The 2016 Democratic National Convention might have had a tumultuous opening on Monday in Philadelphia — but it ended in triumph.
On the one hand, there was the matter of leaked internal emails that showed the Democratic National Committee plotting to undermine Bernie Sanders and propel Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which forced DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to put down her gavel and resign from her position.
Then there was an entirely different matter of disappointed Sanders supporters who repeatedly interrupted pro-Clinton supporters with loud boos and jeers. The “Bernie or Bust” crowd kept on chanting the Vermont senator’s name, prompting comedian Sarah Silverman to call them “ridiculous.” This, of course, was followed by a cacophony of “Bernie! Bernie!”
However, once the former presidential hopeful took the stage himself, his fans calmed down a little.
"I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process," Sanders began. "I think it's fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am."
The senator, in a methodical and pragmatic manner, explained to his supporters that they had no choice but to make peace with the situation and participate in the election. To drive his point across, he told them to take a moment and think about how Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, would mean to “civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country.”
“Any objective observer will conclude that based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” Sanders told a cheering crowd. “The choice is not even close.”
The truth is, the Democratic Party cannot afford any infighting right now. While the cracks in the party leadership are as clear as day, the Democrats have to present a unified front if they want to tackle the possibility of a Trump Presidency.
Sanders not only praised and endorsed Clinton in her speech, he also told the crowd that he would hold her to the promises she has made, once she is elected as the next commander-in-chief.
He also made it clear that this election is not about him — it is about "the needs of the American people” and, “ending the 40-year decline of our middle class.” The senator talked about "the reality that 47 million men, women, and children live in poverty” and about “ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we currently experience.”
Unlike the 2016 Republican National Convention, where “Never Trump” movement made quite a ruckus and a former presidential hopeful refused to endorse the party nominee, the DNC seems to have better odds when it comes to party unity. The real test will be when Clinton takes the stage.
For the Democrats, the stakes are simply too high to allow divisions. If Michelle Obama’s rousing speech is any indication, Clinton has the whole-hearted support from popular party figures — including many of Sanders supporters.
However, there is still some room for contention — as Jane Sanders was caught on a mic, saying, “They don’t know your name is being put in nomination. That’s the concern,” right after the senator told delegates, “We have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”
Here’s to hoping that the next three days of DNC will provide more proof of party unity, because America definitely cannot afford a loud-mouthed, lying, racist, sexist billionaire with no political experience whatsoever, in charge of its economy and military.