Despite all of Bernie Sanders’ efforts since July, to bolster the DNC candidate and now support the narratives being issued through the Party, millions of voters have left the DNC. Recent Gallup polls indicate that compared to September, 2016, when 32% of the people polled were willing to identify themselves as Democrats, today, only 25% are willing to be associated with the Party name.
Those people are comprised of groups like #NeverHillary, and so-called “Bernie-bots.” But even the Bernie-bots are reluctant to back up Bernie when he stops stumping for Progressive candidates like Sam Ronan in favor of the more moderately perceived Keith Ellison to head the DNC. Is Bernie merely being pragmatic when he steps up and calls the President a fraud, even though the electoral vote reality was his ostensible reason for yielding the Primary race to Hillary Clinton?
What it all boils down to, from this Psycholinguist’s point of view, is a problem with trust. Bernie came to us all on the platform of trust. We’re confused now – can we trust him? Some of the things he says sound like the old Bernie – the one we trusted and still do. But there’s a conflict that glares out at us every time we see or hear him switch from his own convictions to the words that have clearly been dictated by the DNC. It’s why so many people took interest in whether Bernie would turn over his network data to the DNC. Unfortunately, more things were swapped than Bernie’s allegiances the day he started speaking as a surrogate for the Democratic Party.
Bernie is and was a symbol. And right there, in the middle of that Philadelphia stage, he changed and switched that symbol. He didn’t get our agreement beforehand, and thereby ended any and all possibility of being a successful spokesperson for the DNC.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the DNC nomination was about “us” and “we.” He embodied and spoke those words. “It’s not about me – it’s about US.” When numbers and pressure started building, he tried to prepare us for a shift he knew would come. He stopped saying “it’s about us,” and started pushing the message, “it’s about you.” It doesn’t sound important, but it is. Next came “unity.” And the rest, until we settle this trust issue, is going to be “history.” If you’re wondering why “Our Revolution,” isn’t, perhaps you see, like I do, how the “us” was removed from the “Our” months ago. That’s what’s missing.
While psycholinguistics is a useful tool to see these things, changing the trajectory of the course we’re on simply put, means we’ve got to put Bernie back into that thing that is “us.”
But let’s be fair to Bernie. What other options did he have? His message and his work, like with all committed people, was long ago prioritized more important than the man. That’s one of the things that drew us to him. Recalling that hindsight is 20-20, it’s easy now to say he should have left the DNC and sparked out on his own. But really, at the time, this new rising movement was still on wobbly wheels. It wasn’t put to the real test until Trump’s numbers showed us that perhaps we really had created a new landscape in a strange, new world. Jumping ship without a well-stocked and supplied lifeboat would not have fed the Revolution. Bernie stayed aboard, but he is not a free man. His message and his resources and his maneuverability have been compromised, diverted and entailed. If we want to trust Bernie again, if we want him to join us, over here on the new side of change and reform, we need to free Bernie from the DNC. Nick Brana’s Draft Bernie for a new People’s Party might be just the lifeboat we all need. If we bring back well-stocked provisions, resources and unity, Bernie might just be able to finally come be a part of WE the People again.