One very robust sing along with Bohemian Rhapsody, two tanks of gas, three angry Bernie Sanders’ supporters, four U-turns, and over a thousand miles — my friends Connie and Rachel and I finally arrived in Philadelphia. I’m writing this in a two-star Days Inn hotel, which is actually clean and decent so far. It was the only room available that wasn’t ridiculously overpriced but still within a reasonable distance from the Democratic National Convention.

Today, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC Chair resigned after Wikileaks emails demonstrated widespread collusion and corruption against the Sanders campaign in what is supposed to be an impartial primary process. Incredulously, Hillary Clinton immediately released this statement:

I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years. I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership. There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie–which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states. I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid–because as President, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people.

Needless to say, Sanders supporters are livid.

The big question is, what will Bernie Sanders say tomorrow at the convention? He is scheduled to speak. Will he rescind his endorsement of Hillary Clinton? Will he continue to push for party unity and campaign for Clinton?

Our plans for tomorrow are to walk across the street and purchase some poster board, markers, and other supplies to create signs for protesting. We are taking the shuttle to the train and the train to the city to participate in the March for Our Lives, attending the Green party rally to hear Jill Stein and Cornel West speak, and a Candlelight Vigil to Commemorate the Death of Democracy.

I plan to pay close attention to the sites and sounds this week and relay the experience to blog readers without too much personal commentary (for now), and then sort of unpack the experience on a deeper level and share the best of my photos in the days and weeks after returning back home to Florida. Please check back here for updates throughout the week.

  • Mary Vanderplas July 25, 2016 at 5:48 am

    There is no excusing these actions, and while the corruption among the elites is disheartening to say the least, it is hardly surprising. This isn’t the first time that moneyed and establishment interests have influenced an election. I’m not sure of the extent to which Clinton knew about and participated in what was going on, but that she has not cut ties with Wasserman Schultz since this revelation is troubling. It will be interesting, I agree, to hear what Sanders has to say tonight. I suspect that he will continue to support Clinton’s bid for the presidency simply because he wants the progressive platform that Clinton represents to win against Trump.

    While I think you’re right to protest the bias and corruption among the party elites, the idea of lamenting the death of democracy strikes me as being melodramatic and not based on fact. In fact, there has always been a gap in our political system between the ideals of democracy and the reality of who actually determines policy outcomes. Granted, the gap has widened in recent history – hence the rise of populist movements like Sanders’s – but that there has always been a struggle for majority rule especially when the majority wants change has been a feature of the political system in this country for a long time. This isn’t to say that protesting the gap isn’t a good thing. It is to say only that to declare the death of democracy is in my view an overstatement.

    Glad to hear that you and your friends arrived safely. Hope you have a good week. Stay safe!

    • Alice Spicer July 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Looks like your suspicions were proven accurate regarding Bernie.

  • John Dean July 25, 2016 at 9:10 am

    As you know, I am not a Sanders supporter, but I do support what you are doing. The DNC ignored the voice of the voters. Both parties have had enough of the elite establishment controlling them. Your protest is a valid one, and I hope people take notice of what establishment politics is doing to any outsider. We saw it with the Republicans and how they opposed Trump, and with what the DNC did to Sanders. Unfortunately for Sanders supporters, he backed out too soon, and I don’t think he will turn back now. He should have waited to do battle at the Convention. I feel sorry for those who tirelessly supported him. I think he let the people who mattered most down. It appears to me he is all “bark,” but lacks “bite.”
    If he follows the path he seems to be taking, I think you and all your friends who have supported him should choose another candidate. I think his decision will ultimately split Democrat votes and give Donald Trump a much better chance of being elected. As far as Hillary is concerned, I think the Democrats would be wise to choose another candidate at the convention, because public opinion, including many Democrats see her as an unethical conniving “do anything to win” candidate. Be careful and don’t get yourself arrested. I don’t think the police will cut you any slack. I guess you won’t get too close because they have place a 4 mile 8ft fence around the Convention. Be careful, and good luck.

    • Mary Vanderplas July 26, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Public opinion is divided, both within and across parties. Not every Democrat is anti-establishment and anti-Clinton. Granted, the “never-Hillary” Berners are a large and politically engaged group. But they don’t speak for every Democrat. And for every Republican who is wooed by the nostalgic fantasy of a homogeneous society in which manufacturing jobs are plentiful and America is mighty and feared and families are intact, there is at least one Republican who considers Trump wholly unfit for the office and who would never vote for him.

      If Sanders had continued to fight for the nomination, he may well have won. But it can’t be said that his decision to bow out and back Clinton is the source of the split within the party nor that his decision will be the cause if – perish the thought – Trump wins. The “Bernie-or-bust” die-hards have had one foot out the party door for some time now. And a Trump victory might have happened even if Sanders had won the nomination – because many Americans don’t want a liberal Democrat.

      • Alice Spicer July 26, 2016 at 10:03 pm

        Many Bernie supporters became Bernie-or-bust supporters after doing homework on Clinton and then seeing for themselves, first hand, the election fraud, system rigging, and corruption coming from the Clinton-supporting party elites. Now that Clinton has affirmed the actions of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, there are many Sanders supporters who were going to follow him to Clinton who have now reconsidered. If Trump wins this election, in my opinion, the blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Clinton and DWS. Clinton, because she should have seen her tanking approval ratings (in contrast to Sanders ridiculously high approval ratings) and her numerous scandals and lawsuits that still loom between now and November and dropped out for the good of the Democratic party and the good of the country. DWS, for obvious reasons.

    • Alice Spicer July 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      The protests have been very emotionally charged, but not violent, and the police have been great. I haven’t seen anything to give me cause for concern for anyone’s safety. From what I see, many Sanders supporters are supporting Jill Stein.

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