• Kevin Batts

Only one thing surprised me at the DNC convention

The DNC convention is finally over and it has been exactly what I thought it would be: a combination of betrayed Bernie supporters and Democrats in denial concerning the world outside of their convention “safe space”. The media was in blatant denial about all of the anti-cop, anti-capitalism, anti-anti-troops, anti-Israel rhetoric and the flat out racism taking place at the convention. They also tried to paper over all of the general disunity that was on display throughout the convention.

No matter how much Obama put on his Ronald Reagan routine, it was still a typical DNC convention. There was one thing that did surprise me about the convention; Bernie Sanders completely sold out his supporters. There was a time during the election when I respected Bernie Sanders. Not for his ideological beliefs but the honesty of his intentions for the country. Progressives tend to recommend all the policies of Marx while stopping just short of mentioning the proletariat. Bernie would come right out and tell you what he was and who he was, which at the time struck me as an admirable quality. This admiration, of course, soon faded once I saw him bowing before the altar of Hillary at the DNC convention. This reminded me of a story I heard about Sen. Sanders last April. The story came from Kate Daloz, a Brooklyn writer, who grew up near a commune called Myrtle Hill in northeast Vermont. The story chronicles the encounter that some at the commune had with a 30-year-old Bernie Sanders.

Courtesy Washingtonfreebeacon.com: In the summer of 1971, Myrtle Hill received a visitor: Bernie Sanders, age 30, at the cusp of his political career with the socialist Liberty Union Party.

Sanders came to the farm while researching an article on natural childbirth for the Liberty Union’s party organ, Movement. Interest in alternative medicine was strong among members of the counterculture as part of their wider suspicion of modern science, which was associated with the sterility of hospitals and the destruction of war. “Many elements of Western medicine came under suspicion during this period, but none more so than modern obstetrics,” Deloz writes.

In Sanders’ article, previously digitized by Mother Jones, he criticized old methods of childrearing, where “infants were bottle fed on assembly line schedules designed by assembly line doctors in order to prepare them for assembly line society.” In Sanders’ view, natural childbirth was a step toward a more authentic society. “All of life is one and if we want to know, for example, how our nation can napalm children in Vietnam—AND NOT CARE—it is necessary to go well beyond ‘politics,’” he wrote.

Sanders’ prefatory remarks were followed by a Q&A between him and a friend, Loraine (spelled “Lorraine” in the article), who had recently given birth to a baby, Rahula (spelled “Rahoula” in the article), on the Myrtle Hill commune.

According to the forthcoming book, Sanders “gently peppered [the mother] with questions in his thick Brooklyn accent” about her experience with natural childbirth.

During labor, Loraine said she was surrounded by a circle of hippies chanting “a meditation mancha” that “seemed to really bring in good energy.” This group included “the couple of men who were potentially the baby’s father,” according to Deloz. When Rahula was delivered at dawn, “someone ran out into the field and blew a long blast on a hunting horn.” Loraine then ate her afterbirth, a detail that does not appear in the book, but that appeared in the second part of Sanders’ essay.

When not reporting on the miracle of life, Sanders spent his time at Myrtle Hill in “endless political discussion,” according to Deloz.

Sanders’ idle chatter did not endear him with some of the commune’s residents, who did the backbreaking labor of running the place. Daloz writes that one resident, Craig, “resented feeling like he had to pull others out of Bernie’s orbit if any work was going to get accomplished that day.”

Sanders was eventually asked to leave. “When Bernie had stayed for Myrtle’s allotted three days, Craig politely requested that he move on,” Daloz writes.

Deloz does not specify what issues Sanders discussed with commune residents, but earlier passages give the general flavor of political discussion at Myrtle Hill. “There were bigger ideas under discussion too: a kibbutz-style school for commune children; the possibility of a coming violent revolution; and the pros and cons of group marriage.” In another passage, Deloz describes how one commune resident led the children on marches, chanting “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! Vietcong is going to win!”

I had forgotten all about this story until Monday when I watched Sen. Bernie try to smother the emotions of the revolution he started at the Democratic convention. As I watched him plead with his supports to get in line, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “this guy was all talk.”

Then I remembered this story and thought maybe he’d always been all talk. When it came down to the actual work of a revolution, he was always going to just take the easy way out. Just like in the commune, he is all talk and no real action. I never expected much of a revolution from Mr. Sanders at the DNC convention but I half expected him to at least kick up a little dust. Instead, he offered his supporters the consolation prize of helping to build the most progressive Democratic party platform (Analysis Here) ever.

Are you kidding me? The party platform is the most ignored piece of paper by any major party next to the Constitution of the United States. The least his supporters were owed was a Ted Cruz type moment where he tells his supporters to vote according to their conscience. He would have probably received a standing ovation, instead of what Cruz had, a knife in the back. The Democratic party is clearly moving to the left. This is partially due to people like Bernie Sanders. The problem with people like Bernie is that like most of the Left’s ideas, they will always let you down. If they do manage to follow through on any of their policies, it will fail and they will blame someone else. That’s the progressive motto. Think about this for a second: it’s clear Bernie had an unprecedented upper hand going into this convention. He came into the convention knowing that the DNC had rigged the primary process for Hillary.

The DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down soon after even though most of the DNC apparatus was implicated in the 20,000 emails that were leaked. Any moderately adept politician on either side of the political spectrum should have been able to parlay these new circumstances into something more credible than helping shape the meaningless Democratic platform. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy when progressives fail. Progressive socialist policies have ravaged most of the modern world claiming millions of lives in their wake. Now that they’ve officially nominated Hillary Clinton, I hope she fails too. Now that Bernie has officially left the Democrat party, they can go back to being stealth socialist.

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