Thursday, July 28, 2016
Protesting outside of Philadelphia’s City Hall on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders supporters were clear–they’re not giving up on their candidate or his ideas.
Many were angry and frustrated at the prospect of having to choose between Republican nominee Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Many said they would vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein to avoid having to vote for Mrs Clinton.
Amid chants of “Hell no Hillary” and “Feel the Bern”, the Sanders faithful told us they were still fighting for Mr Sanders because politics in the US has to change, and it will not change without their efforts.
For his own part, Mr Sanders has urged his supporters to vote for Clinton, but was booed for saying so during the first day of the convention.
Sue Kirby from Massachusetts, who made a paper-mache Bernie doll herself, said Mrs Clinton is “just part of the establishment”.
“She’s a symbol of the people who have been running this country for the last 30 to 40 years,” she said.
Asked what she would do if the ballot came down to Clinton vs Trump, she said she was “getting upset” that she keeps being asked that. In the coming days leading up to the election, she said she is going to focus on making sure her local representative in Massachusetts votes against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“No matter who the president is, that’s going to make a difference,” she said. “We’ve got to stick together and keep building our network.”
Corey Smith from Colorado said he is dissatisfied with both Mrs Clinton and the Democratic Party.
“From the beginning we thought it was unfair… I don’t want to vote for a candidate that doesn’t listen to the people’s interests,” he said, and that the recent Wikileaks hack of Democratic National Committee emails showing favouritism to Mrs Clinton proved his suspicions that the nomination was rigged.
He still holds out hope for a contested convention, but faced with a Clinton vs Trump ballot, he said he will not vote for either of them.
“A vote for Hillary is a vote for Trump and a vote for Trump is a vote for Trump,” he said.
“I’m not going to pick between the lesser of two evils… With Trump, there are a lot of bad things that can happen with his presidency, but her record shows that she’s already done bad things, so it’s kind of picking between somebody who has done them and somebody who might do them.”
Ten-year-old Max Inoue from New York, who’s following a political campaign for the first time, said he’s in Philadelphia to support Bernie Sanders “because he needs us”.
Max’s mother Mari said she would vote for Green party candidate Jill Stein, but she is still hoping there is a way Mr Sanders can run.
Of Mrs Clinton, Mrs Inoue said: “She supports war and we should not continue to support perpetual war.
“We should be investing in education and infrastructure, and healthcare.”
“We’re here to support Bernie Sanders and show the DNC we know what they have been up to,” said Taylor Baker of West Virginia.
She said it is “absolutely not fair” that Mrs Clinton was able to “rig herself in as the nominee” and it makes her feel like her vote does not matter.
“As long as she has the election rigged, there’s no democracy in that, no America in that.”
Ms Baker said she does not like Mrs Clinton because she’s a “fake feminist” and a “liar”.
Mr Camacho said Sanders supporters would not be to blame if Mr Trump wins the presidency.
“Hillary became the nominee with the DNC helping her the whole time, so I don’t think she needs our help,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of finally feeling like we’re being heard, and I don’t think anybody here feels like anybody is listening to us.”
Ms Baker agreed: “We shouldn’t be fear-mongered into voting for somebody that’s equally as horrible.”