When Bernie Sanders first began his presidential campaign, he vowed to support the democratic nominee, “no matter what”. The Vermont senator underwent a heated contest between Clinton and himself, winning 22 states primaries in the process and helping to spark a burgeoning progressive movement. However on the morning of Tuesday 12th July 2016, Bernie Sanders stood alongside the democratic nomination winner, Hillary Clinton, on Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and kept his word. Bernie Sanders stood and proclaimed his support of his rival as the democratic presidential nominee.
The 22 states won by Bernie Sanders is nothing to scoff at: “Let me begin by thanking the 13 million Americans who voted for me during the Democratic primaries,” Sanders said. “Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Democratic National Convention is announced, it will show that we won almost 1,900 delegates.” Bernie Sanders spoke more on how unity for the Democratic Party is the perfect tool to defeat the Republican Party candidate Donald Trump; “While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans and Muslims and women and African Americans and our veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”
Sanders’ political goals have not been lost in his failure to gain the democratic presidential nominee endorsement. Clinton and Sanders camps met prior to the event held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday. Sanders has been able to influence Clinton towards a left leaning or social progressive stance on a number of issues such as minimum wage; the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, college affordability — to make a broader concession: the movement that Sanders created was nothing short of a political revolution.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders should not see his endorsement of Hillary Clinton as a loss. Sure, having the senator as president would bring the 13 million that voted for him a peace of mind- however, it is not much of a reach to say that same 13 million would never get a good night’s sleep knowing Trump would be the president elect. At a time of political division and shame amongst the Republican Party, supporters of Sanders now have the option to continue to follow their leader in doing what they can to ensure Clinton becomes the 45th president of the United States.
Bernie Sanders rose on a wave of fair and equitable progressive policies; policies that promised an America where the ‘American Dream’ of a nobody becoming a somebody could truly be a reality again. Sanders gained support as a result from the most maligned and ignored communities in America; minorities and especially the African American communities who have been neglected in America for so long. Will African American supporters of Sanders make the switch easily to supporting Hillary Clinton? The question should possibly be more proactive: What will Hillary Clinton do to appease and gain support of Sanders’ backers? “Too many people in America are still being left out, left behind and ignored. In the richest country in the history of the world there is too much poverty, and too much despair,”.
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