`I don’t feel like I’m welcome in the Democratic Party.’ An Austin Sanders delegate’s lament

Good morning Austin:

Julie Ann Nitsch, a Bernie Sanders delegate from Austin, will cast her ballot for Sanders today, as Hillary Clinton is nominated for president. Presumably.

I still have a slight, minuscule, microscopic hope that the Super Delegates are going to wake up and realize that Hillary can’t beat Trump and that Hillary herself doesn’t want the humiliation of losing to a reality =TV star, and not even a good reality TV star.

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I had written about Nitsch last September at a Bernie Man event in Austin. At the time she was a volunteer, though, in January, she joined his campaign staff in Texas. Last night I talked to her outside the Democratic National Convention after what for her had been a long, emotionally grueling day.

 

I pretty much went from being a huge Bernie supporter to eat, sleep, live and breathe this campaign.

It’s been an intense experience – really rewarding at times, but very emotionally trying, very upsetting. I think like a lot of Bernie supporters I feel  really disenfranchised, watching what happened from state to state, watching how the media portrayed Bernie Sanders, the way they portrayed our message.

Then to find the DNC was actively working against us the entire time was really incredibly hurtful. It really changed my view of the party.

 

Nitsch arrived at the convention in the aftermath of the WikiLeaks dump of the Democratic National Committee emails proving that the national party was, as the Sanders campaign had charged, helping the Clinton campaign at their expense. They knew all along that the system was “rigged” against them, she said. They knew that there were “moles” in the Sanders campaign. “We could feel it. We could see it.”

“We finally had proof and I really thought that a lot of people in the party would be upset with this,” she said.

Instead, she said, the Sanders supporters were treated as interlopers at a Clinton event, “that it’s their party and their convention.”

They’ve ostracized us, they’ve mocked us and they’ve actively worked against us and then they claim that our party represents all of Bernie’s values.

At yesterdays’ Texas delegation breakfast, Glen Maxey, a top state party official, said any delegate who booed at the convention would have their credential pulled.

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At the convention itself, the program was all Hillary, interspersed with anti-Trump.

All day all we heard is there is only one person who should be president, there’s only person that has the experience and the leadership skills and the integrity, there is only one person who deserves to be the Democratic nominee and our president, and again and again and again we are told the person is Hillary Clinton.

Every speaker told us that only one person deserved it, and that’s a slap in the face, when what really needed to happen was for somebody to stand up and apologize. But they aren’t willing to do that, and that’s what shows leadership, that’s what shows accountability, that shows, `you know what we made a mistake.’ JFK did that. Own your mistakes.

They should have opened this convention up with, `There are going to be changes. We want to apologize to the Bernie delegation.’ They should be ashamed of what they did but all they did all day long was speech after speech after speech after speech praising Hillary Clinton in every way.

It doesn’t create unity. What would have created unity was apologizing for having actively worked against us. …

It’s all “Hillary is the only one who deserves this,” “Trump is evil,” “Republicans are fear mongers.” Well aren’t you all fear mongers?

 

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Nitsch said it is clear that it is Sanders, not Clinton, who could beat Trump. She faults the super delegates for not taking Trump seriously enough to pick the candidate with by far the better chance to beat him.

The Democratic Party had an opportunity, a wonderful opportunity, an amazing opportunity to bring in millennials, progressives, environmentalists.

And the Clintons?

What they fail to recognize is that a lot of us have done our research.

They destroyed Glass-Steagall, they privatized the prison industry, they have taken copious amounts of money from people they are supposed to be against. I don’t understand how she can say she’s going to take on Wall Street when she’s taken that much money from them. She’s adopted Bernie Sanders’ stump speech because that’s what people want to hear and it appeases Bernie Sanders supporters.

The idea that most Bernie Sanders supporters are ready to support Clinton is wrong, she said. While delegates, like her, pledged to support the nominee as the price of admission, “Everyone else I know, they are voting Jill Stein, they are not going to vote now. They volunteered, they gave money. Now they’re done.

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On Sanders’ speech.

It felt like watching a family member lie.

It felt like he was forced to do this, obviously, because their values don’t align.

He is going to let us cast our votes. We’re still standing strong.

A lot of people before the primary said they were voting for Hillary because Bernie can’t win. I think it’s a lesson, you should always vote your conscience, because if everybody had voted their conscience, Bernie Sanders would have won. And we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now with Hillary Clinton losing against a reality television star. We would have had a nominee who would have beaten him, who would have just destroyed Donald Trump.

She is not a viable candidate. I’m terrified we’re going to end up with a Trump presidency.

I want a woman president as much as anyone else. I don’t want it to be Hillary.

I don’t feel like I’m welcome in the Democratic Party.

The system really is rigged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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