PHILADELPHIA — Bernie Sanders’ advocates are pushing back. Some literally — against and over fences outside of the Wells Fargo center before the senator spoke July 25 at the Democratic National Convention. Others are adding a bit of whimsy to the cause. Several delegates pledged to Sanders sported green caps with red feathers to represent Sanders’ Robin Hood tax.
The tax, or bill 1614, would tax Wall Street 0.5 percent and as a result would generate approximately $350 billion for the United States’ economy, according to RobinHoodTax.org. Specifically, this financial speculation tax would be put on trade much like sales tax is added to clothing.
The idea behind the Robin Hood tax is to take from the rich and give to the poor, just as the folklore tells it. There is a distinction, though, between this tax and fictional Robin Hood, Wisconsin delegate Ben Carpenter said.
“It’s not robbing (from the rich), we’ve been robbed for years,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter traveled to Iowa, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California to campaign for Sanders. He funded the trip himself, with the help of some friends, all while taking time off from his construction job.
“If it can change America, then it’s a cheap investment,” he said.
He is still frustrated with how this election has unfolded and what the media has reported on. He said he was not surprised by the DNC email leak that showed DNC staffers undercutting Sanders’ campaign and caused the resignation of Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“Does my vote count?” he said. “Does anyone’s vote count when we have superdelegates who made up their minds months ago?”
With Hillary Clinton’s nomination announcement, Indiana District 8 delegate Gina Robinson Ungar doesn’t consider herself a sore loser — but that doesn’t mean she’s giving up. She’s continued to discuss the grassroots efforts and the message behind the movement with Indiana superdelegates, who are not bound by the state primary to vote for a certain candidate.
She said Sanders offers an opportunity to bring Republican voters over to the Democratic party, Robinson Ungar said. When she canvased for Sanders in the Evansville area she found that people didn’t even want to hear about Clinton.
“When they hear Hillary Clinton they turn their ears off,” she said.
Instead, she tried to spread this message to high school seniors in her hometown of Boonville. She coordinated with Boonville High School’s civic and government teachers and spoke with every student who was eligible to vote.
What she saw was a divide.
For students who were in honor classes — total Sanders support.
For students from working class families — talk of Trump.
Robinson Ungar, who is a raw milk farmer, looks to history to explain this.
When talking to students, she referenced post World War I Germany and how Hitler rose to power because he fed into the insecurity of an entire nation.
She also referenced conflicts in the Middle East and how the same power structure happens when terrorist groups like the Islamic State recruit those who are looking for validation.
She sees this among Hoosiers as well. She separates these voters into two groups.
One being white, working class residents who are holding on to outdated, often racist opinions, she said.
“So much of the world is changing and it’s faster than what they’re ready for,” Robinson Ungar said. “They feel left behind.”
The other group are Evangelic voters, she said. To appeal to them, the southwestern Indiana Bernie supporters turned to the Bible. Many of Sanders’ policies on taking care of the poor reflects religious values, she said.
For Philadelphia Sanders supporter and professor of computer-human interaction Jennifer Rode, religious values are what convinced her to vote for Clinton in November.
Although she identifies as a Green Party member and attended the convention to train Sanders delegates, Rode said she will ultimately do anything to stop Republican nominee Donald Trump.
In addition to protecting her own Jewish faith, she wants to vote to protect her Muslim students. Trump’s anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim rhetoric scares them both, she said.