NORWALK, Conn. — Disappointed but not mad summed up the way many of the participants felt at a meeting of Fairfield County’s Democracy For America group last week at the Silver Star Diner in Norwalk.
The meeting kicked off with a review of the Democratic National Convention by three young Bernie Sanders delegates — Stamford residents Nina Sherwood, Chris Yerinides and Louis Magana.
The three, like most who Feel The Bern, are focused on issues, not the Democratic Party. They want a $15 per hour minimum wage, “debt-free college,” universal health care, to overturn the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and more.
All three went to the convention knowing that Sanders would never be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee but hoping his strong showing would give him a greater impact than it did.
“We didn’t have the conversations I wanted,” Yerinides said.
Sherwood felt defeated. “No one talked about the issues that affect the American people,” she said. They wanted “a conversation, not a coronation.”
Sherwood knows Sanders “moved the needle,” but does not see the Democratic Party addressing his issues. They left “disappointed, not mad,” she said.
If Sanders’ supporters don’t look ahead, stay involved and keep pushing, “our issues will not be addressed. … We have a lot more to accomplish,” She said.
Sherwood called Hillary Clinton the better of the two candidates when compared to Republican nominee Donald Trump. But Sherwood said Clinton has to win her over — she could say “$15 per hour rather than ‘living wage,’” for example.
DFA area Chairman Doug Sutherland of Trumbull said, “Looking back one year, you can’t get too disheartened, and you have to be excited about what he accomplished, and to appreciate that it was done largely with small donations.”
But many in the room were not ready to accept Clinton, though it was noted that she’s the "lesser of two evils," and that "we lose a lot of progress if we lose the presidency," said one attendee.
The next president could name four Supreme Court justices, and if it's a conservative president, that could bring an end to Sanders' progressive revolution. There would be no reason to re-litigate Citizens United, and so no way to take corporate money out of elections.
Many at the meeting said they were undecided. A few said they were supporting Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.
One person said Stein doesn’t imperil Clinton's chances in Connecticut, but may do so in swing states such as Pennsylvania.
In the end, the group was committed to progressive issues — but perhaps not yet to a presidential candidate.
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