At the Republican National Convention, I was amazed by the reluctant, yet certain support Republican voters had for Donald Trump. The vast majority of the RNC delegates and attendees, mostly party members who have both the necessary connections to the party and the money to travel and attend, are less likely to have voted for Trump in the primary, and are less likely to even support him now. However, due to fear of Democratic control of our country, distaste for Hillary, and the strategic choice of Mike Pence as the Republican vice presidential nominee, the Republican Party and the Trump campaign have solidified support from within the Republican Party.
At the Democratic Convention, party support did not look quite the same. At the RNC, the vast majority of demonstrators outside the convention were voicing left-wing values, which made perfect sense, as they were protesting the Republican Party. However, in Philadelphia, the majority of demonstrators were not right-wing, but rather they were left-wing too. It was Bernie supporters who took to the streets and protested the DNC and Hillary’s nomination. Inside the arena, Bernie’s supporters were ever-present and vocal, even interrupting the party’s leadership and the First Lady with their yelling for Bernie. As I was walking into the DNC, one particularly loud Sanders supporter told me that nominating Hillary would surely lead to Trump’s victory in November.
While the fear of the opposing party taking leadership has worked to aggregate right-wing support for Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, the same message has not gotten through to the far-left Sanders faction. The populist movement that supported Bernie Sanders’ campaign was exciting and fun to watch, but ultimately Bernie did not win the nomination. However, the populist, left-wing movement he led certainly left its impact on Hillary’s positions and the DNC’s platform. Unfortunately the Bernie faction has not realized both the lasting changes they have made on the Democrat Party, and the reality that a Trump victory would be a step back for the changes the far-left seeks.