You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Get What You Need

clinton-sanders-1The media made sure to mention several times that it had been 36 days since the Primary effectively ended and a winner emerged before Bernie decided to officially endorse Hillary. At least it would have been humorous if it was 27 days, but in the end 5 weeks will be a footnote in history books years from now. It got me thinking about what matters and what doesn’t.
What mattered during the Primary race? Our candidate winning. Those of us who are passionate about politics were, well, passionate. I know I supported and defended Hillary and cheered her for every victory. I congratulated Bernie when he won a state because being a good sport is what you do. It’s what Hillary did. And yes, at times I got angry and upset and whiny when Bernie and/or his supporters did things I didn’t agree with (the NV State Convention I attended) & I pointed my pen at him every time I felt he exhibited what I considered poor behavior or a poor understanding or how to implement his policies because I am after all a political animal & did not believe he was the best choice. And I did it publicly.
Then Hillary won. Elation.
. My husband stopped thinking about Bernie after he lost Nevada. Don’t ask me how he knew, but he said that if Bernie could not win our state, he would not win the Primary. Of course he continued to pay close attention to the rest of the race, as did I. But he did not treat Bernie as a possibility in his posts while I still did. A touch of dissonance existed in our household as I continued to talk about Bernie while my husband became bored by his mere mention.
When Hillary won, he was doubly done with Bernie while I was still catching up.
He pivoted toward the new goal of Hillary winning the White House while I was still in the trenches wondering, waiting when Bernie would step up and endorse his rival.
Thirty six days later my guy & I are on the same page. As is Bernie.
But not everyone is.
Transition periods are messy because people are adjusting to the end of one goal and the beginning of another. There is a push and pull, a time when the party, the candidates and their supporters are not on the same page. Primary participants simply do not pivot at the same time. Hillary and the DNC understand this phenomenon. That is why they gave Bernie plenty of latitude to come around. Interestingly 80% of his supporters pivoted toward Hillary by the time he endorsed her, putting him at the back of the pack instead of leader of the next charge. Now he has caught up, too.
The remaining Bernie-or Bust crowd is still uncaptured, and having been behind myself, I do not begrudge them. Which brings me to yesterday’s rally. The goal was to concede as candidate, to endorse Hillary & to begin the unification process. For his supporters.
Bernie was brilliant. He seamlessly created a bridge between himself and Hillary for his supporters to cross over in order to begin a new fight against Trump. Even his sentences reflected this: Several times he started them off with “Hillary Clinton understands” followed by his words, his planks, which by now have been memorized by his staunchest supporters. It was his way of pointing out to the most skeptical that Hillary shares many of his beliefs, that with changes in the Party Platform, and even before that, they were not that far apart. Do they still disagree on some things? Sure. But he added that that is what Democracy is about. Some pro-Hillary people may not like every aspect of his speech or anything else Bernie does to convince those who championed his cause to come over to the other side, but this period is not aimed at them, so if he takes some liberties to gain his supporters’ confidence that supporting Hillary is the right thing to do, so what. He doesn’t have to please everyone. I know I already got what I wanted – for Hillary to win the Primary. By all accounts he did exactly what he set out to do: Sell his supporters on the most qualified and most experienced person for the job remaining. Mission accomplished. He also wrote a letter to his supporters whose goal is to rally everyone around the Democratic Party candidate as we are weeks away from the start of the general election process and to inform them that his revolution will not have been in vain, that it will continue, that it too must transition to a long term movement:
In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals. Good for him.
Hillary, her surrogates and representatives of the DNC have all applauded Bernie for what he was able to accomplish during the Primary. It was no small feat for a man no one had heard of to galvanize millions of people to become active in politics, some for the very first time. But he didn’t win, and they are not happy. Some have turned against him. Others are not sure if they plan to even go to the convention, inside or outside. Like Hillary, Bernie understands that losing is hard and everyone handles it differently. He also understands that now is the time for him to ask the angry & brokenhearted to please not leave just because they didn’t get who they wanted this presidential cycle.
Bernie is staying. He plans to do everything possible to ensure Hillary will be the next president – and they should too. Bernie is joining the Hillary campaign – and they should too. Bernie plans to continue the good fight – and they should too.
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