Sanders has signed up many people to register as Democrats, he has built up a ground campaign of enthusiastic young people that he will deliver to the Democratic establishment so long as they make trivial changes to the party platform, and he has signed up literally millions of people on an email list that the establishment is now salivating over.
This last point ought to give pause (though it won’t) to every left-wing and radical activist who volunteered for the campaign. That is, every time some volunteer went out doorknocking or sent out a mailer or invited people to a Facebook page or convinced somebody to make a $27 donation, and every time that led to them giving their contact information to the Sanders campaign, they were helping to create a mass contact list that will prove valuable for getting out the vote and appealing for donations for Hillary Clinton. Many self-proclaimed radicals and revolutionaries helped build the infrastructure of the Democratic Party.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up