I wish I could say that Bernie Sanders fought the good fight. I wish I could remember him as a gracious loser. But my admiration for this champion of the underdog has been greatly diminished by the shabby way in which his candidacy is ending.
He had the opportunity to stand tall, to congratulate Hillary on her nomination, to urge his supporters to vote for her.
Instead, like a whipped cur, he is growling and snarling, leaving a trail of bitter accusations against the Democratic Party and threatening to continue his “revolution” at the convention and beyond.
Surely he must have known the rules of the game before he ran in the primary? After all, it wasn’t the Democratic Party that invited him to run. It was he who chose to run as a Democrat.
Did he expect the party to change its rules to accommodate him? And its ideology?
Throughout his long and fractious career, Bernie listed himself as an Independent. He said he was a Socialist.
I’m sure nobody told him the Democratic Party was Socialist. I suspect he thinks he can change that, though. He thinks he can cause enough disruption at the convention to remake the party in his image.
I hope his mission fails.
Yes, I know you’re shocked. You know I’m a liberal. You know I share many of Bernie’s closely held beliefs. You know what I think of unfettered capitalism.
But you must also know that any party based only on the ideas Bernie and I share would never win a general election in America.
To be accepted by a society of more than 300 million people from a wide array of backgrounds, any political party must be flexible enough to accommodate diverse points of view.
The challenge facing Democrats on the eve of their 2016 convention is how to maintain that flexibility without abandoning their convictions.
It will be an unwelcome distraction to have a firebrand like Bernie preaching “revolution.”