AP calls Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton; What now for Bernie Sanders?

For quite some time, many observers have said the Democratic nomination is already Hillary Clinton’s and that it was only a matter of time before that couldn’t be denied. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his movement of energetic supporters have long disputed this, blaming superdelegates for rigging the race and accusing Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of bias.

Primary after primary has seen escalating rhetoric after the two started out early on relatively civil. Now it appears it may be over.

The Associated Press announced tonight that Hillary Clinton has reached the minimum delegate threshold to clinch the Democratic nomination. The Associated Press reached this conclusion by tallying the delegates won in primaries and caucuses, but also through a survey of superdelegate insiders.

While this outcome is something many expected, the big question up next is “now what?”

The first reaction out of the Senator Sanders grassroots movement is going to be to question the relevance of superdelegates, who won’t vote until the National Convention. Thus technically, these people can change their vote at any time because it hasn’t been cast.

So the Associated Press has called the Democratic presidential primary over an insider survey?

This should be the next gripe of Senator Sanders supporters, who have a legitimate case for not getting a fair shake from the Democratic National Committee and many State Parties. Furthermore, the media hasn’t been helping things either. While superdelegates technically have not voted yet, they are still widely counted.

The Associated Press tonight has only fed that narrative that the media, alongside the Democratic National Committee, is actively working against the Senator Sanders grassroots.

Will this be enough to push Senator Sanders out of the race?

Even if he remains in, the path is extremely narrow and will likely lead to a divided convention. In the event Senator Sanders takes it to the National Convention and ignites a floor fight, it could create a lot of hard feelings and further divide things.

Could this cost the Democrats the White House and hand it to likely Republican nominee Donald Trump? Does Senator Sanders want to risk being blamed for the election of Trump?

A lot is on the line at this point. The Associated Press has now called it, but is it really? Even if these superdelegates never change their vote and the insider survey proves accurate, is it fair to count it before the votes are tallied?

Best advice to Senator Bernie Sanders is to not backdown. Whatever disagreements to be had with him, his philosophies, politics, and otherwise, the Democratic National Committee has ruled like a Democratic presidency. If Senator Sanders is serious about change, don’t back down. Take this to Philadelphia, stand your ground, and if the nomination fails, at least you have the platform.

Given the treatment of the Senator Sanders grassroots by Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz and the arrogance of Hillary Clinton, the grassroots should refuse to back Clinton and seek third party options. The Libertarian Party just nominated a left-leaning libertarian who may associate more with them than a number of libertarians. The Green Party also has Jill Stein.

Don’t let the major parties win. Don’t let the mainstream media win. Fight until the end and then stick to your conscience.

Feel the bern or bern it down.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.

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