OK my lovely gays and lesbians supporting Bernie Sanders, playtime is over. If you are still feeling the bern, time to visit the free clinic of realism so we can all move on.
And you know, I get it. I was a socialist in college, too. I had the Che poster hanging proudly in my dorm room and still my political tendencies lean pretty far to the left. But I’m also a realist. And I realize that Bernie simply can’t win, and also shouldn’t win.
But why, exactly? First off, he’s not winning. So, there’s that. Clinton is so far ahead in the delegate count. And her recent victory in Nevada has given her clear momentum and proved she still can pull women, union voters and minorities to the polls. That’s the same formula that will propel her to victory come November. Saying that Sanders has already proved his ability to win a diverse state when he won New Hampshire is sort of like saying gay men enjoy a diverse array of cocktails by combining different flavored vodkas with soda water. It’s simply not the case, as we will continue to see come Super Tuesday next week.
Secondly, I’m in the camp that thinks that not even Sanders himself thought he would do this well in a primary fight. I’m not even sure Sanders would disagree with me when I say that he shouldn’t win, that this simply doesn’t belong to him. Sanders was facing a reality in the Senate that saw his liberal, leftist voice being replaced by the far more appealing Elizabeth Warren. A quick campaign gave Bernie a voice again on a national platform. I’m not convinced he wanted anything more than to remind people he was still around.
I predict Hillary will have this all sewn up by March 15. By the time this goes to press, she’ll be on the verge of a huge victory in South Carolina, the same state that helped further cement Donald Trump’s frontrunner status. And while he and the GOP with it has devolved into a blend of American proto-fascism and reality television, Hillary Clinton’s message has gotten clearer, focusing on income and social inequality and saving the middle class. And in many ways, we can thank Sanders for pushing Clinton to the left and practically forcing her to improve upon both her message and her vision for the country.
Her legacy on LGBT rights is hardly shallow. Not convinced? Watch her 2011 speech commemorating International Human Rights Day she made as secretary of state. If you still doubt her sincerity and commitment after watching that, then you didn’t like her to begin with and there’s little that can be done to change your mind. Yes, Sanders has an impressive record on his own in that regard. But it is with speeches like that, proclaiming before the world that gay rights are human rights, that gave Clinton far more of an impact on LGBT rights than her rival.
It’s clear that Hillary has been a staunch supporter of us and has had an impact on the lives of LGBT people around the world. She is the best candidate to continue Obama’s tremendous legacy of equality. Put simply, she’s had our back, and it’s time for us to have hers.
Bernie supporters, I admire your drive, passion, and tenacity. But playtime is over.
Brock Thompson is a D.C.-based freelance writer.
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