Hillary Clinton has proclaimed herself the winner of the contest to be the Democratic Party candidate for the US president in November.
President Barack Obama has anointed her, and Bernie Sanders has not given in but said he will meet Clinton “in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump”.
But many of his supporters want him to keep up the battle against Clinton to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia in July.
Next week a “People’s Summit” of Sanders supporters meets in Chicago. The event is a “declaration of independence from establishment politics” that’ll address the current “repture in the political fabric of this country,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, National Nurses United Executive Director.
Sanders’ campaign has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Almost 12.5 million people have voted for him and he beat Clinton in 23 states.
Over 1.25 million people have attended Sanders events, and 8 million donated. In contrast to Clinton’s cash from the bankers and the bosses, the average donation to Sanders was less than £20.
The 74-year-old has become the most popular candidate among under 30s in US history, exceeding Obama’s appeal to young people in his first presidential run.
In 2008, the media marvelled that Obama beat Clinton by 60 to 35 points among voters under 30, racking up around 2.2 million young votes throughout the primary.
Now Sanders has beaten Clinton by a 71-to-28 margin, receiving more than 2.4 million votes from young voters in the 25 comparable states.
Sander says he is a socialist, and his youth numbers reflect a wider radicalisation. A YouGov survey in January, for example, found that 43 percent of under-30s were favourable toward socialism and only 26 percent unfavourable.
Clinton has constantly tried to stress the radicalism of electing the first woman president. It would certainly be a “milestone” as Clinton described it. But it would guarantee nothing for ordinary women.
Clinton has an appalling record of backing imperialist, racist and pro-business policies. She is the US establishment incarnate.
She didn’t just support Obama’s drone wars, his foreign wars and his programme of assassinations. She wanted more.
The New York Times reports Clinton “backed Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recommendation to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, before endorsing a fallback proposal of 30,000 (Obama went along with that). She supported the Pentagon’s plan to leave behind a residual force of 10,000 to 20,000 American troops in Iraq (Obama balked at this)”.
It will be a betrayal of the movement around Sanders if it is funnelled into the Democrats, one of the great parties of US capitalism.
Sanders supporter RoseAnn Fulller told Socialist Worker, “I was at a Sanders rally last week and people were chanting ‘Stay in the race’. I don’t want to get behind Clinton, I want to get behind the programme we’ve campaigned for in the last six months.
“Don’t tell me about Trump. I know about Trump. But look at Clinton’s record and weep.”
One popular Sanders’ supporters’ video ends “See you in Philly. No more lesser of two evils.”
Making that a reality means a complete break from the Democrats, which Sanders refuses to do.
The US needs fighting, socialist politics that are independent of all the establishment parties.