This election cycle is unlike any in modern history. There exists a chasm in the party that cannot be bridged by invoking the specter of a Republican winning unless we unite.
This year affords liberals and progressives the first opportunity in 50 years to nominate a candidate who truly represents their interests and beliefs. And a great many value that prospect much more than they care about the Democratic party capturing the presidency or retaking the Senate.
Hard as it may be to accept, many Bernie Sanders voters are unmoved by the argument that Trump will win if they do not support Hillary. Not only do they not care if he does, many will support Trump to deny Hillary the White House.
What should be of even more concern to elected Democratic officials, is that there is a growing movement to vote against Democrats in November who endorsed Hillary over Bernie in the primaries.
In tightly contested Senate and House races, such enmity could threaten Democratic plans to control the Senate and to reduce the Republican majority in the House.
Superdelegates were created to assure Democratic leaders a role in the nomination process. That pro forma role has now become much more important than the DNC ever envisaged. Superdelegates now hold the future of the Democratic party in their hands. They can continue to circle the wagons for Clinton, hoping to weather the fallout of her nomination, or they can vote as their constituents did in their own states and districts.
Many party regulars and elected officials are dismissive of the possibility of rank and file progressives abandoning the Democratic nominee or of working for Donald Trump. Years of political experience and hackneyed support of whomever wears a Democrat label ill-prepare them to recognize a political earthquake in the making: Nominating Hillary Clinton will be tantamount to lobbing a grenade into the Democratic party. Many of us will do whatever necessary to end Hillary’s career and the careers of those who support her.
What is at stake is much more than is immediately evident.
If you nominate Hillary, you will be presiding over a deeply divided Democratic party, one much less likely to win the presidency.
If you nominate Hillary, you risk down ballot repercussions.
If you nominate Hillary, Democrats will not control reapportionment in 2020. This may be the most damaging to the party of all. Midterm elections in 2018 promise to be even less successful for Democrats than were those in 2014, wherein we had a popular incumbent Democratic president in Barack Obama. Even under the best case scenario, if Hillary were elected she would face a Republican House and gridlock at least as intense as Obama has faced. If she is elected, she will be the least popular president to take office in over a century. Her coattails would be non-existent in 2020, guaranteeing that Republicans sweep down ballot races and retain control of enough statehouses and legislative chambers to control reapportionment after the 2020 Census.
We had to deal with a decade of Republican control of the lower house after Republicans gerrymandered congressional districts in 2010.
If Hillary is elected, Democrats can kiss off the House of Representatives until 2030.
An entirely different scenario occurs with a Sanders nomination.
Bernie handily defeats Trump.
Democrats retake the Senate, and might even gain control of the House.
Under President Sanders, the Democratic party grows enthusiastically. Voters under 30 support Sanders by 80%! Their participation in the process will be encouraged, nurtured, and channeled into midterm victories in 2018 and in the general election in 2020.
Bernie Sanders will hand Democrats not only the White House this year, but a Democratic House of Representatives through 2030.
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