In case you haven’t heard because you’ve been too busy absorbing the news out of Orlando, Senator Bernie Sanders is technically still running for President.
Sanders has yet to officially suspend his campaign and publicly congratulate Hillary Clinton on being the first woman to achieve a major political party’s nomination for the United States presidency. Instead, his people are hyping a “yuge” announcement about the future of his campaign, er, “revolution,” scheduled to happen via live stream Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. Be sure to tune in, folks!
My first thought when I heard this was: “Who gives a shit?”
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Honestly. The nation is still reeling from a gunman who opened fire on a gay nightclub with an assault weapon just a few days ago. 49 people are dead. 53 people are wounded. The majority of the victims were Hispanic and black members of the LGBTQ community. People have lost their children, their parents, their spouses and their friends. And, anyway, the future of Sanders’ “revolution” is that there is no future. It’s done. It ended last Tuesday.
Sanders has run a campaign of squandered opportunities, right down to formally ending the damn thing. It was obvious he was not going to win the nomination weeks ago, yet he pressed on. Then last week he lost the big prize: California. Clinton gave her victory speech. President Obama, Vice President Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren all endorsed her within 24 hours of each other. The fight for the nomination was over.
But Bernie Sanders, being Bernie, refused to accept this reality. He is a “revolutionary,” after all. And revolutionaries don’t quit. Nothing can stop them. Not even the worst mass shooting in American history.
Sure, he made a statement calling the attack a “horrific atrocity.” But, honestly, those words ring hollow coming from a guy who voted against the Brady Bill, which mandated stricter background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases, five times. And hollower still when he follows up that statement with another one plugging his upcoming live stream event.
The tragedy in Orlando has officially made Sanders completely irrelevant. Who the hell cares about the future of his “revolution” when 49 people are dead? Who the hell cares about his personal political agenda when 53 people are still fighting for their lives? And who the hell cares if he has an axe to grind with Debbie Wasserman Schultz when ISIS is threatening the LGBTQ community?
Bernie Sanders’ problem has always been that, despite thinking he’s more in touch with everyday Americans than your average establishment politician, he’s not. That’s precisely why he lost the primary. And, frankly, the fact that he’s still pushing his agenda is insulting to the victims of the Orlando shooting, their friends and families and everyone who is grieving.
Bernie, it’s time to go. Fuck your live stream. Just go.