I have great respect for my colleague at The Hill, Markos Moulitsas. We almost always agree on major issues of progressivism, populism and politics, but since he all but called for Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination, writing in his column in The Hill that Sanders's "race to the White House is over," I must respectfully but very strongly disagree with him.
Second, and equally important, I believe that the Democratic Party is best served with Sanders remaining in the race, inspiring his supporters and carrying his message (which I favor) to the country. I also believe that Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE would be best served if Sanders remains in the race, so long as his campaign remains positive and geared toward championing the progressive populist issues upon which Democrats should run the general election campaign regardless of who is nominated.
It is important to note that polls show that Sanders would defeat every potential Republican opponent, in some cases by large margins, and that he runs stronger than Clinton against all Republicans in match-up polls according to the RealClearPolitics summary of polling. I do not cite these facts as criticism of Clinton; I cite them as praise for Sanders and for the notion that the longer he can carry his message to voters, the better it is for all Democrats.
If the idea that Clinton is a favorite for the nomination means that Sanders should withdraw, wouldn't it be equally fair for supporters of Sanders to suggest that since polls show that he runs stronger than she does against Republicans, it should be Clinton who drops out? I am not advocating this, obviously, but I think the fair and right thing would be for both candidates to continue their campaigns and the faith of supporters of both candidates should be respected.
I would urge both Democratic candidates to be positive about each other and make the case for all Democrats that Republicans Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump enters new debate frontier Pence offers Cruz 'heartfelt thanks' for Trump endorsement Cruz: Trump hasn't apologized for personal insults MORE (Texas) would both be disastrous presidents for America.
I believe it is particularly important that Sanders make the case for progressive populism against the race-baiting, insult-ridden pseudo-populism of Trump. I also believe that Sanders remaining in the race will keep Clinton in fighting shape for the general election, help her fine-tune her message and help unify all Democrats for the general election once the nominee is chosen, whomever he or she may be.
Sanders just won important victories in Utah and Idaho and his devoted small donors will continue to step up to the plate for him, as they always have. This is good for Sanders, good for Clinton and good for Democrats.
Should Sanders and Clinton both run positive campaigns of ideas to bring Democrats together for the duration of the primary season?
Should Sanders be asked to drop out from the campaign when he still has some chance and when his faithful followers bring their talents and idealism to his candidacy and the movement for change and reform that should define all Democrats today?
Absolutely not. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton, Sanders to campaign together in New Hampshire Sanders discourages third-party votes: 'Not the time for a protest vote' Trump: Sanders supporters 'like Trump on trade, a lot' MORE should continue his movement for the revolution of reform, which Democrats at all levels should make their cause, too.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.