Pat Merton Coyle and Anna Payne, Bernie delegates from Bucks County, PA.
10:25: Anna’s views on Bernie or Bust.
Anna: “To me, voting for Trump, or maybe even voting third party to a point of view, is like a slap in the face to Bernie, if Trump ends up winning this election.”
Jeff: “So what is your point of view on Bernie or Bust?”
Anna: “I understand it completely. And I’m not totally against it. But at the end of the day, you really have to look at what…what’s important to you? Now, some people will not be able to sleep at night voting for Secretary Clinton. Because they do not believe in her. And they do not believe that she will hold the platform up. That she will make good decisions. And if you cannot sleep at night voting for Secretary Clinton, I completely understand why you are Bernie or Bust.”
Jeff: “So what about those that say that Bernie or Bust is effectively a vote for Trump?”
Anna: “…I hope that the Bernie or Bust people, at least come out and vote down ticket. Because that is what matters… If they vote their conscience, I can’t argue with it. I can’t. Would I like to sit down and talk with someone that’s Bernie or Bust and talk with them? Of course. And explain to them, ‘The issues that you care about’–The Supreme Court is a huge issue. And I don’t even know if many people know about the Supreme Court. The person who gets into office is going to get two to four Supreme Court nominations. Those people are going to be on the Supreme court for years. And I don’t mean three years or four years. Decades.”
13:30: Pat’s views on Bernie or Bust: “We’re mourning the loss of our campaign.”
Pat: “I want people to vote their conscience, but I want people to make informed decisions. They call them throwaway votes. I don’t believe it’s throwing away if it’s what you absolutely believe in. But for every action there’s a reaction. And if too many people are Bernie or Bust, it could hurt the whole Democratic Party, up and down the ticket…
I think right now you have to realize that we’re mourning the loss of our campaign. We’re mourning the loss of Bernie as our candidate. We have to get past that and go on. And there’s a lot of people today who are saying, ‘I’m not going to vote at all, I’m going to stay home election day and cry maybe.’ And I understand that totally, because it is such an emotional thing. But I hope as the hurt goes down and people start to heal, that they well look at the issues, and look at the important things, such as the Supreme Court, such as how we treat our fellow citizens, whether or not we’re sending our children to war. And they do vote for who they believe is the best person.”
16:00: Anna’s hair is red, white, and blue, with a small, glittery, novelty Uncle Sam hat, pointing diagonally off of her head. The hat is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
Jeff: “It’s your truth. As long as it’s respectful in your own way.” There is no need for suits and ties and traditional formal dress, if it’s not your truth.
17:10: Outrageous hotel costs, and Anna and Pat live 30-60 minutes away.
Pat: “400/night. My hotel the week before last was $159/night.”
Jeff: “Of course. Because they can. Because they can.”
18:10: Wayne Lewis, Bernie delegate from NJ-5, Galloway Township.
Wayne is in his early 50s, and, beyond voting “basically Democrat”, this is his first time being involved in politics. He is a mathematician in dynamical systems, with an interest in non-linear complex systems. “I’m interested in how economies work, how ecosystems work, how deregulation works.”
Wayne discusses how he discovered Bernie Sanders, what he plans on doing to continue staying involved (“The first step is going to be to get onto county committee.”).
19:51: “If you don’t get involved and you don’t vote, you don’t really have a right to complain.”
“I had very little experience in politics. It was Bernie Sanders who actually showed me the way to go with respect to politics. [This] is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with. I voted basically Democrat, but without giving much thought to it.
There was a period where I was just, like many Americans, wrapped up in my own life. Wrapped up in what I was doing to make money, and the relationship with my family. And just not really paying much attention to what was going on outside of my own little world.
Interestingly, about three years ago, a friend of mine who is pretty conservative, he’s a Republican, said to me–and I used to say the same thing a lot of people say: ‘Why even bother? Your vote doesn’t really mean anything. It’s all rigged. And what’s the point?’.
My friend said to me, “You know, you do an awful lot of complaining about the way the things are. And if you don’t get involved and you don’t vote, you don’t really have a right to complain.”
20:25: “I started to say something smart ass”, Jeff: “because that’s what you do.” Wayne: “Because that’s what I am. That’s what I do.”
This prompted him to dive into researching many issues, discovering how serious many issues are, and how everything is interconnected. Interrelated systemically.
It was at this point he saw Bernie Sanders, who put all of these pieces together into one coherent narrative, and was swept up into the campaign. Bernie Sanders was not the catalyst for him becoming involved, the issues were the catalyst.
24:30: $15/hour, for example, implemented in a vacuum and right away is a bad thing. But implemented with healthcare reform (and other supplemental reforms) and implement it over time, that could work.
Bernie Sanders’ stump speech is a coherent narrative, not a bunch of random nice ideas.
27:25: Interconnectedness: “the reality is one thing, the political reality is another.”
Can all these things be passed through congress at once? No, but the political reality doesn’t change that these issues are interconnected. They’re two separate problems.
28:40: The economics of Bernie Sanders’ policies.
30:50: “I want to be there [tonight at the DNC] for Barack Obama’s speech to hold up a ‘No TPP’ sign.”
He’s wearing a No TPP button.
32:40: Discussion of last night’s #DNCWalkout
“On my way here I was listening to NPR, and they saying, ‘Oh, about 200 Bernie delegates walked out.’ So they were really spinning it and they’re not really reporting it accurately.”
Jeff’s estimate before discussing it with anyone else: At least 500.
Wayne’s estimate: “More than half. At least a 1000. When I was looking around, there were a LOT of empty seats.”
34:50: Jeff: “Opening gavel time was changed to 4 o’clock.”
Jeff: “I don’t want to see Obama speak. Not as a protest, it just doesn’t interest me and I’m tired.”
It is at this point that I meet Kerith Strano-Taylor.