Image taken from http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/hillary-clinton-wins-big-in-vegas
Full disclosure: I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. If all goes well, I will vote for her to become President and take off work and gleefully throw an epically obnoxious party when she’s inaugurated. I’m already thinking about what desserts to make.
However, I simply don’t understand people’s assumption that Bernie Sanders’ campaign is dead after Hillary’s big wins yesterday in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. Yes, Hillary did widen her delegate lead by about 100 and netted another 100 super delegates, but there are still over 2000 delegates and 25 states to win, including California in June, which has 475 delegates to give. If Sanders can keep within 200 – 300 delegates and win big in key states like New York, Pennsylvania, and California, he could edge by her and win the nomination. And this isn’t just the hopeful rantings of a “BernieBot.” This is a pragmatic Hillary supporter telling you that her candidate could very well still lose. The popular vote is a hell of a thing.
And yet, all over Twitter, Facebook, The Washington Post, Salon, and MSN, I’ve seen dozens of posts about how Bernie should just give up. They’re all falling back on the tired refrain that a politician serving 30 years in Congress with an impressive resume of committees, cosponsored legislation, and progressive clips is somehow unelectable. He’s not. I mean, on the GOP side we have an orange racist with no political experience whatsoever who’s going to get the nod. But Bernie can’t?
I know that we want Hillary to win. She’s the most qualified candidate by a mile with extensive legislative, foreign policy, healthcare, and gender equality experience. If you looked at every candidate’s resume in a blind study, you would pick her. She can talk circles around her opponents on a wide variety of issues. She is a strong candidate and would make a fine President.
But creating a fantasy where Sanders could never be President and he’s lost a campaign that has barely started doesn’t help. It doesn’t show that you support Hillary and have faith in her. It doesn’t convince Sanders supporters that she’s a better choice for them. It doesn’t negate Sanders’ assertion that our society is run by some shadow “establishment.” All it does is make people dig in their heels, cough up donations, and shout louder.
And it’s insulting. It’s insulting a decent Congressional career, a decent Congressman, and passionate supporters. It’s telling them that they don’t matter. That their opinions and viewpoints don’t matter. That they don’t deserve to be heard simply because they’re backing another candidate – which is an infringement upon their rights.
So, mainstream media and my fellow Hillary supporters, calm down. We have three more months of primaries to get through and then another five months of heavy campaigning. We can’t get complacent just because of a few early wins, and we can’t be petty. If Hillary does get the nomination, we have to be able to fold in Sanders’ supporters, and I can tell you right now that they won’t join us if we spent nine months calling them stupid and delusional. I certainly wouldn’t.