The last 11 days have been rough for the Bernie Sanders campaign and all his supporters. Yesterday’s voting was a third disappointing election day in a row. As of right now, it’s looking good for Biden.
Right on cue, Jim Clyburn, James Carville and who knows who else has called and will be calling for a rapid shutdown of the remainder of the Democratic Party primaries, including this Sunday’s debate between Biden and Bernie.
Has Biden locked up enough delegates to ensure victory in Milwaukee? Of course not, it isn’t even close. More than half of the total delegates are still to be chosen in the 26 or so states that haven’t voted yet.
But there are at least two other important reasons why Bernie needs to keep campaigning and fighting the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party:
-the issues, so many of them, on which Bernie is far superior to Biden and whose support must and will grow as they keep being articulated and organized around through the Bernie campaign;
-the movement which he has done so much to build and which absolutely must continue no matter what happens in Milwaukee and on November 3. Best is a Bernie victory, next-best is a Biden victory accompanied by a strong progressive movement that both helps to defeat Trump and continues the struggle on all of its many fronts.
Is there a risk to a Biden candidacy by this approach? Yes, there is, since he has a lot of issue and personal liabilities as a Presidential candidate. But the much greater risk would come from him and the corporate-friendly Democrats being without a progressive challenge to check their move-to-the-right tendencies. Trump’s chances of winning increase under that scenario.
There’s an important debate coming up this Sunday, the first one where we can all see Biden and Bernie next to each other for an extended period of time, without all of the other candidates to obscure the view and reduce the time for that observation. Democracy and the hope for a decent future depend upon a full, fair and open debate. Take your sling and rocks with you, Bernie, and know that tens of millions of people will be on your side as you speak truth to power.
Ted Glick is the author of the forthcoming Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in Cetholic Left Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at http://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.