While the corporate media painted a picture of Bernie Sanders riding off into the sunset after throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton, Bernie was rallying his troops for another fight. This time the fight isn’t for the Democratic Party nomination, but to transform the party and the country. That was always the focus, but the media only understood the horse race.
Bernie Sanders did endorse Hillary Clinton and pledged to help her beat Donald Trump in November. A few hours later, Bernie was on the phone with his delegates letting them know that there was still work to do and to prepare for a possible floor fight at the convention. Bernie wants to reform the nominating process. End the influence of the party bosses who were exposed in this election. Bernie thinks the super delegates should no longer have the influence over the process that currently have.
Sanders also believes the primaries and caucuses should all be open to all voters. Not allowing independents to vote in the Democratic Primary is exclusionary. Bernie believes by opening up the process the party will grow and will get more support on Election Day. As I have been saying for months, both parties are shrinking while more and more people identify as independent. Open primaries will help the Democrats reach out to those voters.
Senator Sanders also told his delegates he wanted them at the convention for the roll call. He has not released his delegates. He acknowledges the math but wants to come out of Philadelphia united in the struggle for the progressive issues he raised during the campaign. Most of the media failed to report that Bernie did not suspend his campaign. Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.
He does not have any delusional plan to steal the nomination from Hillary Clinton. It’s no longer about the nomination, and really never was. Of course a win would have been nice and would have accelerated the rate of the political revolution.
On July 24th Bernie will speak to his supporters in FDR Park in Philadelphia and declare victory. No, he won’t be saying he is the nominee. He will be declaring victory for the progressive movement. Bernie is proud of the progress we have made. The progressive agenda is now a mainstream agenda. Bernie told his delegates that the right wing agenda has dominated the discourse long enough and together we have changed the conversation.
He acknowledged that there is still a long way to go to implement the agenda. Along those lines he announced that in the coming weeks new organizations will be launched to replace the campaign. One of the major focuses will be to elect progressives at the local and national level.
In explaining why he decided to endorse Hillary Clinton now, he praised her for agreeing to the most progressive platform ever. He praised victories on the minimum wage, college affordability, Native American rights, criminal justice, and the environment. He acknowledged that while progress was made we fell short on trade, health care, and the Middle East.
Sanders told his supporters that they must organize to make sure the TPP does not come to a vote in a lame duck session of Congress. Sanders sounded optimistic, but warned that he thinks it is possible that the TPP could pass in this Congress. He urged his delegates to contact their members of Congress to tell them to block a vote this year.
I watched Bernie’s speech with Hillary on YouTube. I saw the chat explode with people saying that Bernie was a traitor. Many were posting F bombs. Bernie Sanders has done more for the progressive cause than any of those posters. I know that many of them worked hard over the last year and have been active for years. That does not give them the right to show such disrespect for a man who has spent his whole career fighting for the progressive cause. Bernie Sanders got 13 million votes. Compare that to Dennis Kucinich and other past progressive candidates. Bernie has moved the progressive cause forward. He will continue to fight for us and I bet he will accomplish more than all of the haters combined. I’m still with you Bernie.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.