He gets it. Do you?
He dedicated most of the speech to the issues he's been fighting for during the campaign. The full speech is here, and if you haven't heard him before, you'll see why he was able to captivate such a large and dedicated following. This is the healthy and progressive version of the warped and diseased insurgency Trump has whipped up. Bernie says things that most politicians don't have the guts to say straight out -- the US is becoming an oligarchy, it is slipping more and more behind other developed countries in quality of life, and its economy, health-care system, and other areas need reforms more radical than mainstream politics has contemplated so far. These things resonate with millions of people because they are true.
And Bernie makes it clear he knows that a Trump victory in this election would be the worst possible setback for the agenda he's been fighting for:
This campaign is about defeating Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president. After centuries of racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms in our country we do not need a major party candidate who makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans. We cannot have a president who, in the midst of so much income and wealth inequality, wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very rich. We cannot have a president who, despite all of the scientific evidence, believes that climate change is a hoax. The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.
He will be working with Hillary to achieve this. Republican fantasies that he would act as a sort of unwitting mole for their side, sabotaging Hillary and letting Trump win, are now dashed.
(It must be said that some of Bernie's supporters, as opposed to the man himself, have indeed shown the kind of nihilistic appetite for such sabotage that the Republicans hope for. But this is only a minority of them, and hopefully even fewer will cling to such madness all the way to November, especially with Bernie himself calling for unity.)
He also emphasized that the energy brought out by his campaign is still needed. Voters focus on Presidential politics, and tend to neglect lower-level offices. This has allowed Republicans to dominate too many state governments, with disastrous effect on abortion rights, minority voting rights, and state-level services. Gerrymandering gives Republicans the House, while low off-year turnout gives them the Senate. We've seen, since 2010, how these problems have frustrated progress and even the normal workings of government. That has to change.
Bernie is doing his part to re-unify the party, and will continue to do so. As Mike Lux explains here, this is essential -- and the effort can't all come from one side. The establishment, too, has to recognize the enthusiasm Bernie aroused and incorporate his agenda into what the party fights for. It's encouraging that Hillary is now actively vetting Elizabeth Warren as a potential running mate.
Now it's time to get together and make Donald Trump, to use his own favorite epithet, the biggest loser in American Presidential history -- so we can build on what Obama has accomplished, and work toward the future America needs.