“To the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”

That was comedian Sarah Silverman at the DNC Convention last night, remarking on much of the behavior that was on display through the first day of the convention. Throughout the whole day, whether it was directed at the main stage or at a breakfast speech for Florida delegates, some of Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters used the day to shout and heckle any mention of Secretary Hillary Clinton or Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

DNC officials made mistakes and have owned up to them. Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile herself apologized to the Sanders campaign. However, Clinton won the primary by more than three million votes. Clinton earned the nomination by fighting hard for Americans over the last three decades and sharing a message which resonated with every corner of the electorate. Americans like Anastasia Somoza, who has seen firsthand Clinton’s determination to make life better for people with disabilities. Americans like Karla Ortiz, who has experienced Clinton’s dedication to keeping families together instead of deporting immigrants who only seek a better life.  To achieve these goals, all Democrats must stand together. There is an incredible strength in unity.

There were two reasons given during the first day about why the party should unite. The primary reason was that Clinton and Sanders agree on just about everything. To dismiss Clinton because Sanders didn’t win the nomination is much like cutting off one’s own nose to spite their face. If Sanders’ supporters truly want to achieve making debt-free college a reality and fixing campaign finance regulation, then Clinton is the only candidate who in the race who has a chance of making that happen.

The second reason that there has been such a strong call for unity is to stop Donald Trump. The list of reasons that he must never be allowed to become president could fill a textbook. Senator Cory Booker shared many of those reasons, from Trump viciously mocking a disabled reporter to Trump’s consistent degradation of women. Senator Elizabeth Warren summed it up best – “Donald Trump’s America is an America of fear and hate. An America where we all break apart.” The United States has come too far under our first black president to give the White House to a man who would see it all undone in his first 100 days.

The most inspiring moment of the night came when First Lady Michelle Obama stepped onto the stage. “Don’t let anyone ever tell you this country isn’t great.” It is hard to remember a more powerful speech in my lifetime. She spoke not only of the character of Clinton, but how she sets a precedent in the way that President Barack Obama did eight years ago. Now, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman – you too have the opportunity to become President of the United States. It was a message of hope, not a message of hate. As the First Lady said, “when they go low, we go high.”

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on Sanders’ unifying speech which concluded the night. He said in no uncertain terms that “any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.”

Sanders has created and led a political movement which is truly a force to be reckoned with. He knows exactly what direction that movement must now go in to accomplish its goals. His call for unity tonight is a strong step on the road to victory for Clinton. With Clinton, Sanders, and the entire Democratic Party fighting as a team, I am confident their progressive vision can and will be realized.


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