A lot of people in the media, as well as many Hillary Clinton supporters, are calling for Bernie Sanders to exit the race because she currently has the lead in pledged delegates. Hillary did win decisively in Arizona on Tuesday, but Bernie absolutely smoked her in Utah and Idaho.
What I want to know is, what’s the harm in Bernie Sanders staying in, even all the way to the convention? If he has no chance to win the nomination, why are Hillary supporters so adamant that Bernie get out now?
If anything, the race is keeping both of them in the news cycle instead of it being solely devoted to the latest outrageous thing that Donald Trump has said about immigrants or people of other religions. Bernie Sanders has stated that he wants to stay in as long as he can, and that is a good thing for the Democratic Party.
Let’s just say that Bernie drops out next week. Many of his supporters, myself included, will vote for Hillary Clinton in November if she is the nominee – but that is because we know that the future of our country is too important to risk with a Trump or Cruz presidency.
Phillip Bump at The Washington Post published an opinion article that sought to throw cold water on Bernie supporters. In this article, he points to a lot of numbers to show that Bernie Sanders isn’t currently winning the Democratic primaries, but we already knew that.
Bernie Sanders is behind in the delegate count, but there are still many more people in states like Washington and California that have yet to vote. At this point, I would not bet the house on him squeaking out a win at the convention, but I will still continue to donate to his campaign until he calls it quits.
Why donate to a campaign that Hillary supporters say can’t win? It’s simple: I know that the future of the Democratic Party (which I recently registered with) depends on him staying in as long as possible.
Democrats have drifted away from the 2006 “50 State Strategy” of Howard Dean which helped them take back the House of Representatives. In order to regain control of the Senate, and possibly even Congress, voters have to be energized beyond simply showing up to vote against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz – and Bernie Sanders staying around as long as possible will do that.
I know that many Bernie supporters aren’t happy with the thought of Hillary Clinton as the party nominee, but just think about how much worse it would be with Congress held by Republicans who would likely rubberstamp anything Trump or Cruz wanted.
Even if Bernie Sanders and his supporters don’t get what they want at the convention, they’re essential to keeping the GOP out of the White House in November. Let’s say we do not succeed, is it really a good idea to stay home and let the radical right have 4 to 8 years in which they can shove their agenda down our throats and tank our economy like George W. Bush did?
I have many friends who are Hillary Clinton fans who are excited about the thought of the first woman as president. Some are not happy with me for supporting Bernie Sanders, but I’m looking at this from a pragmatic perspective, because Bernie is ultimately good for the future of Democrats.
In order to win, Hillary Clinton needs Bernie voters to turn out, and vice versa. Regardless of which candidate gets the nomination, we need each other to stop the GOP in November. I understand that barbs are exchanged between the two, but that is the nature of politics and it is far more civil than the shit show that is currently going on between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Their rivalry is toxic for the GOP, the rivalry between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is not.
Bernie Sanders is forcing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to the left, a move they would not have taken had he not been in the race. The longer he stays in, the more Democrats will have to take a stand on income inequality and corporate greed that it cannot back away from in the general election. Leaving now allows them to return to the center, and back to the party’s old ways.
Barring some catastrophic meltdown, most Republicans will go to vote for their nominee. At the end of the day, they will likely unite behind their nominee because they despise Democrats more than their political differences. We need to do the same thing, not just for the future of the party, but for the future of our country as well.