Should Senator Bernie Sanders Pump His Brakes, So To Speak?

Donald Trump tastes blood in the water in the Democratic presidential campaigns between Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton and he is taking advantage of it. The Donald may be ignorant but he is definitely not stupid.  He is egging Senator Sanders on, not in sincere support of him but to drum up media coverage that will reach disaffected Democrats who might be persuaded to vote for him in the general election.

Under these circumstances, is it time for Senator Sanders to pump his brakes, so to speak, to make sure that he will be able to stop his campaign vehicle which – based on the way that some of his supporters are conducting themselves, is becoming more like that of the Donald Trump campaign with each passing day, should it become necessary? Obviously he is providing ammunition for the Trump campaign to use against Secretary Clinton, should she become the nominee, in the general election.

Has he already given the Republican campaign too much ammunition; so much that it is already being successfully used to lure these disaffected Democrats into Mr. Trump’s camp? Mr. Trump has already proven that he is extremely adept at pitting warring factions against one another for his personal political gain and that he has no limits to what he will do to assure that he is successful.  Is he pitting Senator Sanders against Secretary Clinton for his personal aggrandizement?

Is it time for Senator Sanders to take a close look at the situation and decide what kind of damage that he is doing to Secretary Clinton and the Democratic Party? Is it time for him to stop adding fuel to the fire that has already created a schism between his supporters and Secretary Clinton’s that might already be hard to bridge and is getting wider with each new demand that he makes?

Senator Sanders has already been granted unprecedented concessions by the Democratic Party and, in concert with that – because of the large number of delegates that he already has, can still go into the convention and wield great power to shape how the Party will move forward. Must he now demand that Democrats oust Democratic National Committee Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Shultz due to his anger because he believes that she has mistreated him and he harbors hurt feelings?  If his actions are not due to hurt feelings, is he simply getting drunk on this great power; power like he has never possessed before?

This situation is not one where he can just walk in and have things his way! That kind of thinking is the substance of that of slogans and is more appropriately applied to fast food restaurants not serious politics.  He must realize that he and his supporters must give some ground just like Clinton and her supporters must give some ground; especially if it involves a choice between ultimately unifying the Party and ripping it apart!

He must also realize that just like his supporters out of anger can unintentionally bring about great damage to the Democratic Party, Clinton supporters who feel that he is abusing her can do the same thing. Does he want to be responsible for this kind of fracture in the Democratic Party at such a crucial time as this?  Is this something that he can even tacitly condone?  Is this something that he is willing to risk?  In the eyes of some Washington Democrats, DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Shultz has already become a liability to the party that is beyond repair so must be replaced before the Democratic National Convention in July.  Senator Sanders is responsible for this situation and this angers Hillary supporters.

Donald Trump is the ultimate target, not Hillary Clinton! If Senator Sanders is about something other than Bernie Sanders, in light of the ground that Mr. Trump is succeeding in closing between himself and Secretary Clinton, perhaps he should back away from his decision to fight all the way to the Democratic convention; especially since Secretary Clinton is all but assured of becoming the nominee.

And even if he does decide to fight all the way to the convention, he should be especially mindful of what Donald Trump’s objective is in egging him on. Although what Donald Trump is doing in egging him on is extremely obvious, it is possible that during the heat of battle this blatantly obvious effort by Mr. Trump can be blurred or even lost sight of.  Senator Sanders must not forget in the heat of his battle with Secretary Clinton that Donald Trump has a purpose in egging him on and that that purpose, as usual, is all about Donald Trump.  It has absolutely nothing to do with his concern for how the Clinton campaign or Democratic Party is treating Senator Sanders.

Senator Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said that Debbie Wasserman Shultz is working against Senator Sanders and wants her to resign. He said that someone else could play a more positive role.  What does that mean?  And who is this ‘someone else’ that he is referring to; someone that he and Senator Sanders favor?  President Obama selected Ms. Wasserman Shultz to be the DNC Chairperson in 2011 and ever since that time she has worked hard for the Democratic Party.  Hopefully, she has not had so much damage done to her reputation during the course of the bickering between Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton that she will be forced to resign.

Although Mr. Trump is having trouble along the way too; many of the big Republican contributors are refusing to contribute to his campaign, he is still closing ground – and in some cases – putting ground between himself and Secretary Clinton despite the fact that if this kind of problem continues for him it could be a major concern going forward. Yet, Senator Sanders refuses to get out of the race because he says that polls continue to show that he is a stronger candidate against Donald Trump than is Secretary Clinton.

The problem is, and what Senator Sanders is glossing over, is the fact that the Republican Party has been attacking Secretary Clinton ever since she has been a part of the political scene and they have not yet even begun to attack him. Senator Sanders has openly declared that he is a Democratic Socialist and there is no doubt that Republicans will launch a major offensive on the ‘Socialist’ part of his declaration and any other negative thing that they find.  And since Republicans have never really focused on any serious negative research on Senator Sanders, they will (emphasis on ‘will’) find other negative things (perceived by voters or real) that will reduce his positive numbers versus Mr. Trump.

And if he should by some miracle beat Secretary Clinton in the primaries and become the Democratic nominee, when he goes head-to-head with The Donald, I assure you that The Donald will expose all of his weaknesses; real, perceived and nonexistent because The Donald is an expert at things like this. He knows how to manipulate voters, especially those that are not involved and on top of the issues.

Having said that, I hope that Senator Sanders is already considering these things and will temper his attacks on Secretary Clinton. And I hope that after he considers them that he will pump his brakes and slow down in preparation to stop; stop attacking and start unifying either before or at the convention.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term ‘pump your (his) brakes, it simply means slow down and/or prepare to stop.

Stay engaged in this presidential election and be sure to get engaged in future elections no matter the level at which they occur. In the meantime, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent always remember, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line