Bernie Sanders' loss of the California primary yesterday did not mark the end of his journey. His job has just begun.
It's a two-part job. First, he must help his supporters to do as he has already vowed: prevent Trump from being president. The most compelling reason is the Supreme Court. One seat is now open; two more will be in the near future. I need not explain what a disaster Trump appointments would be for all the reforms Sanders cares about and especially for the environment. Further, regarding the environment, Trump has vowed to dismantle Obama's important steps to reduce global warming. That will kill the planet. I have every expectation that Sanders will keep his word and do all possible to keep Trump out of the White House. That means supporting Hillary Clinton. And we must join him in that effort. Too much is at stake.
Sanders' second job — and of equal importance — is to lead his forces into the reforms he demanded in his campaign. He said we need a revolution of politics, and he is right. Now he has the troops, the visibility, the communications system, and the fund-raising system to make that revolution possible. Further, the on-going news stories about Hillary Clinton's monies from Wall Street and her wheeling-dealing for money as Secretary of State support his call.
I hope Bernie Sanders can see that his real moment has arrived. He must now lift the spirits of his stricken young followers by pointing them again to the real castle on the hill, the real goal of his movement: reform of American politics. That's what he started out for and that's the call that inspired them originally.
They need him now to lift their hearts, especially after the clumsy and "rigged" way that Hillary and her cohorts in power have in some ways stolen this nomination. His troops need to be rallied with a cry of "Never again!" to insure, among other things, that the nomination process is more open and fair and not controlled by the likes of a Democratic National chairwoman who so blatantly rigs the process in favor of her chum.
They need him to lift their spirits and move on to securing the monetary reform of politics where now the rich are buying our government, and to secure economic reform of the system that now allows big banks to squeeze students with a trillion in debt while paying exorbitant "speaking fees" to a Hillary Clinton.
Much is left for the Bernie troops to do.
Or are they too young and dispirited to finish the journey?
In large measure that is up to Bernie Sanders. The young take disappointment hard. This is probably the first big knock many of them have had. Now they can have the great adventure of picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, and going on to win the war. Seasoned veterans! Or they can be left to the siren call of the more cynical and pessimistic who enjoy being underdogs and defeatists because it lets them be lazy. They could thus cast themselves as victims instead of warriors.
Come on, Bernie! Call out to those youngsters to lift their eyes to the real future, the one they can — and must — make. This is a future we can have no matter who is president. Bernie, you have said that real change begins, not from the top down, but from the ground up. Make them see that they don't need the presidency for their movement to succeed because they have each other by the millions, an excellent communications system, and the right ideas. Make them understand how the Progressive movement of Robert LaFollette and Hiram Johnson totally changed American politics and our economic system in the early 20th century, bringing reforms on a scale as big as the one we now seek. The Progressive Partty never won the presidency but it won America!
Now, Bernie, right now! Do it now before the rust of disappointment freezes them and the voices of defeat sour them. Show them the road now!
And the rest of you — step up to the plate now and start to organize for the longer haul. Meet now to identify your local and state goals. Much work needs to be done. You are the ones who must do it.
"People get the government," Churchill said, "that they deserve."
And the most important phrase in the American lexicon of democracy is "by the people". Indeed there will be no government "of the people" or "for the people" unless there is government by the people.
So go to it! Warriors, not victims! And I promise you the Force will indeed go with you. Because in American politics you are the Force!