- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“Bernie or bust” wasn’t just a hashtag.

Several of Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ supporters — after reading WikiLeaks which confirmed their suspicions of a rigged primary system — are saying “we told you so” to the Democratic Party.

“I’d like to point out Hillary is LOSING areas that Bernie won. We. Told. U. So. Signed, #bernieorbust,” Twitter handle MzLoy wrote on the social media site on Election night.

Indeed, the populism of Mr. Sanders gave him wins over Mrs. Clinton in Wisconsin and in Michigan during the Democratic primary — both states where Republican Donald Trump flipped the map on Mrs. Clinton, securing his win.

“If Bernie Sanders was the Democratic nominee, we would have won this election by far. Michigan, we were down 20 percent in the polls in the primaries, and Michigan gave Bernie Sanders the biggest political upset in U.S. history,” Linda Sarsour, the Muslim Democratic actives and former Mr. Sanders campaign surrogate told Democracy Now on Wednesday.

Mr. Sanders mobilized first-time voters and millennials to his cause — a base Mrs. Clinton was never able to enthuse throughout her campaign. Although Mrs. Clinton won 54 percent of the millennial vote compared to Mr. Trump’s 37 percent, she didn’t turn out enough of them to secure a general election victory. In 2012, President Barack Obama won 64 percent of the millennial vote — 10 percentage points higher than Mrs. Clinton’s performance.

During the primary, when Mr. Sanders was polled in head-to-head matchups against Mr. Trump, Mr. Sanders consistently beat him — a fact his supporters were quick to point out after Tuesday night’s results.

“Hey #DNC, remember EVERY poll projected @SenSanders to easily beat @realDonaldTrump,” Kerrie Nation, wrote on Twitter. “#NeverForget #BernieorBust #Bust.”

Star Stuff questioned why the Democratic National Committee thought the #BernieorBust movement wasn’t serious when they said they would never vote for Mrs. Clinton.

“When we said #BernieorBust, we meant it. You thought we weren’t organizing,” she wrote on Twitter, adding an emjoi with its tongue sticking out.

For some, the prospect of Mr. Trump as president represented an opportunity.

“@realDonaldTrump We, the #BernieorBust would like for you to work with Senator Sanders He deserves the respect the DNC never gave him,” twitter handle FoxFire wrote.

Mr. Sanders — in a statement Wednesday night — said he was prepared to work with President-elect Trump.

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media,” Mr. Sanders said.

He added: “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him.”

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