[OP-ED] Dear Senator Bernie Sanders…Enough!

An open letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders

(Image: Corey Ealons)

The following was written by Corey Ealons:

Senator Bernie Sanders, congratulations on running a tremendous campaign. You managed to elevate your issues in a way that impacted the debate, excited supporters across the nation, and gave voice to issues everyday people really care about.

With all of that said, it just wasn’t enough, and now it’s time to figure out how you will land this plane and begin the process of unifying progressives to defeat Donald Trump in November.

In fact, you would be wise to take counsel from history and consider the steps your current opponent took in 2008.

Weeks before the final primary contest and faced with a deficit of pledged delegates much smaller than yours now, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton chose to bow out gracefully. Sure, she remained in the primary campaign until the last ballot was cast. However, once she paid tribute to her supporters and celebrated the “18 million cracks” in that glass ceiling, she soon reconciled with then-Sen. Obama–in Unity, New Hampshire–and began the process of bringing the party together.

Clinton clearly had an eye toward the future. She lived to fight another day, and that day is now.

Forty-six percent of the pledged delegates does not equal a majority. Secretary Clinton has collected nearly 3 million more votes than you, and the rules for awarding pledged delegates ensures that she will continue to hold a considerable lead over you all the way to California. And that’s before we even start counting superdelegates.

This week, your campaign has taken on the persona of spoiler with violence and threats from your supporters in Nevada, and you ratcheting up your rhetoric against Secretary Clinton. You say the system is rigged in favor of the establishment. Maybe. However, very recent events tell us that the establishment can be beaten: The historic two-term presidency of Barack Obama, and the stunning, unlikely nomination of Donald Trump.

While I urge you not to take this personally, there is actually more at stake than Trump sitting in the Oval Office. How you manage this situation may well determine your prominence and influence when you return to the U.S. Senate. Will you be Clinton, seen as someone who did the right thing for her party, and more importantly, her country, or will you be Ralph Nader, someone who will be forever known in the hearts of many as the man who denied Al Gore the presidency (and enabled George W. Bush).

Right now, your insistence on running against Secretary Clinton rather than for the causes you care about, may very well kill the very movement you seek to inspire. The national polls we have seen this week show that your vitriolic comments against Clinton are hurting her effort, and the effect is Trump assuming an undeserved lead in the race. Trump knows this, which is exactly why he is stoking your supporters by encouraging you to stay in the race. Don’t take that bait.

I would never ask you to leave the race early, and everyone who supports you should have the right to vote for you if they choose. However, taking your campaign beyond the California primary would be selfish and dangerous.

Sen. Sanders, your cause for fighting for the rights and dignity of everyday Americans is valiant and honorable. Don’t dishonor that work by undermining the tremendous effort and sacrifice put forward by your team and your supporters. Take a cue from Secretary Clinton, and live to fight another day.

Sir, enough is enough. It’s time for the progressives to unite and prepare for possibly the ugliest presidential campaign in modern memory. The tighter the bond is, the better the chance for victory in the fall. And, yes, Sen. Sanders, we need you with us.

Corey Ealons is a partner with VOX Global, a public affairs firm based in Washington, DC, and a former White House spokesperson for President Barack Obama. Follow him on Twitter: @CoreyEalons and LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/coreyealons.


  • Richard D

    What writers and Clinton supporters like Mr. Ealons here fail to understand is that Bernie Sanders is not in this campaign to support Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party, both of which has been very unfair to his candidacy, including considerable corruption. Sanders actually cares about IDEAS, and he intends to fight for those ideas all the way to the convention, whether Clinton or her surrogates like it or not. So LIVE WITH IT.

  • D. Bryan Ivey

    In all due respect Mr. Ealons, Hillary is a part of the problem that Bernie supporters have with the way that America is being run. Neither Hillary nor Trump are people that we want in the White House, this isn’t about the lesser of two evils, this is about the fact that they are both horrible options for their own reasons. I will not back either of them and there are many who agree with me.

    The system is indeed rigged. Bernie supporters are openly mocked and talked down to at Democratic conventions. If what happen to us at the Nevada convention had happen instead to Hillary supporters I’m sure that the media and you would be singing a different song right now. How many people were not able to vote in New York and why was nothing done to fix that? Why are people who are in training to work the polls in CA being told that all npp voters are to be given “Provisional Ballots” (most of the time they are not counted)?!!! They should be giving npp voters a “Democratic crossover ballot”!! Looks a bit like the idea was to have a repeat of New York, where Bernie supporters don’t get their ballots counted and are instead accused of being dumb and lazy because the people working the poles a TRAINED to give npp voters a bullshit ballot. We understand that there is a big chance that Bernie will not beat Hillary (We also have a pretty good idea of why, how many delegates did Hillary buy back in August…? Dirty pool).

    This movement is not about being on the “winning side”, it’s about being on the right side, it’s about a revolution, discontent with the way America is being run. Before Bernie, there was Occupy Wall Street. People are waking up. Lots of people are waking up. That’s bad news for the companies that own America.

    Now Mr. Ealons, are you aware of how Hillary will just play into the corrupt system? Are you just supporting her out of fear of Trump? Or are you just some yuppie asshat who likes the system the way it is, because if the lazy poor had an issue with being poor they’d just become rich (What did one poor person say to the other poor person? Who cares!! hahahahahahahah…. ).