By Robert A. Vella
Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic Party race last night and will become the first woman to win a major party nomination for president. Of the final six state primary elections held yesterday, Clinton won four against her rival Bernie Sanders including the big delegate prizes of California and New Jersey. Although the party conventions next month will formalize the candidates who’ll appear on the general election ballots in November, the U.S. presidential contest will pit an establishment Democrat (Clinton) against a populist Republican (Donald Trump).
Sanders vowed to continue his campaign to the last primary election in the District of Columbia and onto the party convention in Philadelphia, while also reasserting his opposition to the divisive Mr. Trump:
“Young people understand that they are the future of America, and they intend to help shape that future. And I am enormously optimistic about the future of our country when so many young people have come on board and understand that our vision, a vision of social justice, economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice, must be the future of America. Our vision will be the future of America.”
“Our campaign from day one has understood some very basic points and that is first we will not allow right-wing Republicans to control our government. And that is especially true with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate. The American people, in my view, will never support a candidate whose major theme is bigotry.”
“What we understand, and what every one of us has always understood, is that real change never occurs from the top on down, always from the bottom on up. … That is the history of America, whether it is the creation of the trade union movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the gay movement. And that is what OUR movement is about.”
However, the establishment-versus-populist divide in America today is so strong that all the other presidential candidates are lining up to woo disgruntled Sanders supporters including the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and even the aforementioned Trump.
From The Hill – Green Party candidate vows to keep fighting Sanders ‘revolution‘:
The likely presidential nominee of the Green Party, Jill Stein, is reaching out to supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, telling them that she’ll keep up the fight for his ideas.
“We are here in the event that they feel like they don’t have a place to go,” Stein told CNN on Tuesday evening.
Stein, the 2012 Green Party nominee, said she wanted Sanders supporters to “know that there’s a plan B here to continue to fight that revolution” against the political establishment.
She also took to Twitter to make an appeal to Sanders supporters, accusing Democrats of “blatantly rigging the system” against Sanders “from the start.”
Also from The Hill – Libertarian nominee makes pitch to Sanders supporters:
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is making a pitch to supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
“For all those Bernie supporters out there, how about taking a look at the Libertarian ticket?” Johnson said Wednesday morning on CNN’s “New Day.”
Johnson said he presented a “real alternative” to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominees for the Democrats and Republicans, respectivey, pitching himself as fiscally conservative but pointing to a role for government.
“Government can level the playing field. Crony capitalism is alive and well,” said Johnson, who has noted that he agrees with much of what Sanders says.
Trump similarly made a pitch for supporters of Sanders on Tuesday night, saying he would welcome “with open arms” supporters of the Vermont senator “who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates.”
On the flip side, some establishment Republicans are surprisingly lining up behind Clinton.
Hillary Clinton hadn’t even clinched the Democratic nomination when Craig Snyder, a longtime Republican, filed the paperwork to create a PAC to help get her elected.
Snyder filed Federal Election Commission paperwork on Friday to create Republicans for Hillary 2016, an organization aimed at convincing Republicans to choose the former Secretary of State over presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.
“You have to put first things first in life, and a threat to the security and the safety of our country and our families is far more important than any disagreements we have over taxes or spending or social issues,” says Snyder in an interview. On the organization’s website, Snyder acknowledges all the ways he and other Republicans disagree with Clinton, mostly on domestic issues, and noted that those disagreements are not likely to change.
But, he maintains: “Down the road, America will have plenty of time to go back to arguing, civilly and thoughtfully, about taxes, spending, and the right balance between accommodating change and preserving tradition in family and community values,” he wrote on the site. Right now, “Donald Trump must be defeated.”