In his introduction to Senator Bernie Sanders during Monday night’s Democratic National Convention, Rep. Keith Ellison implored fellow “proud” Sanders supporters not to stay home in November, and trust that Hillary Clinton will deliver on “the most progressive platform in history.”
Ellison thus described the current Democratic Party platform, crediting Clinton in part for helping write it and listing some of his favorite points in that platform: “banning private prisons, expanding Social Security, the public option, and debt free college tuition.” While identifying as a “proud – and I say proud Bernie Sanders supporter,” he argued that not voting for Hillary Clinton would play into the allegedly nefarious Republican agenda. “They don’t want us to vote,” he asserted, adding that “not voting is not a protest, it is a surrender.”
Ellison’s words follow a tumultuous day for the Democrats which began with Democrats booing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a breakfast event. The convention continued with a parade of speakers booed by pro-Sanders delegates on the convention floor and climaxed with comedian Sarah Silverman berating the crowd for being “ridiculous.” Ellison appealed to a common disgust among progressives with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to attempt to bridge that gap.
“Donald Trump wants to divide and conquer us with his anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, messages,” Ellison, himself the only Muslim in Congress, alleged. “When they bring the fear, we bring the courage,” he implored the crowd.
While urging unity, Ellison concluded demanding the crowd dedicate the night to praising Sanders, not Clinton. “Let us raise our voices in gratitude to the man who has helped make this party greater than ever,” he concluded.