Simple Ideas to Encourage Bernie Supporters to Vote Democrat

On this last day of the Democratic Convention, with our campaign unfortunately in the rearview mirror, the Democratic Party should ask itself, seriously, what it needs to do to turn out the progressive vote in November.

  1. Fear of Donald Trump is not enough. Using Donald Trump as a bugbear won’t scare young unaffected progressives into voting Democrat come November — no matter how much the Hillary camp thinks it will. Yes, Donald Trump is inarguably worse, but Bernie supporters aren’t gravitating to Trump. You need to make a positive argument, not a negative one.
  2. Hillary True-Blues being smug, especially since the fairness of the election has been called into question, turns away potential voters in droves. Yes, she is the candidate. But if you want her to be President, you need Bernie supporters.
  3. Don’t dismiss the desire to support politics of conviction and especially third-parties. People are hungry for something they can believe in. Hillary hasn’t made her case to them, no matter if she has to you. Just because they say they’re voting Green or Libertarian or Peace and Freedom doesn’t make them stupid, and you should be able to articulate why voting Democrat is better than other options.
  4. The party platform is the most progressive it’s been since the New Deal. This is a direct result of the Bernie movement. We have moved the party to the left, should be proud of that, and staying involved is the way to keep that going.
  5. Someone close to the candidate needs to convince her to treat Sanders supporters with some respect. Firing Debbie Wasserman Schultz would be a good start. Publicly committing to the progressive planks of the platform would also go a long way. But this needs to come from Hillary, not a surrogate.

Some people are never going to be convinced. But if the Hillary camp thinks they can win in November without progressives, I think they’re being optimistic and playing a very dangerous game. Hillary, and Bill before her, has always been good at taking the temperature and adjusting her stance to the reading — now she needs to do exactly that to ensure a win in November.