After weeks of speculation and behind-the-scenes negotiations, Bernie Sanders’ campaign officially ended yesterday, when the former presidential hopeful and Vermont senator finally said “yes” to Hillary Clinton and declared his support for her.
His gesture obviously represents a victory for the former first lady. It will avoid an ideological split between Clinton’s and Sanders’ supporters during the party’s convention, which starts in Philadelphia on the 25th. The event will be, as it traditionally is, a “coronation” for Clinton and the formal launch of her national campaign to run for president of the United States.
But beyond reconciliation between the two, whether a real or merely formal reconciliation, the announcement is important because it advances a goal: stopping Donald Trump from winning the election.
We consider this a fundamental, urgent goal. We believe that this is not just a partisan or ideological matter. This is historic. Beyond the candidate Trump—a TV-show personality, almost comical—the Trumpism that he launched and released is an attack against the country’s democratic foundations. It threatens to unleash a storm of racism, intolerance and violence, and could end up developing into a sort of American fascism.
Beyond the main characters—Sanders, Clinton—in this united front, the sectors that they represent are uniting, hoping to make the 13 million Democratic voters who chose the veteran senator, a majority of them young people, part of the political process.
This is important, because the participation of young people in this campaign is critical.
Sanders’ active participation in the political battle against Trump will prevent some of these young people, who are disappointed by the political establishment that Clinton represents, from switching to Trump’s side, attracted by his siren song.
However, this new front won’t be complete if it doesn’t include moderates and Latinos who are still politically active in the Republican Party. We hope that they also wake up and answer the call that we are echoing from this page, against Trump.
This is doubly significant, because at the same time, President Obama—during a memorial for five police officers killed in Dallas—called for unity among Americans, urging everyone to set aside their anger and sadness and promote the change that society needs.