Bernie Sanders, the insurgent outsider who was not even a member of the Democratic Party, ran for the presidential nomination — astounding the pundits by winning 22 state primaries against well-known opponent Hillary Clinton. Throughout it all, Bernie Sanders indicated that he was going to support the Democratic nominee, even when his relationship with Hillary Clinton was at its worst.
The convention is still a few days away, but Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton a bit early, causing outcries against him. Here are some excerpts from his speech.
Together, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution continues. Together, we continue the fight to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the one percent — a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice. I am proud of the campaign we ran here in New Hampshire and across the country. Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is announced it will show that we won almost 1,900 delegates.
Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.
Some do not believe that Bernie Sanders will continue the “political revolution.” When the insurgent candidate steps back into a partisan role, it is sure to discourage many. Bernie became the face of the political revolution, brought the people together, and dramatically expanded the popularity and credibility of ideas that the press had virtually ignored since back in the days of Ronald Reagan (who allowed the TV networks to be sold to large multinational corporations). Now, he is endorsing a major face of the very Wall Street corruption that he has long opposed.
For those who share much of the Bernie Sanders vision of the future, he has done the most to promote and pursue these ideas of anyone since the turbulent 1970’s. The modern groundwork has been prepared for his supporters to truly build a movement, regardless of the 2016 election.
Whether Bernie Sanders supporters follow to vote for Hillary Clinton, whether they go off to support Jill Stein, or even whether some cross over to support Donald Trump, one thing must be kept in mind. A revolution does not rely on one vote in one election. They need to stick together where they can and continue working for change.
It is easy to forget where we were seven and a half years ago when President Obama came into office. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs, we were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion dollars and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. We have come a long way in the last seven and a half years and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession. But, I think we can all agree, much, much more needs to be done.
In the 22 years where Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate, 1959-1980, Republicans never got discouraged. They never gave up. They mostly stuck together and by 1981, the pendulum swung. The swing-back is long overdue. It is not necessary that everyone agree on this election. There is much work to do.