Monday, May 9, 2016

To stop Trump, Bernie needs to drop out, refocus his fight

Donald Trump is counting on pissed off Democrats to hand him the presidency. The longer Bernie stays in the race, the more likely that is to happen.

Bernie has every right to stay in the race as long as he wants. But he shouldn’t. Bernie is right now where Ted Cruz was the other week: promising the impossible to people he’s worked hard to convince that he’s the only one who comes close to representing them. Like Cruz, it’s not true – he’s not the One True Party Representative who stands for the same things the base stands for, and he’s not going to be able to pull off a miraculous victory. On the issues, like Bernie, Hillary supports a higher minimum wage, healthcare access for all, attainable education, action on climate change, equal rights for women and LGBT Americans, etc. She’s not as far left on some issues, and she’s further on others (like gun sense). Further, with a Democratic legislature, she will advance the things we care about. She will appoint SCOTUS justices who will protect our rights. She will defend and advance a progressive agenda.

As far as a miracle win…even if Bernie is able to win all the remaining contests, his victories would have to be extraordinary to beat Hillary’s pledged delegate count. Pulling in a few more delegates than Hillary in each state isn’t going to cut it. It’s not going to (nor should it) convince the superdelegates he’ll need to ignore the millions more votes than Bernie Hillary has won, and support him instead of the clear favorite of the voters.

What it will do, though, is it will extend an already bitter contest closer and closer to the general election. It will give that anger, the sadness of loss, less time to dissipate. It will give progressive and Democratic voters who supported Bernie less time to cope with loss, less time to readjust their focus to the next contest: the general election.

Right now, Ted Cruz’s supporters are in the throes of that anger. There’s party registration burning and promises to stay #NeverTrump to the bitter end. That anger will burn hot, and largely extinguish, because no matter how much Cruz Republicans may hate Trump, they want to steer the country rightward. Trump isn’t their first choice, but most will choose Trump over Sanders or Clinton. That disappointment of loss will make way for the excitement of a president who can advance conservative goals – and who can appoint conservative justices who will do so for decades to come.
The longer Sanders puts off his loss, the nearer the general election we get. That puts us at a distinct disadvantage to the Republicans. And let’s make no mistake, Trump is counting on Democratic division. He needs it. It is what will hand him the White House.

It cannot be overstated: the only way a clueless misogynist bigot like Donald Trump will take the White House is if disgruntled Democrats hand it to him by refusing to support the Democratic nominee who receives the popular vote.
Bernie himself has stated that on her worst days, Hillary Clinton would be a far preferable president than Trump. This doesn’t have to be the end for Bernie, or the revolution he’s trying to start: uniting the party, and working with Clinton to send a strong wave of Democratic legislators to Washington will have more impact than a protracted primary fight, particularly one he will lose.

Bernie made a good play for the ticket, but he’s in a spot where winning it is all but impossible. Now is the time to look past the personal and toward the greater good. A united, strong Left can make the revolution happen – whether led by Hillary or Bernie. A bitter, divided Democratic party, whoever is at its head, can’t. And if this is really not about Bernie, but us, he should put aside his personal ambition for the sake of the greater good.

1 comment:

  1. Jill Stein. Elizabeth Warren. A ficus tree. Anybody, ANY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL, besides HRC. If she had run a clean campaign, and if she had released the transcripts of her speeches to the investment banks, I might consider her 'earning' my vote. She has not and I will not! It is, indeed, not about Bernie. It is about wresting the reigns of power from the sticky hands of the plutocrats.