bernieyallbuttonBernie Sanders was not victorious in the New York presidential primary.

So what?

That’s right — so what?

I am sitting in the GDPR studio, feeling… not thrilled, but resolute. Of course, I had hoped for a better outcome for this election, but New York obviously was going to be a tough nut to crack for a non-establishment candidate. Isn’t that what we outliers face every single day in these United States? Isn’t that what we deal with every damned day as progressives in red Tennessee?

Now is not the time to become depressed or complacent. This is not the time to become cynical. This for damn sure is no time to throw in any towels. This is an opportunity to take stock and find inspiration to re-energize for the battle that lies ahead.

Consider this:

  1. The election was stacked against him in every conceivable way. The Democratic primary was a closed one, meaning Independents and pro-Bernie Republicans could not vote for him, period. New York is the state of Wall Street, and the establishment candidate is in its pocket. Thousands of voters were disenfranchised, by having party affiliations switched without their knowledge, or their polling place operating hours changed, or their voting registration purged without their knowledge (as reported by  New York NPR affiliate WNYC)or a host of other factors — such as the Empire State’s horrible election rules — that robbed them of the opportunity to cast a ballot.
  2. The establishment candidate, in 2008, beat Barack Obama, garnering 57 percent of the vote, per the New York Times. How did that work for her in the end?
  3. Bernie, before New York, won eight of the nine preceding contests. After New York, there are many more states to go. There is still great opportunity to take victories and delegates — and force a contested convention, if need be.
  4. The nation got to see the establishment candidate at her worst, at her most mendacious, craven and pandering, with the corporate New York media serving as a willing co-conspirator.

We can do this. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver insists there is a path forward, and I believe him.

Tim Canova, the progressive candidate running against Democratic National Committee head Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has a great pep talk for this occasion.

Bernie Sanders lost an election tonight in New York. The pundits and the politicos are already gleefully gabbing about whether this signifies the death of our movement for progressive reform.

The answer is no. No matter the outcome of the Democratic presidential race, there is a political revolution sweeping our country.

Since the very beginning, Senator Sanders has made it very clear that this election and this revolution is not about him, it’s about us. f we stand together and speak out about these issues that Senator Sanders has brought to the national spotlight, we can elect other leaders who are funded by the people, not the powerful, and we can still come together and fight for what we believe in. Our progressive grassroots movement will live on.

The Washington establishment is declaring victory. But our movement has not truly lost tonight because we will not give up hope, and we will not give up on participating in the political process. We are redoubling our efforts to defeat my opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Our victory will send a message, loud and clear, that the movement to restore our democracy will never fade.

We can’t let them win. Join me in making a commitment, right here and right now, to stay involved and stay hungry for justice, no matter what the outcome is during this presidential primary.

This campaign is not over. There are many key states ahead and many more opportunities for our movement to grow stronger. Thank you for sustaining my hopes and for all your support.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in to negativity. We can do this. We will go forth all the way to the convention, and Bernie can win. But we must do our part. The next primaries are April 26, in Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Now is the time to double down to get involved and active. If you can, join a Bernie journey and travel to primary states to help canvass and talk face to face to voters. Or grab your phone and phone bank for Bernie. Now is not the time to capitulate and allow the establishment to have its way. Let’s not go down without a fight.

It’s not about Bernie. It’s about We The People. Let’s do this.

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