We at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s coronavirus quarantine offices were saddened by the news that progressive candidate Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.
In many ways this was no surprise. Though Sanders still had a shot when he earned our endorsement a million years ago last month, the tide was already turning when former Vice President Joe Biden, who had been struggling at the polls, won the South Carolina primary thanks in part to older Black voters. The party, sans Bernie and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, then quickly coalesced around Biden, with the other moderate candidates dropping out and throwing their support behind him.
Sanders' official exit from the race now makes former Biden's clinching the Democratic Party nomination all but certain.
There are a number of things that are fucked up about this recent turn of events, notably that the candidate whose platform called for universal health care lost at a time when millions of Americans have been suddenly thrown off of their private health insurance due to the coronavirus shutting down the economy. We wonder if the primaries had been held just weeks later how the results would have changed. We're also disappointed in Biden's proximity to the Ukraine scandal, the credible rape allegations against him, and the fact that he's a terrible public speaker.
Also, "No malarkey!" is... not a very inspirational campaign slogan.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump also has proximity to the Ukraine scandal, credible rape allegations, and an inability to speak in full sentences, so at least it's a level playing field, we suppose. And for all his faults, Biden seems to have his shit at least slightly more together than Trump. Still, we're dismayed that, once again, the presidential race has been reduced to lesser-evilism.
During this dark time, we're buoyed by the belief that though Sanders may have lost another presidential election, that the movement will live on. His widespread support from younger voters all but assures this.
"As you all know, we have never been just a campaign," Sanders wrote in an email to supporters after his announcement. "We are a grassroots multi-racial, multi-generational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up. We have taken on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the greed of the entire corporate elite. That struggle continues. While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not."
So with the knowledge that Sanders' progressive movement will march on, we're hoping for better luck next time. In the meantime, we're officially changing our 2020 endorsement to... Any Functioning Adult.
May the best functioning adult win.
Editor's note: This piece originally ran in CL sibling paper Detroit Metro Times, but totally reflects the way CL feels.
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