PHILADELPHIA — While thunderstorms raged outside the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, another storm brewed inside the arena as the supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders clashed.
Independent Journal Review interviewed pro-Sanders Democratic delegates at the convention about the infamous DNC emails, vindication, and the (im)possibility of party unity after such a contentious Democratic primary:
Adriana Sanchez, Illinois
“It’s definitely tense. You can see the tension in the room and feel the tension in the room. We’re (Democrats) not quite (unified) yet.
The Wikileaks emails, Sanchez said, “pushed everyone over the edge:”
“I think things would have gone smoother if it wasn’t for that but we feel like the media has been portraying us as these crazy conspiracy theorists and the Wikileaks just proved we were right all along, what we thought was happening all along truly was happening.
“Right now, (Clinton supporters) are just looking at us like, ‘back Hilary,’ but we’re 1900 delegates who were elected by our districts. We’re not just here to cause problems, we’re voting our conscience.”
On Wasserman Schultz, Sanchez said: “I am happy she has not made an appearance.”
Diana Fogel, California
As a result of the emails, Fogel said, “I think a lot of people felt confirmed.” After being considered “nut-cases, conspiracy theorists, and fringe people,” Sanders supporters can finally point to something showing “they were not given enough respect.”
“When you discuss this with Hillary supporters, they act like ‘Oh, it’s no big deal.’ And to me it’s like a window to what’s been going on. It’s not like we made up those emails.”
Aaron Jones, Washington state
“[Convention speakers] immediately said we need to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine and that immediately struck a chord because we have not voted yet for these people. We are here to elect the democratic nominee for president, whoever that may be.
When we hear these politicians up here speaking about party unity its hard to take that at face value because we saw behind the scenes the continual undermining of the political revolution of progressive values.”
Ariana Flores, Pennsylvania
“It is a little difficult for us to come out and say ‘Go Hillary,’ especially given the last 24 hours — the Wikileaks (emails), how Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other high ranking leaders at the DNC have pretty much been conspiring against Bernie Sanders.
But to use that word ‘conspiring’ — we’re not conspiracy theorists, this actually happened. The DNC is supposed to be unbiased because technically there hasn’t been anyone officially nominated yet.
We suspected, of course, that things were rigged again our favor, Bernie’s favor, so it’s just hard for us to rally behind and clap every time Hillary is mentioned.”
Bruce Fealk, Michigan
“It’s tense, definitely for Bernie supporters.
I’ve felt, especially since the Wikileaks emails came out, very disrespected by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton. […] The fact that Hillary brought [Wasserman Schultz] on to her campaign five minutes after resigning was like poking us with a stick as far as Bernie supporters are concerned.”
When asked if the DNC speakers should address the Wikileaks emails, Fealk responded:
“I think they should. I don’t think they will. I’m embarrassed by what happened, as a Democrat. They got caught, if it hadn’t been for Wikileaks we would never have known. We suspected it, but now we have proof.”
When asked if he had had any tense conversations with Clinton supporters, Fealk laughed and said “a few.” Clinton’s supporters, Fealk said, “brush off” the DNC’s emails. “No big deal, just like all the other Hillary stuff, the scandals.”
Instead, the focus is on party unity, Fealk said: “The main thing seems to be beating Donald Trump. That’s all they are concerned about. They are scared to death that she is going to lose, and I am too, frankly.”
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Source: independent journal
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