In which I have probably-insufficiently-informed ideas about politics.
People are talking about the DNC email leak and here is a thing I agree with.
Yeah, it’s not surprising that they had a suspicious or negative attitude towards Bernie, especially at the very start of the primary when they didn’t really know what he was going to say or how well he would do. He has been an independent for a long time and he’s been pretty firm about Not being a Democrat. It’s not surprising that some people would have assumed that him running in the Democratic primary was basically trolling.
Why did he run for the Democratic nomination then?
To try to prevent what some diehard Bernie supporters are doing now: a splitting of the overall left/liberal/progressive vote between the Democratic candidate and him as a third party candidate. The Democratic primary was (supposed to be) a safer way for him to run without spoiling the chances for any non-Republican candidate to win. Because if he won the primary, most Democrats would support him, and if he didn’t, he’d concede and whoever did win would be no worse off than if he’d never run. That’s why he ran as a Democrat and that’s why he’s throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton now.
(Apparently some 75-80% of Bernie supporters are currently saying they’ll vote for HRC as their second choice (rather than a third party candidate or Trump or not voting) but like. The diehards are really stubborn, and with all the noise they’re making and with how much closer he came to the nomination than anyone expected– can you IMAGINE how badly split things could have been if he’d just run as an independent?)
It also makes perfect sense to me that he waited this long to concede, and that he wants an official tally of the votes at the convention. His campaign will stand as an example in future years– in elections at all levels– of how far a socialist independent can get. His success changes the conversation for the Democrats in terms of what policies seem viable for them to support, and it changes the perception of socialism as a dirty word, and it chips a few pieces, at least, off the eternal argument that third party candidates can never win anything. Of course he wants that vote count that people are going to cite in future years to be as high as it possibly can be.