IN 2016, I chose to write Bernie in on my ballot because I felt what the Democratic Party did to undermine him stained the soul of the party. It was wrong, and writing in Bernie was my personal way to make a statement to that fact. I was supremely disappointed that Clinton and Obama failed this integrity test.
Integrity and consistency are important qualities in a presidential candidate. I’m an Independent and I disagree with Bernie Sanders on several issues but he gains my respect with his history of integrity and consistency. I could say the same of Joe Biden, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and more. In this political climate, being what it is, these qualities stand out to me.
Now, in this current Democratic race, I see the DNC doing the same thing to other candidates as they did to Bernie. A party that is truly for all people would give all candidates a fair and equal voice. They would champion each candidate equally within the party, with the media, and in their debates.
At their essence the DNC should convey integrity and consistency by being transparently fair with all the candidates and allowing the people to make their choice without DNC bias.
The primary process is designed so the people indicate which candidate, and by extension candidate’s policies, they support. It culminates in a convention where delegates, carrying the weight of their constituents’ choice, engage in rounds of good-faith negotiations so the party can put forth a single candidate with a shared policy vision. This should happen transparently.
Unfortunately, this is not what the DNC is giving the public. Taken from the DNC 2020 Presidential Campaign Resources website, I quote: “...we’ve taken steps to ensure that our primaries and caucuses are inclusive and accessible, our debate schedule is fair, our nominating process will honor the voices of our grassroots voters...” If only it were true. When you exclude candidates based on arbitrary and changing criteria; when you allow the media to blatantly mischaracterize, ignore, and even slander candidates without DNC reprise; when you hold closed-door sessions to subvert the inclusion of certain candidates in favor of others; your mission statement is a lie.
So now I call out Bernie Sanders, and in fact, all the Democratic candidates. Your integrity is in question. I challenge you to publicly hold the DNC accountable. Insist all candidates be heard equally. Insist that until the final primary ballot is cast, all candidates be included equally. Insist the DNC publicly denounce mainstream media on candidate censorship. Insist publicly. Insist together. Let the people decide who they choose. Let each candidate’s integrity show through in how they respond to the momentum of the people’s choices, and their dedication to refuse tactics of slander and deceit. Make yours a campaign of transparent integrity, consistency, and respect for a process your supporters put their faith in.