So after the glorious disunity of the Republican convention, now is the chance for the Democrats to pull together and show their rivals what unity is all about. If only. As with so much of politics at the moment, the script is there to be broken and that much was clear when Bernie Sanders was booed as he endorsed his one-time rival Hillary Clinton. To be fair to Sanders, he did try his best to throw his weight behind Hillary. ‘Hillary, Hillary, Hillary,’ was the chorus of his speech which was intended to draw a line under a fractious primary campaign – and unlike Ted Cruz he could at least bring himself to mention his rival’s name. But the showering of boos in the audience was audible even amidst the standing ovation given to Bernie and it made one thing obvious: many Democrats are still unhappy with Hillary. Bernie told the audience gathered in Philadelphia:
‘We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger. By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that based on her ideas and leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next President of the United States.’
Bernie mentioned Hillary’s name 12 times but still the cries of ‘We want Bernie’ went up from the crowd. Michigan delegate Bruce Fealk spoke for more than a few Democrats when he said:
‘I’m really annoyed. I want to support Bernie, but I also want to voice my displeasure with the Democratic Party.’
So whilst some in the Democrat party might look on and laugh at the candidacy of Donald Trump, it’s obvious that they have enough troubles of their own to worry about. Already, Trump has been tweeting away about how Bernie Sanders ‘totally sold out to crooked Hillary’. He also made a somewhat optimistic pitch to win the support of Bernie fans by saying: ‘We welcome all voters who want to fix our rigged system and bring back our jobs.’ But meanwhile, all the Democrats seem able to do is to try and hope Trump goes away. Michelle Obama has been widely praised for her speech which came before Sanders’ at the convention. Yet she also gave something away about why the disaffected folk backing Trump won’t find their worries addressed by the Democrats. In a dig at Trump, Mrs. Obama said: ‘Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great.’ Yet the truth is, for many Americans, their country doesn’t feel ‘great’ at all. And in trying to dismiss, rather than address those feelings, the Democrats aren’t helping themselves in the fight against Trump.