It's over for Bernie Sanders - he needs to stop attacking Hillary Clinton before he helps Donald Trump become president

America has got a lot more right-wing sadists than it does happy-go-lucky millennials

Nash Riggins@nashriggins
Wednesday 04 May 2016 17:45
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Donald Trump joined by his wife Melania, right, daughter Ivanka, left, and son Eric, background left, as he speaks during news conference after his Indiana win
Donald Trump joined by his wife Melania, right, daughter Ivanka, left, and son Eric, background left, as he speaks during news conference after his Indiana win

Bernie Sanders has a dream. He wants to create an America that provides free higher education to all, never drops another bomb and ends the war on drugs. He wants to keep the government from reading our emails, cut pollution by 80 per cent and dismantle Wall Street brick-by-brick.

You’ve got to admit, that’s an incredible dream. And when Bernie goes to dance with the sugarplum fairies in the clouds every night, all these lofty political goals probably feel like they’re within reach. But here on planet earth, his utopian vision for America reads more like a dime store sci-fi novel.

At the end of the day, his entire presidential bid has amounted to little more than a much-welcome distraction for America’s disenfranchised millennials. Bernie has totally convinced the nation’s hipsters he can pay off their college loans and get every Texas oil baron behind the wheel of an electric car – earning himself a huge social media following in the process. He’s also forced liberals to do a heavy bit of soul-searching, which is a good thing.

Yet it’s also worth bearing in mind the American electorate is a hell of a lot bigger than the trendy side of Greenwich Village – and every time Bernie tangos with Hillary Clinton, he’s unwittingly pushing us one step closer to that great orange menace they call Trump.

A slim majority of Democrats completely disagree with Bernie’s magical vision for the future – how on earth do you think Republicans would take all of this fluff come November? America has got a lot more right-wing sadists than it does happy-go-lucky millennials, and Sanders knows that.

He also knows he’s down in the polls and can’t match Clinton for delegates. But if we've learned anything about Bernie and his dreams, it’s that they won’t be deterred by reality. He’s already vowed to keep fighting Clinton until his bones collapse, and is promising supporters a contested Democratic National Convention in July.

What does that mean? It means Sanders will get up on stage and do his damnedest to convince Clinton supporters that she’s totally unfit to sit in the White House. He’ll need to slag her off like he’s never done before in a desperate attempt to deepen a detrimental party divide that shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

Pollsters, reality and common sense dictate that Clinton will emerge from that battering by the skin of her teeth. But the party will be worse off for it. After all, Democrats have spent the last few months listening to Sanders go on about how Hillary is a corporate pawn who’s unworthy of the White House. After this marathon nomination process, those accusations will continue to fester from within and marginalise the positive nature of Clinton’s core messages.

Nobody benefits from all that infighting and self-doubt but The Donald. So why would Bernie want to make life easier for that monster?

Now that Ted Cruz has dropped out of the GOP race, Republicans are stuck with Trump. The party may be riddled with sour grapes, but Trump is now free to stop worrying about securing the nomination and start working to bridge gaps and unify his would-be supporters. That’s exactly what Hillary Clinton should be doing. It’s time for Democrats to stop arguing about Marxist theories and start focusing on blowing Trump out of the water in November.

But thanks to Bernie Sanders, that’s not going to happen. The Democrats are going to spend another two months bickering, twiddling their bloody thumbs and showing Trump exactly how and where to strike in the general election. That’s bad for the party, bad for America and bad for the planet.

Listen: Bernie is a nice guy with special ideas. He’s given us a lot to think about. But America is not some mythical fairytale land, and this election can't be won on Twitter. It’s time for Bernie to realise that. He's got to bow out of this race so that Democrats can finally buckle down and get to work – before it’s too late.

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