By Lauren Grimaldi
It has been pretty clear for months, but the New York primary all but confirmed that Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the general election.
His self-entitled political revolution will land just short of reaching the platform of the general election. But that does not mean that his campaign was all for naught. While the idea of his political revolution in itself is not as new or radical as he made it seem, there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is a better candidate because of Sanders’ success.
When she announced her candidacy, she had no real challenge to the nomination. Although it has pretty much always been hers to lose, Sanders’ popularity gave her the slight scare she needed to prove her worthiness of the presidency.
While there are very real criticisms of the former Secretary of State, her credentials cannot be questioned. Perhaps the most qualified candidate of the past 50 years, it may seem silly to say that she needed to prove herself capable of handling a challenge. However, with the deep opposition to her by some, it became evident that she needed to show everyone just how strong of a presidential candidate she is.
At one point in the campaign, Sanders predicted that he would win New York and turn the entire election on its head. That did not happen.
With no real path to the nomination, those who are “feeling the Bern” are left disappointed. Despite that disappointment, it is important for Sanders supporters to realize the overarching effect that his candidacy ultimately will have.
He heightened the public discourse on income inequality. He did this not by merely mentioning it in a speech, but by doing so with passion that only comes with living the experience of growing up in a poorer family than most politicians.
While Hillary too speaks to the idea of growing up in a lesser privileged family and how that should not affect your chances in life, it is clear that she did not live through that struggle. Though not growing up poor by no means disqualifies you from the presidency, having actually gone through the issues that face lower income families gives your rhetoric on the issue an added legitimacy.
So, do not be too dismayed, Sanders voters. While he will not become president, he did contribute some great dialogue to our political atmosphere. And while that may seem to be a loss, it truly is not.
By energizing the youth in an election they otherwise may not have cared about, he has a lot of be proud of. But now, for Democrats, it is time to unite around Hillary.
Young people specifically need to get excited about her as she is truly not as problematic as some may think. And in the end, a Clinton White House is the only real option in the upcoming election, with absolute madness coming from the other side.