I know it’s tough to accept, Team Sanders, but it’s over

Frisco lies on a sign for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a campaign rally on Monday, June 6, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Credit: Noah Berger

Credit: Noah Berger

Frisco lies on a sign for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a campaign rally on Monday, June 6, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Bernie Nation is taking it on the chin, and if they need to Sanders’ warriors can lean on my shoulder now that their long road is over. I do understand their pain. How it can feel so unfair. Over! California and New Jersey haven’t even finished voting yet! How can it be over?

It’s over for a very simple reason: Hillary Clinton has won enough delegates to make her the nominee. It’s not easy to accept. No easier than it was for Clinton’s supporters eight years ago, when news media declared Barack Obama the winner when there was still voting to be done.

But please, bros, can we stop with the cries of ‘corruption!’ and ‘media manipulation!’ You’re bigger than that. Besides, here’s what happened. I’ll break it down nice and easy. Then, if you’ve stuck with me that long, I’ll offer you some consolatory context. I hope it helps because with the general election right around the corner, there’s precious little time for tears.

1. The AP didn’t do anything corrupt, as more than a few posters have asserted. They called up the super-delegates and said, ‘Hey, who do you plan to vote for at the convention next month?’ The AP wrote down their answers. Then its reporters counted them up. The results were plain: So many of those folks still plan to vote for Hillary that it means she has enough delegates to win even without getting any votes today.

2. But the super-delegates could change their mind! Yes, they could. If they do, I guess it means she will need more pledged delegates. The good news for her is that even if she loses all of today’s primaries, she’ll still pick up hundreds of pledged delegates. By tonight, she’ll be miles ahead of Bernie.

3. But she won’t get them all! No, and that’s fine. But neither will Bernie, and he is the one who needs them.

4. Won’t the AP story manipulate the vote? Well, it’s true: Facts have an impact on actions. What can I say? But what that impact will be is impossible to predict. Knowing that she has it in the bag, some voters could go with Bernie today just to send a message, knowing that the primary is all but over. Or maybe some of his voters will give up and stay home or vote for Hillary. That’s possible. Who knows?

5. Besides, what’s the alternative? Should the AP have sat on the facts of the delegate counts until after the primaries? Who would be manipulating whom, in that case?

There you have it, the race in five easy pieces.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that neither Sanders nor Clinton has said the race is over. “According to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment, but we still have work to do, don’t we?” Clinton told supporters Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We have six elections tomorrow and we’re going to fight for every single vote, especially right here in California.”

Now here’s some salve for your aching hearts. I hope it makes you feel better.

Bernie Nation, think of the upside. Your man has kept a discussion about issues like income inequality and the influence of money in politics alive all year. That’s something to be proud of, no?

Now that it’s essentially over, focus on the fact that Clinton has a legit chance to win in November. If she does, that’s powerful news for women the world over, and especially here in America where the glass ceiling for women in politics is about to be shattered. But beyond that achievement, I wonder if you’ve fully grasped what a Clinton victory in November would mean for progressive causes.

A Clinton victory in the fall would mark the first time since Harry Truman succeeded Franklin Roosevelt and won election in his own right in 1948 that voters gave Democrats more than eights years in a row in the White House. It would mean that for the first time in nearly 70 years, Democrats would have a third consecutive term in the Oval Office. That ain’t nothing.

I realize you probably don’t think Clinton is all that liberal. Some of you have complained a lot that Obama is not liberal enough, either. And I guess, compared to Bernie, you’re right on both counts.

But do yourself a favor: Tally the ways federal policy has changed for the better — that is, moved to the left — in the past eight years. You’re going to need a long sheet of paper. Next, tally how many of those areas will begin moving in the other direction — and fast — if the GOP wins in the fall. I think the answer is danged near all of them.

Be honest about those tallies and you’re going to feel a lot better about a Clinton nomination, flaws and all. Other progressives need your voice in this campaign. The stakes are too high to stay home. Things like the balance of the Supreme Court hang in the balance of the vote in the fall. The Iran nuclear agreement, too. And abortion, gay rights. And, you know, Donald Trump.

In fact, if you’ve read this far and you’re not liberal, then congrats. We’re surely leaving the page in agreement. Your vote is going to matter a whole lot come Election Day, just like mine is. Ain’t America great?