Bernie Sanders was quite defeated at the ballot boxes by Hillary Clinton. This wasn’t a big conspiracy, or anything like that; it’s just that most people who voted, voted for her. They didn’t vote for the guy who came in out of nowhere, with no history with the party, and said he was going to be the one in charge.
But Sanders did accomplish something good, and that’s moving the party a bit further left on certain issues. He forced Hillary to talk about issues, and take positions on those issues, that she’d probably rather not have had to address, so as to avoid alienating middle-of-the-road voters in November.
He also has had an effect on the party platform, a draft of which was just approved. This platform includes abolition of the death penalty, $15 an hour minimum wage (which is small thinking, but it’s a start), expansion of Social Security, more oversight for law enforcement, and more oversight of Wall Street, among other things.
Now this isn’t to say that, absent Sanders, these items wouldn’t be on the platform anyhow. They probably would, though in a reduced form. Say, a $12 minimum wage rather than $15 (though given that just a few years ago, $10.10 seemed pie-in-the-sky, this is great progress). So I think we can agree that Sanders probably had an influence.
And that pleases me. I’ve always respected the guy (though less so as the primaries went on), and I’m glad to see him helping to shape the party’s direction for the next twenty years.
Of course, to move us along that path, we do rather need Hillary to win in November, so please, please, don’t forget to vote!