Jesse Jackson Makes Impassioned Plea for Party Unity, But Warns DNC 'The Bern Must Never Grow Cold'

In 1984, no one 'felt the bern' more than Jesse Jackson, who, as democratic candidate for president, won five primaries and caucuses, 18.2% of the vote, after initially being written off as a "fringe candidate." 

Because of which, Jackson shared the same sentiments as many Bernie supporters at the Democratic National Convention, disappointed by the party's choice for nominee. But Jackson also knows that the stakes are even greater than when he ran over three decades ago. 

"Tonight I stand proudly in support of the next president of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton," Jackson began his speech Wednesday.

"Let me also congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders for energizing this campaign with ideas and hope. The bern must never grow cold," Jackson told the crowd. 

Jackson then spoke on combatting Donald Trump.

“Where hate abounds, love must abound even more. Where fear abounds, hope must abound even more. In the stormy seas, the violent campaign rhetoric… there’s a tug of war for America’s soul. We have a clear choice," Jackson said. 

In 1984, Jackson lost the democratic nomination for president to Walter Mondale. He then returned to run in 1988, and was endorsed by then-mayor of Burlinton, Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

That year, Jackson won 11 contests and 6.9 million votes, but would ultimately lose the nomination to Michael Dukakis.

However, in both elections, the democratic nominee lost the presidency to a republican, Ronald Reagan (1984) and George H.W. Bush (1988). Now, Jackson fears that the party will not unite and worries that history is doomed to repeat itself. 

"Hillary understands the historic dimensions of the agony, hope and promise of Black Lives Matter," Jackson continued. "She knows our scars and our suffering," Jackson said. "The shootings of young black men must stop, and we deeply regret the killing of police officers with powerful assault weapons. Those police should be alive today. Ban assault weapons now."

Jackson ended his speech with a triumphant statement: 

"It's healing time! It's hope time! It's Hillary time!" 


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