As a Hillary supporter, I think Bernie Sanders has been a delight to watch. In my opinion, he has been one of the best things to have happened to U.S. election process in the recent years. He has captivated the imaginations of millions, galvanized those who seldom vote and has propelled a left-wing agenda into the national discourse. These are by no stretch of the imagination small achievements.
Today, because of his campaign, universal health care, affordable education and the need to curb the power of Wall Street have become election issues. He has actually forced Hillary to move towards the left, a position where many Democrats think she should have been in the first place. On top of it, he has induced passion for politics in the younger voters, which in long term would be extremely beneficial for the U.S. society as a whole.
However, as the race enters its final stretch, it is becoming clear that mathematically it is not possible for him to clinch the nomination. Although he has narrowed the gap considerably in national polls, Hillary Clinton is way ahead in total number of delegates, a lead which widened after her victories on April 26. At this moment, in my opinion Bernie Sanders should withdraw and pledge his unconditional support to the Democratic frontrunner. Persisting in the race, will only create difficulties for Hillary Clinton and will undermine the Democratic Party who need to now focus on the presidential contest.
It is becoming clearer that Trump will be the eventual nominee on the Republican side. The way he has run his entire campaign based on sexism, xenophobia and racism makes his defeat extremely important. A Trump win will spell disaster for U.S. image abroad and will undermine the very values which underpin its claim to be a great country.
There is a slight chance (as some people claim) that Trump's campaign was mere election rhetoric and once he becomes the president he will behave differently and in a more mature and statesmanlike manner. However, even if after becoming president, Trump behaves differently (which by the way is a strong assumption) his election is still an endorsement of the hate filled style of campaigning. His success will signal mainstreaming of the bigotry and will set a dangerous precedent for future. It is for these very reasons that defeating him becomes important.
This election will be the most important election of our lifetime and will determine the future trajectory of not only the U.S. but the entire globe. Considering what is at stake, it is extremely important for Bernie Sanders to come behind Hillary and to reorient the energy and passion of his millions of followers towards her.
His supporters should also realize that although their preferred candidate is not going to be the nominee, he still has impacted the race and in fact the entire discourse in an extraordinary way. It should be remembered that Hillary is the person who is much more likely to fulfill ( at least partially) many of the visions which Sanders presented. If Trump gets elected, none of the things on which Sanders ran are likely to be implemented. In fact Trump will be the very anti thesis of Sanders.
Right now it is time for Democratic Party to unite and defeat the politics of hate and bigotry which Trump represents. And no one can be a better unifier than Bernie Sanders if he pledges his solemn support behind Hillary Clinton.