Yesterday, Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for President of the United States. As someone who supported his candidacy, I am going through all the disappointment, doubt and what if’s that you always go through when your candidate loses a primary. It sucks, and it will take a week or two before I can start to put the ticket first. But I’m writing this, not for the people who supported Joe Biden, but for all of us who did not. There are important takeaways from this losing effort that need to be acknowledged and appreciated. Losing efforts have always been a big part of what makes our Party great.
The biggest achievement that we need to recognize is that, for him or against him, Bernie Sanders set both the tone and the agenda for this Presidential Primary. It was his issues and his insights that the campaign revolved around. Yesterday, he said of his campaign, “Together we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become and have taken this country a major step forward in the never ending struggle for economic justice, racial justice, social justice and environmental justice. Few would deny that over the past five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle.”
His campaign reminds me of William Jennings Bryan’s struggle over a hundred years ago. He was the leading voice in the Democratic Party for over a quarter century, and changed our Party from a conservative voice for business interests, into the champion of the everyday American we are today. He was nominated for President three times by our Party but never won, yet even in defeat, he too changed the consciousness of America. The policy initiatives that he introduced, although eventually implemented by others, transformed the way we look at government today.
Bernie Sanders has it right. Corporate America and our political establishment are corrupting America. It is difficult or maybe impossible for us to get anything else right until we bring those un-American and un-just influences under control. What he started will continue and will eventually level the playing field for us all. I know many of you feel like that’s not enough. You want to revolt, tear down the walls and start over. I get it. I really do, but what we must take into consideration is the likelihood that we’ll do more harm than good. Joe Biden may seem like the very embodiment of the Establishment you loath, but we have won the ideological war. Biden fully understands the expectations of our party today, and he is our only option to four more years of Republican control.
A Democratic Administration will mean, not just Joe Biden as President, but in all likelihood a Progressive female as Vice-President. It will mean thousands of Progressive Democrats filling key leadership roles in government. It will mean an opportunity to regain control of the judiciary nationwide by appointing Progressive judges to the bench. And, arguably the most important thing is regaining the national narrative by ridding ourselves of the obscene narcissist who has occupied that position for what seems like a thousand years.
We’re all hurting from Bernie Sanders leaving the stage. He did his best, and he served his country well. Now, it is our turn to make his legacy count for something more than hurt feelings. Let’s do this together!
Photo courtesy of loudwire.com.