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article imageOp-Ed: Bernie Sanders plays selfish card - much like Hillary in 2008

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 14, 2016 in Politics
Those legions of young followers of never-say-die Bernie Sanders won't be able to wrap their heads around this but here we go: there is no honor in their hero's refusal to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination. There may, however, be shame.
Sanders hangs on
Sanders is popular with America's youth and, à la Barack Obama in 2008, they have swarmed to him on social media (he has 2.55 million followers on Twitter). But how can they justify his refusal to drop out of a race he lost long ago?
Justice appears to be a concern for Sanders' following and they argue he's the candidate most likely to create a more just America. Yet they do not appear to care any about justice when it comes to their leader's stubborn, and damaging to his party, behaviour.
No question it would be better for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party if Sanders had, a month ago, acted with honor (you could simply call it 'followed the rules') and dropped out.
She, and the party, could have focused on the menace to America Donald Trump represents and avoided the circus-like atmosphere created as a result of his refusal. An atmosphere that makes them seem little better than their dysfunctional Republican opponents.
Hillary is the presumptive nominee, though some are so politically circumspect they are mislabeling her the "likely" nominee. Likely? The number of delegates needed in the Democratic primary is 2,383; Hillary, after whipping Sanders in the final primary in D.C., has 2,800 (Bernie 1,881).
So she has 410 delegates more than she needs. That's called winning. Or for you, Bernie, it's called losing. End of game. It was over in May. Everyone in the country seems to know but Sanders and his hypocritical supporters.
The Sanders agenda
The 74-year-old Sanders, who at that age surely cannot run again, said his biggest concern in 2016 is the defeat of Donald Trump, and to be sure his remarks in that vein are pointed and on the mark. Remarks such as these:
"Donald Trump is totally and absolutely unfit to become president of the United States," the senator from Vermont said in an interview Monday on ABC's 'This Week.'
"It is incomprehensible to me that in the year 2016, after all this country has suffered with in terms of racism and discrimination," he added. "That this man is running his campaign based on bigotry, based on attacking Mexicans and Latinos and Muslims and African-Americans and women."
It is incomprehensible that America is having to endure a campaign by a man who's based his platform upon fear and bigotry, but it's also incomprehensible a man avowed to preventing a Trump win has endangered his party's chances of defeating him by staying in a race he long ago lost.
Further, Sanders is now seeking concessions to his platform before he'll agree to drop out. Where's the honor in that? He's the loser, step aside and when you speak of defeating Trump being your first priority, back up those words with action.
Hillary Clinton won and has every right to set her platform however she sees fit, her only allegiance to the voters who gave her victory. Sanders should focus on making certain he gets his supporters to back her rather than delay the inevitable in order to make demands.
Clinton in 2008
Of course unhappily for the Democrats Hillary Clinton is unable to take the moral high-ground in all this. That's because Sanders is on the same path she blazed in 2008 when losing to President Obama.
She hung on when there was no way for her to win, endangering her party's chances by forcing Obama to focus on her rather than John McCain. And Sanders' choice to do the same is reminding everyone of Clinton's absurd and selfish campaign 8 years ago, giving the GOP more gist for the anti-Hillary mill.
Whether all this will lose Clinton votes is still unknown. But it surely hasn't helped and while at one time Sanders seemed an honorable man who cared deeply for the people, by refusing to admit defeat he's tarnished that image and made it appear he cares more for his status and legacy than anything, or anyone, else.
Now all this can still be mitigated somewhat if following his upcoming meeting with Clinton, Sanders drops out gracefully, and publicly recognizes Clinton sets the agenda. After which rather than wasting time making demands he works making certain his backers follow him into Clinton's camp. But based on his behaviour thus far it's hard to believe he will.
So - honor or shame?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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