Bernie has now officially endorsed Joe Biden. We recommend watching the livestream video first, rather than doing barrel rolls about an NPR headline or something you read on social media. Giving in to low-information hot takes are unproductive when we have the actual direct source. 

We all knew this would come, just not this soon. Considering the pandemic and that Trump is President, we’re not surprised that Bernie didn’t wait until the convention to endorse the Democratic nominee. 

While we have always encouraged people to vote with and for their conscience, we recognize that many held their conscience in alignment with Bernie. In the wake of his suspending his campaign and endorsing Biden, an immediate question of us — whether as an organization or any of us as individuals — could be “are you going to endorse and vote for Biden?” To that we say that Bernie should still be on the primary ballot in the remaining states, and the number of delegates he ultimately receives will help determine IF he and his campaign will have seats on the rules committee of the Democratic National Convention. So. You may feel that this past week has been disheartening, but Bernie is still in this, is still pushing life-saving legislation as a Senator, there are still stakes to win, and you still have an opportunity to further the progressive movement through electoral politics. 

Biden said that the current crisis “ripped off the Band-Aid” exposing deep structural problems with our economic system, which is not exactly the language he’s known for. He went on to talk about how crises create opportunities for advancement, citing FDR’s New Deal policies. We are all for encouraging Joe Biden to think of himself as a modern-day FDR and use that as a blueprint for his policies, sans the internment of Japanese Americans. But this doesn’t mean we’ll be pushing for a Biden agenda — we’ll be pushing for an agenda that Bernie helped develop and that it is now our job to continue advocating for and implementing. We’ll be pressuring Biden continuously, as we must hold his so far status-quo, neoliberal campaign accountable for whatever proposals he promises to adopt from work that our movement has pursued. 

During the livestream, Biden said he would be forming “task forces” with Bernie on these issues: the economy, education, immigration, criminal justice, climate change, and healthcare. We hope the last will be more than just lip service paid towards an explicitly single-payer, universal, and comprehensive system, which is what Bernie and so many of us have been organizing for. Bernie is still fighting on this front, having introduced joint legislation with Rep. Jayapal, the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act — which essentially calls for Medicare for All for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You can see from the video that Biden depends on the teleprompter, and essentially not just the counsel but language of others to help guide him. Our political movement can seize this opportunity and guide Biden, or we can let him be unduly influenced by others who do not want a just and progressive democracy. We are facing an existential crisis and humanity’s future hangs in the balance. Our grass-roots movement MUST hold Joe Biden and his surrogates accountable, along with any parroting pundits within the mainstream media. 

Bernie surreptitiously suggested to Joe at the end of their conversation, “I thought we’d play some chess, what do you think?” We strongly believe that a critical reason for Bernie suspending his campaign when he did was to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic, so we know this isn’t a game to him. We also know he doesn’t regard our movement as pawns at his command. Rather, Bernie is utilizing his massive political influence to continue strategizing for us, and for the policies and ideologies that we believe in. 

Solidarity Forever,

BAY AREA FOR BERNIE TEAM