Why Bernie Sanders Needs to Concede
I didn’t really want to write this, but I am. I don’t want to seem like I’m gloating victory. I’m not. I WANT to stop spending any energy or attention on Bernie Sanders or his increasingly smaller band of followers. (There was a news article this past week about how Sanders fans are moving to Clinton faster than Clinton fans moved to Obama in 2008).
There have been some things that have happened over the last couple of days though that have just pushed me to the edge of just HAVING to write about this. One of those things is watching Jessica Williams piece on her last episode of The Daily Show.
It was obvious to me (even though it wasn’t said), how bad sexism is in our country. And yes, women, you are not absolved from regurgitating sexist bullshit. Internalized misogyny and self-hate is a thing. We receive the same sexist messages in society that men receive about us.
Besides the obvious sexist undertones that refusing to concede (no matter the stated strategy for doing so) has, I believe his refusal to concede is feeding his followers to continue their fight against Clinton as if the primary wasn’t over. I have examples from TODAY of this evidence. The six people Jessica Williams interviewed are not isolated. There are a LOT of people on social media still repeating Republican nonsense arguments against Clinton, hoping for an email indictment from the FBI, saying she has stolen the primary nomination from Sanders, painting a picture of a corrupt and evil politician. I have examples from TODAY’s conversations on the internet. This isn’t some past crap I just want to bring up and dwell on. This example is a response to someone who brought up Arizona as proof of voter suppression. Except the facts about how that happened are left out so people can blame the DNC for what happened there to fit their narrative.
Then, of course, are those who continually behave as if we have to be nice and stroke their egos as if that’s somehow going to “win them over” instead of them using facts, evidence, and actual morals to vote with.
Yes, I know Sanders said he will vote for Clinton in November. But stating your intention to vote for the Democrat nominee is not quite enough. Go visit his website and they’re still collecting money for his campaign. His campaign is vaguely in a “next stage”. He repeats that his goal is to make sure Donald Trump is defeated in November, yet he’s holding on until the Convention with his pledged delegates to push for certain parts of his policy platform.
I’ve said in Facebook comments that I WANT him to continue pushing for a progressive platform. Running for President is not the only way to do it though. He can concede the primary and give up taking his fight all the way to the convention in Philadelphia. That doesn’t mean his progressive ideals are dead. To the contrary, he wouldn’t have done as well as he did in the primary if that were the case. There are many ways he can take the energy he’s collected and stump nationally for congressional, state, and local progressive candidates and really work on grass roots efforts to push for progressive policies. He can get people involved in politics. He can push for increased voter participation in non-presidential elections where voter turnout remains horribly deficient. Clearly our voices as voters DO matter, as evidenced by the national referendum Brexit vote in Britain.
The false narratives about Hillary Clinton don’t appear to be dying. And some people who are carrying these false narratives were once Sanders fans considering Trump to get their vote, just like the six people in The Daily Show interview. And it’s not because they think Trump is great, it’s because of sexism. People including some progressives like Elizabeth Warren have been called “traitors” and “sellouts”. Warren has not changed as a person and her beliefs, her policies, and what she fights for as a senator have not changed. Sanders should concede and put his full support behind Clinton. It does not represent a loss of integrity. It does not mean Progressive values are dead. But you know what should be dead? Sexism. And Bernie Sanders should be a leader on that front as a so-called progressive white man.