The media couldn’t wait a single day. There remained one more day for the rest of everyday Americans who are vested in the future of the U.S Democratic Party and the 2016 presidential election. Their votes and their voices – from New Jersey to New Mexico to California – remain to be chosen and to be heard. But the media, so ready to call this political race over, to rush everyone to the next ludicrous horse race, could not wait, and thereby have trampled on democracy in the process.
The so-called political pundits and journalists think that by announcing a beginning of the end as quickly as possible, that they could make it be over. Well, I type these words in the great hope that we will prove them wrong.
Rachel Maddow even argued that Bernie Sanders campaign is exhibiting hypocrisy for not being okay with this. I suppose it’s noteworthy to point out that in 2008, Bernie Sanders as a superdelegate endorsed Barack Obama as the nominee for the Democratic Party before Hilary Clinton conceded the nomination. Senator Sanders had said many prior times that it was not good practice for him as an Independent senator to endorse a candidate before the nominating convention. Still, near but before the end of the 2008 primary, Sanders did endorse Obama over Clinton. This is the history Rachel Maddow wants to bring up to argue that Sanders Campaign should be okay with media announce Clinton as the presumptive nominee a day before millions of people in New Jersey, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, and California are to vote, and over a month before the nominating convention. History is good to reflect on, but this is so obviously a false comparison. A superdelegate publicly endorsing a candidate before the nominating contest – though powerfully symbolic and influential – is still not the same thing as a superdelegate casting a final vote at the convention. Never mind that Senator Sanders released an endorsement more as a collegial senator than as a superdelegate, because regardless, it’s also definitely not the same thing as entire news networks announcing a winner of a primary, before the primary contest has actually ended.
Alas, even if I allow for further consideration of the strange argument that Bernie is exhibiting hypocrisy here, it’s irresponsible for the media to fail to acknowledge the huge differences between the 2008 primary and the 2016 primary. One very important difference in my mind is that when it was Clinton vs Obama, it could be simply summarized ad a contest between two like-minded candidates, but the current Clinton vs Sanders scenario is a much more complicated one. This primary had become less about two candidates vying for a job, and more a tug of war between political insiders and grassroots activists, between corporate lobbyists and individual donors, and between extravagantly expensive fundraisers and populous rallies that don’t charge entrance fees. In this political climate, the news media is doing a huge disservice to American voters by declaring that whichever way the people vote tomorrow, it doesn’t matter because the all-intelligent media have figured it all out already.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the media pubdits and the likes of Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews that at this point, it’s inevitable that Hilary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election. However, what they continue to either fail to understand or succeed at denying is that the Sanders Campaign has not been solely about electing Bernie as POTUS. His campaign slogan has never been #I’mwithBernie and never that he’s #fightingforus. No, the core of the Sanders campaign looks beyond Sanders himself; it’s about a movement that gets regular average Americans engaged in the political process so that it’s not Bernie rescuing us via the power of presidency, but instead, it’s all of us rallying with him and with our fellow progressives and liberals, letting everyone know that we matter just as much as the wealthy do, just as much as the powerful few do. You cannot kill that movement with a simple announcement. People behind such a movement deserve their voices to be heard, and their choices genuinely respected.
So yeah, media, your’re probably right that Hilary Clinton, as you’ve announced, is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, but you’re about to see very soon, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Actually, with help from Bernie, you should know- we’ve only just begun.