Progressives Need to Stomach Hillary (Or: Can’t We Just Grow Up?)
Hillary Clinton is tired of playing games. She has made that abundantly clear as of late. Only 28 candidates shy of the required 2,383 for nomination, Clinton plans to announce victory after the California primaries on Tuesday. Even clenched firmly within the jaws of failure, Bernie Sanders has refused to take a loss short of a contested convention, the New York Times reports.
At this stage, Sanders is proving hard-headed and nearsighted. Continuing to spew vagueries about “political revolution” and “the banks,” even while Trump mobs ever closer to the Oval Office can do nothing but cause harm for Hillary, the presumptive nominee come fall.
Just look at the state of the Republican Party. Weeks ago, Trump upended the entire establishment like a carrot-colored Jesus at the moneylenders when he clinched the nomination. The GOP seemed to be collapsing in on itself in disarray. No one was going to back him, by god. The thought was abhorrent. But now, even Paul Ryan has given Trump his blessing. The Republican establishment has realized it’s better to embrace their candidate and live to fight another day. The Democratic Party must come to a similar realization.
If Bernie continues to fight on, he will cause the rift in the Democratic party to grow larger. He will actually encourage it. And if that happens, we’re all going to need a lot more mouthwash, because the taste of the words, “President Trump” lingers in the mouth like rotten sardines.
It is time to embrace Hillary in the same way the GOP has embraced Trump: begrudgingly, and with care not to get too much slime on ourselves. We must accept her, not because she is a good person, or promises a “revolution,” but because she is a strong candidate with a majority of the popular vote, who also happens to have a fighting chance against the Trump war machine. But she only has that chance with the full strength of the progressive voting base behind her.
There is no more time to say you’d rather not vote than vote for Clinton. A vote for nobody is a vote for Trump. A presidential candidate needs as much time as possible ahead of the general election to, you know, campaign. Every moment Sanders spends fighting Clinton is another moment Clinton cannot fight Trump.
This is how life works. You eat your greens. You go to the gym. Spinach does not taste like Skittles, and running on a treadmill does not feel like going to the spa. But you do these things because in the long run, they are better for you than the alternative. Eat your Clinton. Go to the polls. In the long run, we’ll be better off.