle, I went to a local 46th Legislative District Democrats meeting some time around when Trump became President. I knew what a disaster for the planet Trump was likely to be. I found this group to be very progressive. The meetings were once a month, and I started going regularly. Then I started volunteering, and became a PCO (precinct committee organizer). The 2018 election results made me feel better.

When Presidential Primary Season rolled around, I decided to volunteer for Kamala Harris. That was a complex decision, I can't repeat the process here. When Kamala dropped out I pouted for a while, then decided to support Elizabeth Warren. By the time Elizabeth dropped out, it was clear that Biden would be the nominee, though of course the hard-core Bernie people could not accept that. Issue-wise I was closer to Bernie, but he and his follows had alienated me by their lying about Bernie's record and mischaracterization of the records of Hillary, Kamala, and Elizabeth. I did not plan to be a national delegate (and I am not).

But with the new, coronavirus inspired, electronic process for delegate selection, a new problem arose. We called for people to be delegates, which starts at our legislative district level, then narrows the number at other levels until the national delegates are selected. We had a lack of people registering to become delegates, and a lack of Bernie delegates applicants in particular. So I filled out a form to be a delegate, for Bernie. He was the only choice besides Biden, and an important role of delegates is voting on platform issues. You get to write a short essay about yourself so people can decide how to vote. I wrote that I had volunteered for Elizabeth and Kamala. I did not say anything about Bernie at all. I did not want to misrepresent myself. And since I did not want to be a national delegate, I was hoping enough Bernie supporters would sign up, if only because they found my non-Bernie essays or support for Kamala offensive.

And yet I was elected to be a Bernie delegate, with the next step being helping to elect the national Bernie delegates. So I voted for the ones who seemed like they actually would be good representatives for Bernie for my district. Some of them I knew, and some I did not. I don't think results have been published yet; I have not seen them.

Next I heard an inside story from someone I will call Insider. Apparently both the Biden and the Bernie political machines wanted the right to cast our voting aside and pick their delegates, or at least veto people they suspected of being trouble makers. I assumed trouble makers meant secret Bernie supporters in the Biden delegation, and vice versa. The Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee wisely decided to stick with our process. Later, the Bernie campaign wanted to veto two people, and came back with that ask. The funny thing was that those two people were not suspected of being Biden supporters. Instead, they were rabid Bernie supporters. The worry was they might try to disrupt the convention. Bernie does not want the convention disrupted. He is willing to fight over the platform, but he wants the entire party out there in November to defeat Donald Trump.

This prioritization of defeating Trump, which means pushing Joe Biden, was confirmed in a speech given to the Washington State Bernie Sanders delegates by Pramila Jayapal. Pramila represents the Washington State 7th Congressional District and is an ally and often surrogate for Bernie Sanders.

So I changed my mind about Bernie. Not about his past, but about how he is handling the present. He knows that another 4 years of Trump would be a disaster for the earth, the United States, and his progressive movement. He knows the Democrats need to capture the House, Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court to get things done. He knows Biden is open to progressive legislation. He is not being a spoil-sport. And he is not waiting until after the convention to come out for Joe. It is not just lip service. He is not changing his mind on issues, but is really trying to get all his supporters to vote, for Joe and other Democratic Party candidates, in the fall.

Also, I learned the Bernie finally said something to the effect the world is overpopulated, which I somehow missed back in 2019 when he said it.

So when Bernie was attacked by a friend who is a Democrat because he endorsed a progressive Democrat in the Kentucky primary, attacked vituperatively, I wrote a bit in Bernie's defense. Basically, that Bernie is supporting Biden, that after the primary the progressive will get behind the winning Democrat, and it was time to chill on the anti-Bernie invective.

Of course I was attacked by multiple people for being a Bernie Bro. Pretty funny. When they had finished spitting venom I pointed out that I was a former Kamala and Elizabeth supporter, and that I merely was saying peace works both ways. Bernie has stopped attacking Biden and asked his followers to support Biden. I know people's feelings were hurt by Bernie Bro attacks on their favorite candidates. I am not saying to stop arguing about public policy within the Democratic Party. But United We Stand, Divided We Fall, "so come on people now, let's get on the ball."

By the way, the Washington State Democratic Party Platform is amazingly detailed and progressive. I think they are still doing final edits, but soon it should be posted here: Washington State Democratic Party.

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