Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his campaign, which means the Democratic Party now essentially has a nominee for president. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has led in the polls and has won most of the primaries, will be our nominee. And while he isn’t the person I prefer, he is far and away better for the American people than the current White House occupant and any other Republican who has run for the office in more than 60 years.
It is important to the citizens of this country that we elect a president who is more concerned with the health and well-being of the people than the bottom line of corporate America. To ensure that such a president is elected, it is incumbent on us to support the Democratic nominee even, if he isn’t the one some of us, including me, wanted. On the bright side, Joe Biden has moved left by adding a wide range of progressive positions to his platform that were pushed by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Biden’s latest addition is Warren’s bankruptcy proposal, which is much more in line with addressing the needs of the average American and less a prop for the wealthiest 1% or corporate wishes. He’s also announced further support for student debt forgiveness and lowering the Medicare age requirement, in addition to expressing interest in expanding efforts on climate change.
Biden now calls for the forgiveness of student debt for student borrowers with incomes up to $125,000 with a phase-out to avoid a cliff. None of these moves would have been possible without credible challengers and the hotly contested campaign over the last six months.
Sanders has always said “Not me, us” and he continues to behave like that. He suspended his campaign saying “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win, and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.” Sanders also said he’s leaving his name on the remaining primary state ballots and will continue to collect delegates to the convention in order to exert pressure on Biden to accept progressive priority positions.
Sanders ran as a Democrat in both 2016 and 2020 because he has always known that it was more important to not split the left than for him to run in the general. What’s really important is moving toward his vision of what America can be.
Right now, nothing is more important than beating Trump in November, and all the Democratic candidates agree on that. Now, it’s a matter of winning their support and that of their supporters.
Biden’s campaign has been in touch with the other candidates and their staffs, he’s reached out to progressive groups that supported his opponents and he’s expanded his positions on a wide range of issues to address their concerns. Now we, the activists and supporters of those opponents, need to demand that Biden finish the job and earn our support. I think he’ll do that and when he does we need to show our support by voting for him, donating to his campaign and working to get out the vote.