After a hard fought primary that exposed major rifts in the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid finally came to an end Monday night. Gone was the speculation by pundits that Sanders might take his revolution, and the millions of voters who have followed him, past the primary, hampering Hillary Clinton’s election chances. Instead, Sanders was honorable and gracious in defeat because there is a bigger fight ahead. He walked a fine line as he offered up a passionate endorsement of Secretary Clinton while reiterating the principles that have animated his campaign. But more importantly, he gave his supporters one last message of hope to carry them into a future without inspirational Bernie Sanders speeches and Larry David SNL cameos. Here are 7 Takeaways from Bernie Sanders’ DNC Speech.
Former Nevada State Assemblywoman talks to VH1’s Carri Twigg about the email controversy regarding Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Senator Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention.
Bernie remembers who got him here.
— Mashable GIF (@mashablegif) July 26, 2016
“I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.” Sanders opened his speech with offering his grateful thanks to his ardent supporters. He acknowledged their pain when and their hesitance to abandon the cause, when he said, him characteristic self-deprecating manner, “I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am.”
His campaign started and ended in the same place.
— jeremiahjlarkin (@jeremiahjlarkin) July 26, 2016
“It is not sustainable that the top 1/10th of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%” Consistency is rarely a virtue for politicians. For better or worse, candidates are often forced to change their message. In a rare political moment, Sanders ended his campaign exactly where he began. Income inequality, specifically the financial sector’s role in creating a gap between the 1% and the rest of America, remained a major theme of his candidacy to the bitter end.
Trump is the problem.
— Nell (@Genius_Knight) July 26, 2016
“While Trump believes in UUUUGE tax breaks for millionaires, he believes that states should have the right to lower the minimum wage below seven and a quarter.” Though Sanders took time to celebrate his campaign and reiterate his message, he also zeroed in on the realities of the race as it stands today. From Bernie’s point of view, Trump represents the antithesis of Sanders’ values and must be stopped. Sanders also made sure to draw a line from the Bush administration to present day. While many want to treat Trump as an aberration, Sanders identified “The Donald” as a product of GOP policies when he reminded us of the economic disaster we endured under George W. Bush, “The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
Bernie is not #BernieorBust
— WFAA-TV (@wfaachannel8) July 26, 2016
“If you don’t believe this election is important. If you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices Trump would nominate.” While protests raged both outside and inside the convention hall, Bernie readily admitted defeat. For Sanders, the stakes are too high to hold onto old grudges. He may disagree with Clinton, but a Trump regime would be the polar opposite of a Sanders presidency.
Compromise is possible.
“Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 or less will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free.” Sanders made it clear that his support of Clinton was not won without some concessions. During the debates, Hillary scoffed at “free college,” saying, ” I don’t think taxpayers should be paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college.” Here we are half a year later, and free college is a part of her platform.
He’s Sticking to his guns.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 26, 2016
“Hillary Clinton and I disagree on issues. That is what democracy is about.” Though much of his speech was focused on unity and reconciliation, he took a couple opportunities to draw sharp distinctions between himself and Secretary Clinton. Perhaps the most contentious issue between them remains the Obama backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has remained a thorn in Hillary’s side throughout the primary process. Sanders denounced the trade deal, saying, “We’ve got to make sure the TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress in the lame duck session.”
Bernie is #ReadyforHer
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) July 26, 2016
“I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of women, children and the disabled. Hillary Clinton will make a great president and I am proud to stand with her tonight.” After discussing their compromises, calling attention to their differences, and thanking his supporters, it came time for heartfelt words of support. It is Hillary’s convention, after all, and he was just speaking at it. Sanders closed his speech with kind words for Secretary Clinton as he exited the national stage.
Time will tell if his revolution endures, but with this convention speech Bernie Sanders did everything he could to ensure that his ideas live on.