As many Americans are coming to terms with the results of the election, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are feeling especially vindicated and are speaking out.
During the campaign, Sanders’ supporters said he had the best shot at beating President-elect Donald Trump, had an advantage over Hillary Clinton in reaching out to working-class voters, and could put together a progressive agenda that Clinton could not.
“Schadenfreude,” Philip Werlau, a Bernie Sanders supporter, told NPR when asked his feelings about this week’s election results. “That is the German word for taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune. … Because I don’t want Trump to be president. But I’m happy that what I perceived as unfair tactics lost.”
Many Sanders supporters felt that the Democratic National Committee treated them unfairly, especially after DNC emails obtained by WikiLeaks showed that the DNC worked against Bernie Sanders.
“It’s far beyond perception at this point; it’s factual that the party leadership definitely put its hands on the scale for Secretary Clinton,” said Dallas Fowler, a Sanders delegate-turned-Clinton voter from Los Angeles. “And I think post-primary not dealing with that effectively as a party drove a number of people [away from Clinton].”
Most Sanders supporters backed Clinton in the general election because the hope for many Democrats was that she would move further to the left after the convention.
And she did, most notably with a college affordability plan that borrowed from Sanders’ plan.
But some Sanders’ voters did not deem that sufficient.
Sanders himself issued a statement about how Trump tapped into middle and working-class voters this election.
“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics, and the establishment media,” he said.
Both progressives and more centrist Democrats agreed and are seeking a way forward for the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election.