Bernie Sanders suffered a disappointing defeat in Tuesday’s New York primary, losing by 16 points to Hillary Clinton. Despite major momentum from a string of eight wins, the extremely closed primary and political machine of New York hurt Sanders and even his sweeping wins upstate did not help him in New York City.
The Clinton camp has taken this win as an opportunity to once and for all push Sanders to “unify” the party and drop out. Sanders and his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, have clearly stated he will be taking this fight to the convention, so the race will continue; one Clinton aide was less than enthused to hear this.
According to Politico reporter Glenn Thrush, he had a conversation with a senior Clinton aide in which the aide declared, “We kicked his a** tonight. I hope this convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, f*ck him.”
In other words: bow your head, get in line, and unify the party.
This rhetoric from the Clinton campaign demonstrates that they have thoroughly failed to grasp the significance of the progressive movement Sanders has built. The differences he draws between his campaign and Clinton’s are not trivial; this is a fight against a corrupt Democratic establishment, not a specific candidate.
There is no reason in the world for Sanders to “tone it down”—he has rightfully pointed out the numerous issues with backing a neoliberal candidate such as Clinton, and essentially uncovered the true nature of a Democratic Party that is almost equally beholden to special interests and money as the Republican Party.
The more people Sanders brings into the movement (and he clearly is, as his national polling has only been rising), the better chance he has of eventually overturning the system, regardless of who wins this Democratic primary in 2016.
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