Editorial: Clinton + Bernie's revolution
After Tuesday’s determining primaries, in which Hilary Clinton won convincingly in California and New Jersey and even slipped past Bernie Sanders in South Dakota, the die is cast: Clinton will be the nominee. She has won the majority of the pledged delegates, she has won more states and contests, her steadfast support is across more demographic sectors of the population and far stronger in the most populated regions of the nation. She also has a sure lead among the Democratic Superdelegates, as well she should. She earned it.
But that does not mean Sanders should not continue to carry his message into Washington, D.C. for the final primary contest next Tuesday, and to continue carrying his momentum all the way to the national convention in Philly in late July. On the contrary, the party should want him to keep his significant base of support energized and supportive of change — even in the form of Bernie’s political revolution.
What Bernie wants is to continue that revolution. He has kept up the rhetoric because he knows the minute he walks off that stage — and Clinton adopts old-school politics and moderates her positions toward the middle — the revolution fizzles, and that base of support is lost. That’s not smart politics. Smart is understanding that Bernie and Hillary together encouraged 650,000 new people to register to vote in California alone during the past few weeks. Across the country, the numbers of newly registered Democrats are huge.
Do Clinton supporters really want to rush Bernie off into the political hinterland? Do they really want the revolution to fade in the hearts and minds of Democrats? Do they want the party to represent the politics of old; the same-ole, same-old? Haven’t they heard the hew and cry for a new brand of politics that sweeping the country?
What Bernie instinctively knows is that his revolution is good for the Democratic Party and for the nation, and he is loathe to let that energy die. He is willing to concede the presidency, but he is not willing to crush the dreams of all of those people who have embraced the hope for political change; for all the things his campaign has advocated. What Bernie has to accept is that while he swayed 45 percent of the party, Hillary swayed the other 55 percent.
No doubt he brought his message, and the reality of Clinton’s victory, to President Obama on Thursday. The challenge now is to navigate a way in which the revolution continues, and Bernie carries that energy all the way to November.
— Angelo S. Lynn