It’s time for Bernie supporters to put up or shut up

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Okay, people. Here we go again. Only this time, let’s get this right.

As of this writing, the 2020 Democratic nomination for President of the United States is almost certainly going to former Vice President Joe Biden, beating out Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt-Ind.), as well as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hi-D), who remains in the race despite no appearances on a debate stage since November and only two pledged delegates.

He will secure that likely nomination via an outright delegate assault that started in the South Carolina primary and continued through an absolutely dominant Super Tuesday and an even more impressive haul one week later in Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri.

Biden’s historical tear was directly preceded by a plummet in the polls, as well as decisive losses in the first three state caucuses — Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada — where Bernie Sanders took a decisive early lead.

Biden, despite his gaffes and confrontations throughout this primary season, is storming the primaries and is leaving no doubt about who Democratic voters believe can usurp the Oval Office from the disaster-in-chief currently occupying it.

As this trend continues, I’ve begun seeing the same thing I saw in 2016 when Hillary Clinton took the nomination from Bernie — supporters of Sanders complaining that the nomination is being stolen from Bernie.

Now, let’s iron out a few things.

First, Bernie Sanders is losing this race because of four things:

1. He doesn’t appeal to black voters.

2. He doesn’t appeal to female voters, who make up 57% of the Democratic primary voters thus far.

3. He doesn’t appeal to older voters.

4. His primary base, younger voters consisting of millennials and Gen Z, don’t show up when it’s time to vote.

Oh sure, the Democratic establishment is wary of him, even despises him in some circles, sure. The feeling is, and has been for a very long time, mutual. That we can agree on no matter what side of the fence you’re on.

We can also agree that voter suppression is an issue, though I would caution against riding that horse in a fight over “why Bernie lost again”. That particular horse won’t even make it to the fight before its legs give out.

No, those four points above provide all the narrative you need. Believe me, I’m as frustrated as some of you are that this has turned out the way it has. But it’s gone this way again and I can tell you decisively, Bernie Sanders lost this race. Straight up.

Now, what can disenchanted Bernie supporters do? Well, you can ask yourself if having to choose between Biden and Trump is as difficult as knowing you’ll be responsible for another Trump term as POTUS if you decide that you’re just too steamed about another Bernie loss to even participate, or render a vote for Biden.

Look, man, I get it. We have giant problems that require giant solutions. We need action, and entrusting that action to Joe Biden, on the surface, seems nefarious at best. He’s no Trump, but dude literally seemed like he was about to throw hands with a Michigan union worker last week.

That said, I’d rather push the ball a little bit up the hill rather than take my ball and go home and leave the world subjected to even more of this GOP-led idiocy.

When Sanders lost in 2016, Bernie supporters left Hillary hanging. She lost by an eyelash and there were plenty of eyelashes being thrown haphazardly to dead-ends like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

I know many Bernie supporters are new to this politics stuff, but here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice — if you want to effect change, you need to play the game. You can’t just dip in, play a little, lose, pout, and then scream again about how we need change. You must be in it for the long haul. Consistent and continuous.

Joe Biden is progress from Donald Trump. His cabinet, which will feature actual, qualified leaders, will signify progress.

As progressives, we can use his presidency to push the agendas higher. We can begin to deal with climate change, and we can begin to address healthcare in America. This is our best option forward. Do not sit this one out.

Bernie Sanders is a great man, and his two candidacies have brought a lot of what ails Americans to the surface of our national discourse. But when it comes to executing the actions needed, rightly or wrongly, the Democratic voting body feels Biden will be able to work better with both Democrats and Republicans to get them done.

Maybe they’re misguided, but they’re not wrong outright. A Sanders presidency would be a great thing on paper, but what comes after January 20, 2021?

Sanders signs some executive orders, sends ideas to a split and polarized House and Senate that stalls those plans indefinitely? Likely.

Let’s say Sanders wins the White House, but Democrats lose majorities in the House (highly unlikely) and the Senate (50/50). He would have NO legislative body with a majority to push his policies and ideas through.

Let’s change it up and say he has a majority in the House and a minority in the Senate, a likely scenario. Again, his plans get stalled in the Senate.

A Sanders presidency only works in the context of a thorough majority of all branches of government. Even then, some establishment or vulnerable Dems in red or purple states may deem some of Bernie’s policies reckless, dangerous, any number of things, and Bernie becomes polarized not so unlike his predecessor.

The Trump presidency has been a walking, talking, tweeting nightmare unlike any we’ve seen in our modern era. But if you put aside your disgust for a moment and widen your gaze, you’ll see that, unfortunate as it is, Trump did something incredible in 2016 — he took a Republican establishment that loathed him, a voting populous that was turned off by him, and daily media shitstorms of his own creation and turned them into a victory.

There was a time when Fox News, of all places, hated Trump, and he hated them right back. The RNC actively attempted to interrupt his momentum by not bringing him onto conservative television, opting for more digestible candidates such as Ted Cruz or John Kasich.

But who turned it around for him? Democrats. We gave him free media exposure by running onto TV on a 24/7 cycle, talking about our disgust for him while replaying his rhetoric over and over. We talked incessantly about him and it made conservative voters go, now just wait a hot damn minute, this guy pisses off liberals and talks just like me?! I’M IN.

Trump didn’t undercut the RNC’s efforts to stall him, WE did!

To be certain, Donald Trump is a moron. He is, without question, the dumbest and most dangerous president in U.S. history and it’s not particularly close. But he’s dangerous in the way that a three-year-old would be if you put one into a room full of precious, glass artifacts and just left him or her in there unsupervised for hours.

Also, that kid is a tantrum-throwing machine the likes of which you’ve never seen and there’s also a button in the room that says PUSHING THIS KILLS EVERYONE. It’s big, it’s red, and it’s totally within reach of this tiny-handed monster.

We also gave Trump the general election when a giant chunk of voters who were energized for Bernie in the primaries opted out when it came time to vote for Hillary. Now they’re back and they’re mad about Trump but they only want Bernie to fix it.

I’m sorry, but it sounds an awful lot like when a kid says, I want a snack, and you go to get the snack, but then the kid says, I want so and so to get it, even though ‘so and so’ is way further away.

It’s illogical, inefficient, counterproductive to the ultimate goal, and just plain stupid. I expect it from a small child, not from grown ass men and women.

Bernie Sanders, by all projected models, is going to lose this primary election. It sucks, man. But it doesn’t mean that Bernie’s ideas must also lose. They can still be carried forward, but only if his supporters get with it and put their vote where it counts in November.

Progressive issues and causes are mainstream shit, but they need to be elevated and the fight must continue, but it only happens if it has power. Losing another round of elections isn’t powerful, it’s grounds for dismissal all together.

Progressives need to run for and win Senate seats and more House seats. They need to gain popularity through achievement and accomplishment. Only then can a truly progressive president exist.

So if you give a shit, vote like you give a shit. Swallow your disappointment (life is full of it!), and do your duty.

Otherwise, and I can’t stress this enough, shut the fuck up.

Joel Roza Jr. is an at-large writer covering a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from sports to politics and other special interests.

Joel Roza Jr. is an at-large writer covering a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from sports to politics and other special interests.