It's happened: as I'm writing this six hours before I can post (I won't have the time tonight), half an hour ago Bernie Sanders announced that he will drop out of the Democrat 2020 primary elections for the presidency. I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed...
Image by Michael Vadon - source: Flickr
From day one Sanders has always said that he would fully support the Democratic nominee if he wasn't it. From day one he refused to go hard against "his friend"; he even defended Joe Biden against his own supporters and staff, who criticized Biden on obvious factual points. Bernie refused to call Biden "corrupt", but at the same time ran a campaign against a corrupt system in which politicians are bought by wealthy donors, and Biden has a lot of those. From day one he made clear that defeating Donald Trump is priority number one, placed higher on the list than winning the primaries. These are legit criticisms against Sanders and I've stated them before, yet it still feels like a cold shower now that he's really dropped out of the race and no doubt starts preparing to do anything he can to make Biden the next president of the United States of America.
This is where I break Sanders and say to all real progressives on the left that there's no way you can vote for any of the two candidates come November, if there will even be general elections by then. Populists on the left as well as on the right should vote "none of the above" when faced with a choice between Biden and Trump. Refuse to once again choose the lesser of two evils, no matter which side you're on; withholding your vote is now your strongest weapon, just like any other election without a candidate like Sanders, who at least fights for the right policies, on a program that will finally help ordinary people create a better life for themselves. I believe that Sanders should have stayed in the race until the very end, like he did in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. And it seemed until only yesterday, that that's exactly what was going to happen. But yesterday two pieces of news quickly followed each other, preparing us for Bernie dropping out today.
First there was the news that Joe Biden and Sanders had a friendly and constructive conversation over the telephone, quickly followed by the interview you can see in the below linked video, in which Biden suddenly speaks with a very different and friendly tone about Bernie Sanders, his movement and his supporters. Biden's asked if he suggested to Bernie that he should drop out of the race and he answers with a totally relaxed smile that we wouldn't be so presumptuous as to tell Bernie what to do; hindsight is 20/20 and I now believe Biden already knew or at least strongly suspected at that moment that Bernie was dropping out. Well, convincing Bernie is one thing, but convincing his supporters is quite another, and I do not for one moment believe the majority of them will listen to Bernie when he asks them to now throw their support behind Biden. I believe the progressive left is not about personality, they're not a cult movement like the hardcore Trump crowd that believes anything their beloved leader says, even when it contradicts what he said yesterday. I believe the progressive left overwhelmingly votes on policies and I believe they're aware that Biden will adopt none of Bernie's.
This will hurt Bernie, which is a shame but unavoidable. Trump can still lose in November, even against Biden, depending on how he handles the health crisis and the economic crisis. But either way, it doesn't really matter who wins now. Obama once described himself as a Republican-light, which he was. Biden is simply a Republican, having fought alongside them his whole career; with Bernie out of the race, the corrupt status quo has won, again. #StatusQuoJoe
Biden Praises Bernie, Wants Him On ‘The Journey'
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