In back-to-back weeks, the two major US political parties held their presidential nominating conventions. Intended to be unifying celebrations, the events highlighted the worst aspects of each party. Republicans shed all pretenses and emerged from their 20-year hate cocoon as full-blown, fear-driven neo-fascists, embracing despotic strongman Donald Trump. Democrats revealed the full extent of their corruption, shrugging their shoulders over leaked emails showing that the party operated essentially as an arm of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to undermine progressive populist Bernie Sanders.
Rather than making earnest attempts at unity, establishment Democrats spent their week seemingly doing everything they could to push Sanders supporters away. Perhaps the chief offense came when Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has long held the ire and distrust of Sanders supporters, was rewarded with a position in Clinton’s campaign just after stepping down as DNC chair over the email controversy. In the face of such disrespect, not even Sanders’s own calls for unity could prevent many of his supporters from walking out of the DNC. Continue reading