Over the past two weeks, America and the world had the pleasure (or displeasure) of witnessing the official nominations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the Democratic and Republican nominations for U.S. president, respectively. In Philadelphia, there was great care to stage every detail of Clinton becoming the first female to win a major party nomination for president in the United States, but all of that staging could not completely drown out the irritation of many on the left.
Before the convention even began, it was revealed that Democratic National Committee leadership may have favored the Clinton campaign over the Sanders campaign during the primary season; however, Sanders decided to be a good soldier and refused to say such actions cost him the nomination. Moreover, Sanders himself moved to officially nominate Clinton for President.
But that did not please many of his followers. They were not ready to acquiesce. There were protests every day of the convention. Shouts of “Bernie, Bernie” were often heard from the convention floor. Although the political candidate had accepted the obvious, the movement would not end. It seemed as if the Sanders movement was transcending Sanders. Regardless of where you are in the political spectrum, a staunch conservative or a quasi-socialist liberal, it is hard to not respect for the story of Bernie Sanders. Sanders, whose net worth is $700,000 compared to Hillary Clinton’s $45 million, has been in public life for 35 years. Yet, he has not accepted any large sums of money from corporations or special interests or been involved in any corruption. This was his appeal to liberals. Now, the question is will they vote for Clinton, whom so many see as part of the problem of corruption and cronyism.
This is a question because true movements transcend politics. In order to be legit, movements should push politicians, not politically profit them. Regardless of the stagecraft at the DNC, the Sanders movement, preceded by the Occupy Wall Street movement, will more than likely morph into some other form and challenge the Clinton candidacy and not concede to it.
Consider the Civil Rights Movement, the epitome of movements in our time. Martin Luther King and Civil Rights leaders elected to transcend the political back-and- forth of the day, not get mired in it.
In contrast, think about the so-called Mothers of the Movement that spoke about the pain of losing children to police brutality and violence during the Democratic National Convention. Their pain is real, and their desire to create change is genuine. Of course, Black Lives Matter has not been embraced by the GOP, but the full endorsement of Clinton from the mothers was troubling. What exactly has Clinton done to address the disproportionate impact of police brutality on minorities versus whites? What has she promised? What is her record?
Note that Clinton’s husband is the author of the term “Sista Souljah moment,” a political move that repudiates a certain image or group because that politician can take that group’s support for granted. Hillary already has the support of the Mothers of the Movement – what is to cause her not to abandon the needs of this movement when it’s politically expedient?
Unfortunately, their pain is now relegated to scoring Clinton more political points, with no specific policy promises in return. I look forward to seeing if there will be any true return.
An economic conservative till the end, Hughey strongly believes in the power of self-empowerment as the solution to many of society's problems. He is a business consultant for a management advisory firm in the Washington DC area and a contributor to Project 21, a black conservative organization. He also appears on television as a political and policy commentator on TVOne and RT. A graduate of Stanford Univeristy and Harvard Business School, Hughey believes that education and economic awareness are the keys to empower Americans to take back our nation.