Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has won the race for the Democratic Party’s (DP) nomination for the Presidential elections in November this year after a gruelling battle with the Socialist, Bernie Sanders, who has created history in the US politics by radicalising the election agenda and converting these elections into a battle of issues instead of personalities.
Hillary surpassed the majority figure of 2,383 votes on the night of June 7 after the results (of polling in primaries and caucuses to the six states) were declared and with President Obama endorsing her candidature. Hillary is now a presumptive Presidential candidate of the DP, who will take on Donald Trump at the November elections.
The poll schedule of the DP ended on June 14 with the polling in Washington primary. Bernie Sanders is reconciled to his defeat but he intends to go to the Philadelphia convention in July end with all his delegates with a will to fight in that meeting to get incorporated the agenda of their "people’s revolution" to build a "new America" that is more human and takes care of the need of the common masses, especially the younger people, women, the minorities and the unorganised workers.
At his latest rally in Washington, Sanders told his supporters "What I am saying today may appear radical to some people, but that will be the future of America."Till June 7 elections, Hillary was backed by 2,777 delegates including 574 super-delegates, who are officials but not elected. While Sanders has a total of 1,876 votes including only 48 super-delegates. In terms of elected delegates, Hillary leads with 375.
The entire DP establishment was for Hillary. The big newspapers were also against Sanders but this veteran maverick galvanised the election battle in the USA, in an unprecedented manner, and brought to the fold of the campaign millions of new supporters who kept believing in the "new America" that he proposed.
The DP establishment got unnerved and despite their best efforts at creating problems for the registration of new members who are generally Sanders supporters, Sanders won in 23 states as against 33 won by Hillary. Hillary has also noted that the Party campaign was able to reach to new heights as a result of Sanders.
More and more Americans who were cynical about the elections because their lives never changed for better, took a new look and participated in Sanders campaign with the hope that there is a future. Hillary has been forced to give her approval to Sanders' agenda which is of "providing a minimum $15 wage an hour and free medical insurance for all".
In fact, Sanders proposes to take forward, in a big way, Obama's pro-people agenda at the July convention. He will force the DP leadership to adopt a programme that will incorporate many of his campaign points. That is why Sanders is saying that his campaign and the people's revolution slogans will have far more significance now since the final battle for the Presidential elections will be starting.
American politics has been radicalised and if Sanders can effectively conduct his campaign at the July convention, the DP establishment may officially nominate Hillary but they will have to give concessions to Sanders in the formulation of the programme and Sanders will be given an important role in the campaign so that his young supporters do not get disillusioned.
Sanders himself is well aware that he has to fight for his programme by remaining within the Party itself though there have been some suggestions from the fringe elements of the left that he should not agree to Hillary under any circumstances. But Bernie has told Obama that he will be with Hillary wholehog if she appears to be the final candidate and the DP will get 100 per cent of his efforts to ensure that Donald Trump is defeated convincingly at the November elections.
Sanders has indicated enough that even after Hillary is nominated as the Presidential candidate, his campaign on issues which are part of the people's revolution, is not going to stop. The campaign will be reoriented and will focus on issues, dear to the masses, for transforming the Party's agenda. For Bernie, it's a long haul.
He is going to build and strengthen a broad-based democratic left in America and he will do this both being inside the DP as well as being active outside. The Sanders camp will be attending the Party's national convention with large number of delegates who are alert, agile and itching for change. They will have the support from millions, mostly young, who are looking for a radical change in the Party programme to enthuse them to participate in the campaign for electing Hillary Clinton.
American election agenda has certainly turned left and the Democratic establishment can only ignore it to its own peril in the November elections. The DPhas to gain control of senate and Congress from the Republicans and it is very important to have the full support of the new base created by Sanders to achieve that Sanders also knows that.
He is getting full support from the US Communist Party which is backing Sanders to implement his programme in the interests of the US working class, As John Bachtell (Chairman of the US Communist Party) sees it, the battle will be a tortured one, what is important is that voters and the movements remain engaged after the elections. When Obama took chair in 2008, voters thought that they had done their duty and remained inactive.
The void was filled by the GOP and the Party took control of the Congress and the states across the country in the subsequent elections. That situation post 2008 elections has to be reversed with the active participation of Sanders supporters.
The signal from the Sanders camp is that the present level of unity of students, labour, women, minorities and other democratic forces will be expanded to make maximum impact on Presidential elections to defeat the Republican Party candidate and this will get new dimension after the new President takes over since the campaign has to be intensified then for getting the progressive programmes implemented. For Sanders and his left supporters, the battle for building a new America is on, irrespective of the Presidential elections. IPA
Hillary on issues
Throughout her campaigning, Hillary's aims at battling issues and fighting for key policies such as finance reform, campus sexual assault, climate change, disability rights, gun violence prevention, Immigration reform, LGBT rights and equality, student debt and paid family leave, animals and wildlife, racial justice, raising incomes and fighting inequality, seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, voting rights, Wall Street reform, women’s rights along with workforce skills and job training.
Sanders' "new america"
Bernie Sanders campaign since the very beginning has been all about a "new America". "I will invest $1 trillion to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and will create employment for 13 million Americans to work in good jobs, I will invest $5.5 billion to employ one million young Americans and provide job-training to hundreds of thousands of others. Me and my government will also work to create a Clean-Energy Workforce of 10 million good jobs through a 100% clean energy system", he said.
The final countdown
The likely Trump-Clinton race won’t be a contest over who can win the most votes nationwide. Whoever wins a majority of electoral votes, that is a total of 270 votes, wins the presidency. American political junkies look at the map of the US and see a patchwork of mostly red and blue. Trump says he can win over blue-collar voters in northern industrial States, whereas, Clinton’s supporters suggest she could win in Republican strongholds with the help of an increasingly engaged African-American population.