Pro-Bernie Paducah Delegate Says Sanders' Grassroots Influence Goes Beyond 2016
Hillary Clinton has made history as the first woman to receive her party’s nomination for president, but it wasn’t without contention from her rival, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
Though he stayed in the running until the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Sanders did ultimately request that the party select Clinton as its nominee at the end of a roll-call vote Tuesday.
Paducah resident Aaron Bugg, a Kentucky delegate and staunch supporter of Sanders, is at the convention. He says he wasn’t surprised by the move but it doesn’t change how important Sanders’ campaign was to the democratic process.
"He’s being a good sport about it," said Bugg. "His interest is to beat [Republican candidate Donald] Trump and continue pushing the democratic party in a more progressive, more left direction. And he’s proving that with the turnout that we had here in the DNC and the huge amount of support that he’s had come out and vote for him, that it’s possible to run democratic candidates grassroots, which is an even bigger deal. I think that’s really healthy for the democratic party.”
Throughout Monday night, several members of the Sanders delegation openly booed and protested at the mention of Clinton's name. Bugg says while he understands the frustration surrounding bias towards Clinton during the Democratic primary, he wasn't for obstructing the event.
"A lot of us held up signs in the Bernie camp, like anti-TPP signs or pro-Bernie signs, but then a segment of the Bernie delegation booed... it's one thing to boo once at something maybe you don't like, but to persist as much as they did, they basically obstructed the convention and prevented the speakers from talking, and that's rude," said Bugg. "Signs where everyone can see it but it doesn't interrupt is a much more appropriate of a protest."
Clinton will face off against Trump in the fall general election. Bugg says he still has time to make up his mind on whether to back Clinton, but he's interested in hearing more from Democratic and third party leaders at the convention through Thursday.
But even after the election, Bugg says he wants to be more involved in local politics, saying the Sanders campaign inspired him to be more proactive in getting out the vote.
“Most importantly, I want to focus on keeping the movement going locally around Paducah and the Purchase area. If everyone tries to affect change at their local and state levels, then you’ve done it on the national level without even thinking about it. Every victory on the local and state level is a drop in the bucket, you’ll fill the bucket eventually.”