I’ll get straight to the point; Bernie Sanders should drop out, now.
Back in 2013, I wrote a post called 2016: The One Thing That Democrats Should Do, where I dreamed what it would be like to have the Democratic party nominate Hillary, and only Hillary, for President. There is a precedent for this. This is the way that it was done before 1820. I think that I made a good case, even though I knew that it would never happen.
What I didn’t know and couldn’t imagine back then (nor at the beginning of the primaries), is what is happening today. Republicans are uniting behind Donald Trump, DONALD TRUMP, while Democrats are fighting against each other. I blame Bernie Sanders.
Unlike what his supporters do against Hillary, I’m not going to insult Sanders. Unlike what Sanders said about Hillary, I’m not going to say that he’s unqualified for the presidency. While I would have preferred that the Democrats follow my 2013 advice, I think that Sanders has been an important voice in these elections. At the very least, he has galvanized the youth vote, no small accomplishment. But, it’s time for him to go.
I’m tired of his supporters saying that he has the right to stay until he wants because Hillary did the same in 2008. Sure, but in 2008 there was no Donald Trump. In 2008, Hillary was not saying that there would be a contested convention. In 2008, Hillary was not complaining about the superdelegates going for Obama. Hillary’s supporters didn’t behave like those present at the Nevada convention on May 14th who “rushed the stage, threw chairs and were shouting obscenities”, nor did they ever send threats to Democratic officials like those sent to Roberta Lange, Nevada’s state party chairwoman.
I don’t understand Sanders’ supporters, including prominent ones like Susan Sarandon, who have said that they will not vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination (she has it now). I was an Obama supporter in 2008 but I would have voted for Clinton if she had beaten him. I am a Hillary supporter now, but if Sanders had won the nomination, I would have voted for him. This is the responsible thing to do when you believe in your party’s platform, especially now when the alternative could be so devastating for our country.
However, my biggest criticism is directed towards Sanders. The longer that he takes to concede, especially now that Hillary has reached the number of delegates to be the party’s nominee, the more suspicious I become of his motivation. Right now I feel that Bernie Sanders is on some kind of power/ego trip. I feel that his run has become more important to him than the ideals that he has been touting throughout the primaries. I could be totally wrong. I do not know him, nor can I read his mind.
But, where I am not wrong is that by stubbornly staying in the race he has been, for a long time now, stoking a hope with zero chance of being fulfilled; he has been stoking resentment towards Hillary, even if that has not been his intention. The longer he stays the harder it’ll be for his supporters to turn away from him towards Hillary, especially because so many of them are young and idealistic. Blinded by anger, they might not realize (or care) that we really need them, along with women and minorities, to beat Donald Trump.
Sanders is playing with fire. Let’s hope that in November we don’t feel the burn of a Trump victory.