A Victory Speech for Bernie

I have been fantasizing about Bernie’s victory speech at the end of the primaries and was inspired to write the words I imagined he would say.

Three percent.

That’s what we were polling when we entered this race against Secretary Clinton.

Our candidate was not perfect. 74, with a “democratic socialist” philosophy that would have to be explained over and over and over again. Some heard a Brooklyn accent from a grumpy grandpa with a sense of style that could be charitably described as haphazard.

Fortunately, this campaign had enormous advantages. Look around; you’re standing next to one another. A record-breaking 50 million people voted in Democratic primaries and caucuses around this country. Many of them had never voted, as with the young people whose energy and boundless enthusiasm helped carry us to victory. Others hadn’t voted in a long time, because they have been disillusioned by a politics that they know works for the powerful and the wealthy and not for their families.

This campaign is about changing that. And while I am proud to be the man standing on this stage, and I will work my heart out every day for our cause, it will take all of us, as it has here today, to steer another course. A political revolution will demand more from us; a level of sustained participation and activism that big donors around this country are prepared to spend ever-increasing amounts of money to hold back.

Establishment politicians in both parties should be nervous. But they’re probably not. They’re probably reassuring one another over lunch that you, the American people, will not commit as this country needs you to commit. They are betting that you will not continue to devote your time and energies to re-make our political system into one that improves the lives of working families and college students and our seniors, who deserve a little security and a little time with the grandkids at the end of their productive lives.

Of course, this is a night for celebration, and for thanks, to all of the many thousands of volunteers, most of whom organized and directed themselves as they poured their energies into this campaign. But it’s not a time to rest. Considering the real danger our movement poses to the status quo powers that be, we need to stay organized and we need to stay engaged. We must put our feet in the starting blocks and get ready to run. Because this isn’t the end of our political revolution. It’s only the beginning.

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