Dear BernieCrats and BernieBros,
This is a tough time, I know. I voted for Bernie in 2016 and I caucused for him this year. Is he the President we need? Probably yes. Is he the President we are ever going to get? No. Truths, harsh and mellow, to follow:
As a direct “revolution” in American politics, Bernie Sanders failed. And was always going to fail. Don’t get me wrong, Bernie has the right ideas, and has been living them his entire career. For that alone, he deserves all the applause and kudos he gets and more.
The problem is, American politics has shifted so far to the right and is accepted as the normal, that what Bernie Sanders is fighting for, no matter how correct he is, is radical. And too many Americans aren’t ready for it.
Bernie built his base on “the young people” in large part because the younger set agree with him more than the older people. His rallied were packed to the rafters with the under-40 crowd, Millennials and Gen-Zers. Thousands, tens of thousands. So I have one question for you:
Where were you all on voting day?
The records show that despite being the first or second largest demographic now, up from 2016, at least as a percentage of turnout, was down. Way down. Where’s that enthusiasm? It wasn’t there in the one place it mattered.
Bernie has been campaigning for President since 2015. He never stopped. Even after he conceded the race to Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s been at this for five years. Longer than anyone else who was running, including Joe Biden who did NOT run in 2016 hot on the heals of being the Vice President for eight years to one of the best Presidents in modern history. And he still couldn’t shift the needle enough.
As a group, you BernieCrats and BernieBros turned off most of the voters you needed. “Bernie Or Bust” is not the way to win a primary. Doing the virtual version of hitting everybody over the head with “only Bernie can turn us around” or “only Bernie can win” or even, and I’ve heard this from many myself, “you want us to ‘vote blue no matter who’, but will you make the same promise to vote for Bernie when he wins”? Really? Seriously”
We already said “blue no matter who”. That includes Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and possibly even Williamson. So yes, if Bernie had won the primary, we’d all have voted for him in the general election. And you never, ever said that you’d support the winner if not Bernie. So many who might have voted for Sanders were actively turned away not by Sanders or his policies, but by you hitting people over the head with do-or-die.
Following close on the heals of the above, that makes you nothing more than the other side of the coin from the MAGAHatters. Blind devotion to your chosen savior and everyone else is wrong for not believing as you do. There is a word for that: Cultist. The only practical difference other than which side of the coin you’re on, is that Trump set out to do that intentionally, and you are doing it on your own despite pleas from your leader.
Sanders never said that HE would transform American Politics. He said that WE would. By picking up his fight and fighting it with him, and continuing after he’s gone. “Not me, us”. Bernie Sanders cannot transform the country on his own, he needs you. He needs us. However, we can transform the country without him. By following the direction he pointed.
There is a time for ideological purity, but pragmatic realism needs to take precedence. Joe Biden is far from perfect. In fact, he was so far down my preference list that if we had Ranked Choice Voting and all the candidates were still in, I’m not sure I’d have even ranked him at all. I’d have voted for Buttigeig before Biden and I don’t think Buttigeig is qualified yet. But we were out voted, and Biden is going to be the nominee. So we need to work with him
He’s already showing he’s willing to work with us:
- Biden is adopting Senator Warren’s comprehensive proposal, Fixing Our Bankruptcy System to Give People a Second Chance.
- The Biden plan for securing our values as a nation of immigrants
- Biden on Infrastructure
- The Biden plan for strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions
- Biden on healthcare
- and more
Are these perfect? No. And some are definitely not as progressive as other. Is it better than what we’d get with four more years of Trump? HELL YES!
We didn’t end up with Trump because Sanders lost in 2016. Hell, Clinton won the popular vote in 2016! We ended up with Trump because not enough people voted against Trump in the rural and battleground states. To prevent another four years of Trump, and possibly the end of the United States Of America, we need to stick together across the country, especially in the rural and battleground states, to overwhelm the gerrymandering and archaic “electoral college” that gives undue influence to the less populated areas.
So please, support Biden for President. He’s our current best hope to reverse the tide. And in your local primaries, if not already held, vote for the candidates that best upload the Sanders ideal. And again in the 2022 mid-terms. And again in the 2024 Presidential race. And in 2024, vote for the Presidential candidate that best suits your ideals. Maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will run, she’ll be just old enough then.