Berne Sanders has announced that he is ending his presidential campaign. Here is his speech announcing it and explaining why he made this decision. He was as classy as always.
I have long been an admirer of Sanders as one who adopted progressive politics early in his life and fought for social justice for all marginalized groups during his entire life, even as others of his generation and later started to compromise and sell out in order to achieve political power or career advancement. I supported his candidacy in 2016 and this time around and I have feelings of real regret that we are now going to be faced with the choice between voting for someone who has been compromising all his life in Joe Biden and an utterly corrupt, venal, narcissistic, sociopathic liar in Donald Trump, when we could have had a principled person vying for the office of president. Neither of them is the kind of leader we need at this time. While I will of course vote for Biden, it will be without the enthusiasm that I would have felt voting for Bernie.
That Sanders has had an impact on American politics is undeniable. Unlike other losing candidates whose vision involved tinkering at the margins and who were soon forgotten after they left the stage and whose proposals no one remembers, Sanders proposed bold new programs that captured the imagination of large numbers of people and has had a huge impact. Universal and free health care, free college education, living wages, enhanced protections for workers, equal rights for the LGBT and other marginalized communities, were all championed by Sanders from way back when they were considered utterly extreme and impractical but now they have become largely party orthodoxy, though you can be sure that the neoliberal elements that dominate the party hierarchy will try to water them down.
But even with Sanders leaving the race, I am sure that there is someone out there who will reject the limited and compromised vision that the party has long had and been inspired by Sanders as to what is both necessary and possible who will one day become the party nominee and the president and bring those ideas to fruition. My only regret is that it will not be this year.
So thanks, Bernie. The nation owes a great debt to you for showing us what can and should be, and someday those who are naysayers now will recognize that you were what this nation needed all along.