As Bernie Sanders continues to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, the time has come to focus some of those who are most actively backing his candidacy.
Most of those voting for Sanders are decent people who truly deserve to be called “progressives.” But among his most active supporters are hard left elements within organizations such as Black Lives Matter, CodePink and MoveOn who are more appropriately called repressives. Too many of them have too little tolerance for views different than their own.
Traditional liberals who have made their home in the Democratic Party should be wary of these groups. Much like the Sanders campaign, many of them are dominated by Occupy Wall Street veterans, whose brand of unfocused revolutionary politics was widely derided by Democrats and Republicans alike in 2011. They are at war with certain core liberal values, particularly as regards free speech.
Several weeks ago, for example, dozens of Black Lives Matter activists infiltrated a Donald Trump rally and forced the organizers to cancel due to security concerns, after they became involved in heated confrontations with Trump’s supporters. Whatever one may think of Trump’s policies, there is no excuse for preventing the candidate from expressing them at a political rally. They abridged both Trump’s right to free expression and the ability of thousands of their fellow citizens to participate in the political process.
MoveOn thanked the disruptors for their actions.
Nor have such repressive actions been confined to Trump rallies: Clinton events have been regularly targeted as well, most recently in Philadelphia, where Black Lives Matter activists engaged in a lengthy confrontation with former President Bill Clinton, repeatedly shouting over his attempts to engage them in substantive discussion.