Apparently, House Democrats actually booed Bernie Sanders today when he didn’t commit to a speedy endorsement of Hillary Clinton, which comes as no surprise to his steadfast supporters.
The notable exception to this establishment fit of pique was Vermont’s own Congressman Peter Welch, a bold Bernie endorser, who today restated Sanders’ own message, that this is not just about winning a single election:
A lot of members are anxious about when is he going to explicitly support Hillary,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “And what he’s saying is that’s an ongoing process. But if we want to win, we’ve got to take the long view that we need a platform that is going to genuinely create excitement for our nominee…What he said very clearly is we’ve got to beat Trump, and the way he believes we’re going to do it is by having a commitment to an agenda that excites people, including the younger people. And he’s working on that.”
Party stalwarts who seek to extinguish the Bernie phenomena, do so at their own risk. The vast crowds that turned out to hear Bernie on the campaign trail are building on a movement that first brought its aspirations to support Barack Obama; then, frustrated by glacial progress, evolved into Occupy Wall Street.
If their demands are callously exploited and swept aside once again for short-term political considerations, the Democratic party will have squandered an entire generation of support.
What better time to move forward with commonsense progressive agenda items that reflect the values of our increasingly diverse youth population, than when the Republican nominee is the most unpopular, even repellant candidate in recent history?
It’s now, or, quite possibly, never.