If the DNC Takes the Nomination From Bernie, They Destroy the Party.

And it won’t be the fault of Bernie’s supporters.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

As fascinating as the implosion of Mike Bloomberg’s campaign was at the Nevada debate, perhaps one of the most important and revealing moments of the entire two hour event happened at the very end.

When each of the candidates were asked if they believed the candidate who went in to the convention with the most votes and pledged delegates should become the nominee, Bernie Sanders was the only one to say yes. All the others said “Let the process take its course”, meaning allow the “superdelegate” Party elite to intervene on the second ballot and vote as they see fit.

This was a clear message not only to Bernie Sanders, but his base and Party officials as well. With these answers, they all essentially conceded that Bernie will beat them, and they just signaled to the party elites that they aren’t worried about what will happen if the nomination is taken from the candidate with the most votes and delegates. That’s essentially a green light to go ahead and steal it when the time comes, consequences be damned.

What this says to voters is that these candidates are in favor of superdelegates going against the previous norm and subverting the will of the people, rather than allowing Bernie Sanders to officially become the face of the Democratic Party.

In all fairness, while it does indicate the lengths that the party will go to prevent his leadership, what’s being implied by these answers is far bigger than Bernie Sanders.

For a moment, I would like the supporters of the other candidates defending these answers across social media to take a moment, step back, and put themselves in the shoes of a Bernie Sanders supporter.

“Well, if he doesn’t get the majority of votes then most people didn’t vote for him! There’s nothing wrong with this!”

Oh, so the nomination should go to someone who even less people voted for?!

Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which your candidate secures the plurality of delegates and 40 percent of the vote. Bernie got 32 percent. How would you feel then, if at the convention a room full of party officials took the nomination away from your candidate, and handed it to Bernie?

Given that the divide in the Democratic Party is nearing its breaking point, a brokered convention that wouldn’t hand the nomination to the candidate with the most votes and pledged delegates would be the final nail in the coffin.

At the end of the day, you cannot have it both ways.

Democrats cannot spend years complaining about the fact that the electoral college is the only reason Hillary Clinton isn’t president and that she won the popular vote, then turn around and justify this nomination being taken from the man who is the frontrunner by literally every metric. You don’t get to complain about 2016 and then justify potentially taking the nomination away from the candidate with a double digit lead in national polling.

With this sort of scenario being discussed and looking less and less remote as we continue along the primary process, I think it’s absolutely fair to say that at this point “Bernie or bust” is as much an offer as it is a supposed threat. We are trying very hard to exist as a movement within the confines of the Democratic Party that continues to despise us, and as a result Democrats have an opportunity to embrace the coalition that they have spent decades arguing is essential to victory and the unprecedented grass roots organizing that comes along with it. If you don’t, you inevitably destroy the party when you sabotgage everything this movement has built. That’s genuinely not meant to be a threat, it is just reality. When you turn your backs on the millions of people who were inspired by Bernie Sanders and got engaged in electoral process as a result, you do not get to blame them for the politically dire consequences that stem from that. You can rally around the candidate like you’ve demanded Bernie’s supporters do for years now, or watch as Democrats lose election after election after actively disenfranchising millions of people.

Again, this is far bigger than Bernie Sanders. Regardless of who the candidate is, it’s fundamentally un-democratic to even entertain the idea of allowing superdelegates to go against the will of the people. All that being said, Bernie securing the nomination beforehand is critical and now is the time to get off the couch and get involved. The likelihood of that happening could very well be determined on March 3rd, and the Nevada and South Carolina elections happening beforehand are going to be essential in securing enough momentum that he will come out of Super Tuesday with such a massive lead that victory is ultimately guaranteed.

It shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to Bernie Sanders previous precedent will be abandoned. As infuriating as it is, we have no choice but to accept that it’s not going to be enough to win the Nevada Caucus, the South Carolina Primary, or Super Tuesday and the states that follow. We have to win in such a spectacular fashion that it cannot be stopped. Now that the other candidates have communicated to the super delegates that they’re on board with taking this nomination away from the candidate with the most votes and pledged delegates, it is absolutely essential that we secure this nomination before they have any ability to get involved.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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