Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution Has In-Fighting & That’s A Good Thing
Just a month after the Democratic National Convention and less than a week before their official launch on Wednesday, the new Bernie Sanders' group, Our Revolution, is fighting, according to a POLITICO report published Tuesday. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, Our Revolution may, ultimately, better reflect what Sanders preached during the primaries because of it.
The newly formed Our Revolution seeks to promote Sanders' values through organized involvement in local politics, ranging from school boards all the way up to Congress. So far, Our Revolution is off to a bumpy start: POLITICO reported the digital director, Kenneth Pennington, stepped down along with four other members of the 15-member core group.
Following the exodus of Our Revolution's digital director Pennington and other critical members, Sanders' former presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver was named the new president of the group. "We're very happy to be putting the A-team back together," Weaver told POLITICO addressing the quick flux in membership. "This is an organization that's a couple of weeks old, and every new organization has to find its footing."
However, the reinstated presence of Weaver has caused further tension among some members who believe he plans to accept donations from large, unethical corporations. According to Claire Sandberg, the director of digital organizing for Sanders' campaign for White House, the reinstatement of Weaver will only further alienate the internal debate about finance:
It's about both the fundraising and the spending: Jeff would like to take big money from rich people including billionaires and spend it on ads. That's the opposite of what this campaign and this movement are supposed to be about and after being very firm and raising alarm the staff felt that we had no choice but to quit.
While the temporary lack of unity may look disparaging, the fact that Sanders effectively draws people with such different views on everything from fundraising techniques to campaign promotional tactics speaks both to the diversity of his voting bloc and the integrity of his supporters.
According to POLITICO, some of the infighting continued conflicts that arose during Sanders' presidential run, during which older members of the campaign claimed their political experience and strategy translated into votes for the Vermont senator, while younger members attributed his success to their digital organizing abilities. The fact that there is infighting based on heavy multi-generational involvement might sound discouraging at first, but appealing across age demographics, gender demographics, and other diverse groups is one of the very traits that makes his movement strong. In this case, I believe in-house friction begets political nuance.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster