It's not me, Bernie, it's you

Bernie Sanders, by Gage Skidmore, license CC BY-SA 2.0

Bernie Sanders, by Gage Skidmore, license CC BY-SA 2.0

During the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders wars, I tried to stay as neutral as I could. I leaned much more towards Mrs. Clinton, but knew I would vote for Sen. Sanders if the choice was between him and anyone from the GOP.

But, really, this is getting ridiculous.

At a time in the 2008 election cycle where then-Senator Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Barack Obama, we have the spectacle of Sen. Sanders still holding rallies as if the outcome of the Democratic nomination weren't settled.

His original intent was to stay in to have influence on the party platform. That platform has been decided, and of course there's howling from the left because it doesn't start out with a full quote of the Internationale.

What's his reason now? The platform is written. It will be approved by Sec. Clinton's delegates in Philadelphia. He has no logical reason to stay in the race. At this rate, if he doesn't drop out and endorse Sec. Clinton, he might not even have a speaking spot at the Convention.

His "revolution" has petered out, as most of his voters have pivoted to supporting his opponent, as evidenced by Sec. Clinton's performance in all recent polling. The only ones holding out are the "Bernie or Bust" people, who, 1) weren't going to vote for anyone but Sen. Sanders in November, and 2) have no real ties to the party.

This is my first time writing about Sen. Sanders, and my last, because he has become irrelevant. The party which he desultorily joined for the 2016 run has largely moved on. His only followers are people who aren't Democrats to begin with, or if they are have bolted the party over the "shabby" treatment they've received. 

As a child of Cuban emigres, I don't have the reflexive distrust of "socialism" that many of my compatriots do. But I do have a reflexive distrust of "saviors". I don't support Pres. Obama because of quasi-religious reasons, but because he is simply the only adult in a room of unruly miscreants. Sec. Clinton, in her campaign, has shown herself to have the same steady hand. (She didn't go hammer and tongs against Sen. Sanders for the same reason I haven't, i.e. preserving party unity.) But Sen. Sanders, a politician of very little accomplishment, has engendered an out-sized personality cult. ("Birdie Sanders" being the funniest evidence of this. Look! He's like St. Francis of Assisi!) I can understand his rhetoric appeals to a certain segment; rhetoric without achievement, however, is how every step back in humanity has begun.

Really, Sen. Sanders, it's time to give this up. You fought a good fight. You brought your concerns to a much broader audience than if you had run as an Independent. It's just that having castigated the Democratic Party for your entire political career, you weren't aware about how party politics worked. It's easy to be pure when you're a party of one. Those of us who work within the party system know that parties are coalitions, and no one gets everything they want. Which is as it should be; that's called "democracy." Don't end your run by becoming that most feared of library patrons: the grumpy guy who chews off your ear for half an hour ranting about this or that. I know that person. Don't be that person.



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