Originally posted on my Facebook, regarding the Democratic National Convention and the speeches given by both Michelle and Barack Obama.
I don’t think I got to say this last night but I want to make sure to say it.
One of the reasons the Obama speeches were so successful – and here I mean both Michelle and Barack – is that they understand that this is probably the last chance they have to bring Berners on board en masse to support the Democratic party’s chances of getting out the vote. To that end, neither of them shamed Bernie supporters nor did they call them ridiculous or selfish or anything else.
A lot of people have gone low in their attempts to sway Berners to the cause. Michelle and Barack went high.
They called on upset and disillusioned progressives to bring in more folks like them and change the complexion (no pun intended) of the party. The President said that if Berners stick around and join in the fight, then we’ll continue making slow progress, and if progressive Democrats can bring enough people in to support their cause(s), then eventually the tenor of the debate will change.
This won’t be enough for some. There is a hell of a lot of mistrust of the party by Bernie supporters, and there are a lot of Dem policies that simply don’t match their view of how the world should be. And just like he did in his state of the union, Obama acknowledged that there are real policy differences between Americans at different parts of the political spectrum.
But he also praised Bernie’s supporters as “the best organizers in the world,” and was – as far as I can tell – the only speaker so far to offer unmitigated praise to the people who worked so hard to take Bernie from an unknown to a serious contender for the presidency.
The Clintons, their supporters and the DNC need to go high. It will be hard. It might not be enough. But if they want people to rally behind Hillary in the general, it’s what they need to do.