Berning it all down


The bitterest fights are always inside the family. So it is with the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Donald Trump has Ted Cruz (and John Kasich and Jeb Bush and…). Hillary Clinton has Bernie Sanders.

At least Sanders endorsed Clinton. But not all his supporters buy it.

There is a certain self-righteousness among some Sanders supporters that is off-putting. There’s also a certain sense of entitlement among some Clinton supporters that is equally off-putting. (I’ll hear from both sides now.)

The burden is on Clinton & Co. to reach out. After all, they won.

The Sanders people did win concessions on the platform. But who cares about the platform?

After Sanders endorsed Clinton a couple of weeks back, the party seemed to be coming together. Then came the leak of thousands of dumb, dumb, dumb DNC emails.

Those damn emails again! At this point, Clinton wants to get a time machine, go back and un-invent email. That damn Al Gore!

A Russian hack sounds far-fetched. But when a serious person like Congressman David Price takes a Putin plot seriously, attention should be paid. Republicans believe Russians hacked Hillary’s State Department emails. Why not these too?

From the beginning, Clinton’s campaign missed what fueled Sanders’ challenge: the anger many Democrats, and many Americans, feel toward a pay-for-play political system. It’s the Clintons’ fault that they became the poster pair for that system.

Sanders’ supporters are unlikely to vote for Trump. But they might go for Gary Johnson (legalize marijuana!), write in Bernie or sit home and, like Ralph Nader voters in 2000, open the White House door for Trump.

There are plenty of Never-Trump Republicans who could do the same.

Our nation rests in the hands of these disaffected Democrats and reluctant Republicans.

Gary Pearce is a veteran N.C. Republican strategist writing on the 2016 conventions.