One of the great accomplishments of Bernie Sanders' campaign has been getting his opponent, Hillary Clinton, to adopt his positions on so many important issues. Hillary Clinton recently had this to say:
Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there is much more that unites us than divides us. We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high, that Wall Street can never again be allowed to threaten Main Street, and we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it. We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all, and student debt shouldn't hold anyone back. We Democrats agree that every single American should and must have quality, affordable healthcare. We agree that our next president must keep our country safe, keep our troops out of another costly ground war in the Middle East.
The parts about expanding Social Security and keeping our troops out of another costly ground war in the Middle East are particularly noteworthy; it seems unlikely that she would have made these statements without Bernie in the race. That is probably why even the New York Times editorial board, who endorsed Hillary, wrote immediately after the New York primary that Bernie should stay in the race until the end. It is more than just a candidate that will come out of this race, especially in a contest that has mobilized a mass movement of millions of people. And so it is far from over.
Of course candidates' promises often prove ephemeral. But we can already see how the race is boxing Hillary in: On Friday, the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign released a written response from her saying that she opposed Congress voting to approve the TPP in the lame duck session following the November election. This would be the TPP proponents' best shot, and so this is a pretty important development. So, too, would a Democratic Party vote at the convention against the TPP, which is now possible due to Bernie's large number of delegates and Hillary's increasingly acting like her opposition is serious this time, despite her track record.
The defeat of the TPP would be a historic achievement for the United States and the world (more on that later). So this, too, is how history is made, from campaigns powered by small donors and grassroots activism -- not only, as so many pundits are telling us, by political leaders funded by the country's richest people; leaders who are so often ready to compromise before they even put up a fight.
Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and the president of Just Foreign Policy. More details on the developments described here can be found in his new book "Failed: What the 'Experts' Got Wrong About the Global Economy" (2015, Oxford University Press).