I was a Bernie Sanders supporter.
He ran an amazing campaign. Sanders pulled the Democratic discourse to the left, where it belongs. I hope he continues to do that, and that his supporters find ways to keep Hillary tacking that way. The easiest is by voting in more progressives in down-ticket races, so she is not as hamstrung as Obama was. A Democratic Congress plus a Democratic President is necessary now. This is why you need to get to the polls in November and vote in Democrats at all levels, including HRC. This is what Sanders’ revolution calls for next.
Hillary lost, like Sanders is losing, 8 years ago, and spent 8 years preparing to win this nomination. That she won is not a surprise. It’s not based on a rigged system. It’s based on megatons of hard work, expertise, team-building, reading situations, adapting, negotiating, and convincing smart people that she has what it takes. These are presidential qualities, and I, for one, respect them.
It’s time to drop the outrage. The campaign issues are not all good vs. evil issues. Blocks to people voting are bad, but voting rules were established beforehand and could be dealt with. For example, super delegates sounds undemocratic, but if a Trump had the opportunity to be nominated over Hillary because of open primaries, would you not want the sounder, Senate-like super delegates to be able to say uhn-uh and prevent the fiasco the GOP faces? In ’08, super delegates switched to Obama when it was clear that he was ahead. Hillary is ahead now by a much greater margin, so they’re sticking. Yes there are inequities in the system, like the press, which did a poor job at covering the primaries. But the press has been in a downward spiral since it became entertainment programming. That is not Hillary’s doing.
Sanders running as a Democrat, when he has not been one, is an example of how you need to work in the system, sometimes in incremental ways. He made waves as a Democratic candidate that he could not have done as an independent at this time. By doing so, he will influence the platform. He also single-handedly reformed campaign finance. That alone makes his campaign a success, though he did so much more.
Hillary “evolves” her positions based on changing situations. This is a strategy choice, not lying. I haven’t liked that her positions don’t stay left. Let’s keep her evolving them in the right direction with a progressive Congress. She has made bureaucratic missteps and has a reluctance to confess when she doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong. This makes her a human, not a criminal. Let’s let the courts decide her criminal status, rather than becoming vigilantes, which we would abhor in non-political circumstances. She has the ability to defend herself and state her opinion forcefully, and she sometimes gets loud. She is positioned to make the fact that she is a woman irrelevant to those traits, unlike how Mr. Trump sees it.
Hillary’s supporters in ’08 were crushed, as Sanders supporters, myself included, are today. Can we rise above the frustration and move to the next task, or will we just revert to petulance, and apathy, and the social status quo? In ’08, Obama promised hope. Sanders has demonstrated how much hope there is out there. Don’t give it up. After the convention has played out, and Sanders plays his hand in the platform, it will be time to vote in a qualified, experienced, first woman president, and give her a Congress she can work with — and who will reinforce the progressive positions Sanders helped her evolve.