Remember when Donald Trump warned that if he didn’t get the nomination, there would be riots? Well it turns out that everyone’s fears may have been correct – but we were watching the wrong side. The display from some of Bernie Sanders’ most fervent supporters at last weekend’s Nevada State Democratic Convention was chaotic and uncontrollable, and potentially a taste of what’s to come in July. The extremely close nature of the presidential nomination race and escalating tension between Sanders and Clinton voters has many worried about the future of the party. The most alarming examples of violence and disruption appears to be coming only from one side, so why hasn’t Sanders shown some leadership and reigned in some of the more extreme elements of his support?
Sanders’ ability to draw thousands to his rallies is inspiring but he shouldn’t underestimate the influence his fiery brand of passion has on voters. His recent comments about a lack of fairness and transparency in the delegate rules, and also that party elites are naturally biased towards Hillary Clinton, have only added fuel to the fire. Of course not all of Sanders’ supporters are revolutionaries, but the scenes in Nevada were not the first time his younger crowds have been accused of being disruptive; angry protests, physical aggression, even death threats have all been linked back to Bernie’s revolutionary guard.
While it’s admirable that Sanders has motivated so many people to take a keen interest in the political process this year, violence is not an answer to a seemingly corrupt system. This kind of divisive politics draws comparisons to Donald Trump supporters and unfortunately will only damage the party in the long run. This is a big deal because a united party is the only way that the Democrats will win the White House again, and any type of revolt at the July convention will only add to the pile of ammunition being collected by the Republicans.
Want to see a real Revolutionary Guard? Movie for your mood: Argo