#BernieorBust Unacceptable. We Must Work to Unite the Party!
Hillary Clinton had an amazing primary night, though still the presumptive nominee, she assured her nomination. She delivered impressive wins in key swing states like Ohio and Florida. Illinois and Missouri, must wins for the Sanders campaign, also fell under the Clinton column as well as North Carolina.
The results bring her total delegate count to 1599, compared to Bernie’s 844 delegates. Once all of the votes are counted and the delegated awarded, her delegate lead will be bigger than that of Senator Barack Obama’s during the same time in 2008.
All of this spells trouble for Senator Sanders who has not been able to break through Hillary’s firewall with minority voters and there aren’t many states left where he can make a solid stand and close the delegate gap. In addition, Clinton put to rest any fears within the Democratic Party that she was becoming weak among white, blue-collar voters in the industrial “Rust Belt” states like Ohio after her surprise loss to Sanders in last week’s Michigan primary.
Put all of this together and she has a good chance of winning the nomination. However, don’t tell that to the #BernieorBust folks because they are having none of it.
In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls, 33% of Bernie Sanders supporters say they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee. However, I must say that I sympathize with the #BernieorBust crowd that swears #NeverHillary at the thought of seeing Senator Bernie Sanders lose the Democratic nomination, as he most likely will.
Around this same time 8 years ago, a Gallup poll showed that if McCain and Obama were the nominees, 28% of bitter Hillary supporters, as the media called them, would vote for John McCain. At the time CNN also reported that half of Clinton supporters wouldn’t support Barack Obama but we all know how that turned out.
I was one of those bitter Hillary supporters you heard about in the news that swore they would never vote for Barack Obama. Using every excuse I could to justify my thinking; Hillary got more votes, Michigan and Florida delegates will be counted at the convention and that will put her over the top, the super delegates will come back and support her, but none of those things materialized in the end.
The same way, the #BernieorBust crowd seeks to come up with every excuse possible of why Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that can win and why they would never vote for Hillary but after last night’s results, it is time to start the work of unifying the party. The same way we accepted our defeat in 2008, the #BernieBros and #BernieGals will have to accept theirs eventually, and that is OK.
There was a great moment during the 2008 National Democratic Convention in Denver, where then Senator Hillary Clinton made a motion to suspend roll call vote declaring “on behalf of the great state of NY, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all that are gather here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country. Let’s declare together, in one voice, right here, right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our President.”
It was in this moment that I, along with many of the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) movement members knew it was time to unite under Barack Obama and defeat the Republicans. I hope the Bernie Folks experience such a moment of unity and solidarity should they stick around for the Convention when we nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for president.
We are already seeing Bernie supporters bracing for impact. In his show last week, Bill Maher, who has publicly endorsed Bernie Sanders, called for party unity in the face of what he called “the death of Liberals” if we continue to attack each other instead of joining together to keep the country from falling into the hands of Donald Trump. Naturally he was attacked by all the twitter trolls who claim #BernieorBust, totally missing the point that divided we fall and essentially hand our country to Donald Trump and his violent, racist rhetoric. We can do better.
It all comes down to that old cliché: “Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line” and it might be a cliché but there is truth to it. Democrats do fall in love and unfortunately for Bernie supporters, most Democrats are in love with Hillary Clinton but we can’t win unless we have a united front. We can’t win because the latter part of that cliché is also true, Republicans fall in line and no matter what, they will come out to vote for Donald Trump so we must coalesce behind Hillary Clinton as soon as possible and focus all resources on taking down Trump.