I will not be among the Democrats urging, cajoling or otherwise trying to convince Bernie Sanders to get out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The thought here is, it doesn’t matter. Hillary Clinton is obviously going to be the nominee. The question that remains is not whether stays in but does he spend the next two months providing ready-made material for the Republicans in the general election?
I have very little doubt that Sanders’ supporters will continue their multisyllabic invectives in internet memes, slamming Hillary no matter what Bernie does. Hopefully, Sanders himself will stick to promoting the issues for which he has developed a substantial following.
Here’s how I read it: When he started his campaign, Sanders never thought he could win. He was an ideological candidate who got in to bring attention to horrific income inequality, an economy that doesn’t work for the average person, and a general disgust with the Establishment. He built an impressive following of the far left of the Democratic Party.
Political revolutions, or revolutions of any type, require a rising-up of fed-up people willing to buck the status quo. Sanders’ problem from the start was that turnout in the primaries was down compared to 2008.
At some point, Sanders—or the people around him—concluded that he could actually win. This is mostly due to the flawed nature of Hillary as a candidate. But Bernie’s followers took a nasty, holier-than-thou, how-dare-you-question Bernie approach that eventually sank him. Bernie himself exhibited a nasty, sarcastic tone in the last debate that was unbecoming.
Now I am reading social media postings from Bernie Boys about either urging Sanders to run as a third party candidate (would he return to the Socialist fold?) or flaming Hillary for one thing or another. As one CNN commentator remarked, “Bernie doesn’t need to get out of the race but [he and his supporters] should put the gloves down.”
It matters not if Bernie gets out of the race—he’s has no chance of winning barring something unforeseen (I’ll leave the reader to speculate what that could be). It does matter what he does with his time if he stays in.