We Berners are used to being told it’s over: We heard it back in October, when vice president Joe Biden decided not to run for president and allowed the entire establishment to coalesce around a wounded Hillary Clinton. We heard it in February, after South Carolina. We heard it in March after both Super Tuesdays. Now, we are hearing it again after the New York Democratic primary.
Each time, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has clawed his way back into contention, defying the pro-Hillary talking heads. Against the might of the establishment, the progressive Vermonter is now tied with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in nationwide polls. The networks and major publications have all marginalized, demeaned, and outright ignored Bernie Sanders…but he is still the only presidential candidate with net positive favorability ratings. Despite endless taunts and mean-spirited attacks, he continues to grow more popular.
Would any candidate be able to accomplish this much, against so much, if he was not in the right?
Deep down, I feel that most voters know that Bernie Sanders is the right and just candidate for president. There is simply no other way that a septuagenarian from a small state, who openly uses the world socialism, could come so far against such stiff opposition. Bernie Sanders has overcome odds that no other candidate has had to face. His compassion, integrity, and wisdom have been steadily overpowering the snarky, opportunistic cynicism of the pro-Hillary establishment.
If primaries were longer, Bernie Sanders’ victory would be guaranteed. He would be the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee. His bold ideas and sterling reputation would have time to sink in among our nation’s vast legions of low-information voters. Even the most entrenched members of the establishment would run out of denial. Bernie Sanders is just plain ol’ right…and his ideas will inevitably win in time.
Unfortunately, time is in short supply.
As Bernie Sanders holds on and struggles forward, campaigning like a champion, we supporters must stand tough in the face of increasingly hostile opposition. The media and the Democratic Party establishment have already begun demanding that we stop holding out. We have been ordered to stand behind Hillary Clinton. The establishment is trying to weaken our willpower by condescending to us and telling us that Bernie Sanders has made his voice heard.
“He accomplished his mission,” the pundits soothe. “Hillary calls herself a progressive now.”
Do not be fooled.
This election is not about Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton. It is about the corrupt, crooked, profiteering establishment. If we cave today, we will suffer tomorrow.
It would be easy to give up, to give in. But we must not. We must never. Accepting Hillary Clinton as “good enough” for president, despite her myriad quasi-scandals and flip-flops, only shows the establishment that we are suckers. It shows the establishment that we are weak, spineless, and will do as bid. That we talked the talk, but are too afraid to walk the walk. Forever more, they will rationalize their machinations by repeating the story of how progressives dutifully lined up behind Hillary Clinton.
“If we could get those loudmouthed Bernie Sanders fans to line up behind Hillary, we can do anything!” they will cackle in smoke-filled back rooms. And they will be right.
If we want to truly make a change, it is now. We have a strong champion to rally behind, and we must support him until the end.
Do not assume that we will have another shot to force the establishment to change. In future elections, we may not have such a potent and popular progressive to rally behind. In future elections, the establishment candidate may have more assets and fewer liabilities than the deeply flawed Hillary Clinton. The time is ripe to demand change. If we fail today, it may be generations before we get another good chance.
And we cannot afford to wait that long. By then, the middle class will be ground under. We will be living in a dystopian society. At that point, mass uprising may be the only solution, and we do not wish for that.
Berners, stand firm! Be passionate. Be loud. This is not about denying Hillary Clinton the White House – it is about defeating a corrupt establishment and forcing positive, righteous change. If we cave today, we will suffer tomorrow.