The Republican Party all but officially nominated Donald Trump for the president of the United States. Since Ted Cruz and John Kasich discontinued their campaigns, Trump has been their presumptive candidate and he is only awaiting their July National Convention to be publicly announced as the Republican nominee.
Over in our camp, the primary is still on, with Bernie Sanders winning more and more states and more and more delegates, trying to mount a comeback and give Hillary Clinton a run for her money.
We have been more Camp Bernie than Camp Clinton this primary process and we honestly believe that Sanders’ ideas and concepts are the future of not only the Democratic Party but the country as a whole (http://www.democratcafe.com/bernie-has-already-won-even-if-he-doesnt-make-it-to-the-white-house/).
That being said, there is almost no chance that Bernie could close the gap and overtake Clinton in number of delegates. The remaining delegates are few and he would need to get more than two thirds of all remaining votes to catch up with former Secretary of State. The situation is even direr for Bernie if you consider the superdelegates and you simply have to.
Of course, there is a reason why Bernie is still in the race. He is not an unreasonable man who is trying to work out some issues by running headfirst into a wall over and over again. The reason why he is still running is that every delegate he wins makes him stronger come 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, 25-28 July.
Once the Convention is underway, Bernie will have a few avenues to choose from. He has already stated that he will support Clinton wholeheartedly if she comes into the Convention with the majority of delegates, so there is no fear that he will do something crazy like nominating himself on the floor or, less-dramatically but still momentously, withholding his endorsement of Clinton.
It is far more likely that he will use this new-found pull to try and influence the long-term course of the Democratic Party, something that would, ultimately, be just the thing he was fighting for this whole time. Like we wrote last week, Bernie has always been more about changing the paradigm and the long-term look of the Party than becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.
It goes without saying that this is a good thing. In the history of the Democratic Party, ever since the primary system was introduced, there have been a few cases in which the primaries and the convention seriously weakened the party. The most obvious example of this was the unreally chaotic Convention in 1968 when Eugene McCarthy refused to endorse Hubert Humphrey, all but paving the way for Richard Nixon to win the general election.
Thanks to the fact that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, even this would probably not be enough for him to win, but stranger things have happened. The latest polls are showing that Trump is closing in on Clinton and the Democratic Party needs to unite now more than ever before in these last few months.
The good news is that Sanders is probably more than aware of this and that he is not the man who would let his vanity or certain ideological differences indirectly help a man like Trump. One thing that he and his team need to do is make sure his supporters understand this.
We are not saying they should stop voting for him. As long as he is running (even if this means to the very end of the primaries), they should vote for him. However, once the Party race is finished, Bernie needs to come forward and say that Clinton has won the nomination fair and square. He needs to explain it to his supporters that she is the Democratic candidate and that they need to stand behind her.
This may sound somewhat unrealistic at the moment, considering that Bernie and Clinton are still battling one another, but we know that Bernie will do the right thing.
First, endorse Clinton. Then, help her beat Trump. All the while, start changing the Democratic Party.
Change the country.