You could call it the Twilight of the Bernie Bros: the young men (and women) who have animated the convention hall of the DNC with their incessant booing, cries of mistrust, and suggestions of delegate vote suppression. On Tuesday, their candidate officially lost the nominating race to Hillary Clinton in a roll-call vote, and on Wednesday, her campaign moved forward with the most public endorsement yet from the titular head of the Democratic party, President Obama. There will no doubt be forthcoming analysis about the effect this movement has, or hasn’t, had on the next three months of general election campaigning; about how precisely Clinton and Kaine have embraced or denied their progressive base. But for a community of young people who have found a home in this world of outsider camaraderie, this particular party—as they say—is over. Cue the lights.
So: Will they leave angry? Will they just stay home in November? Does Donald Trump actually have a shot to win the votes of one-time Sanders acolytes? Vice President Biden notably insisted on Tuesday that, “If you’re as moral and centered as you say you are, I know you can’t vote for Trump.”
Biden, ever the empathetic id of the Democratic party, may be onto something. For all the concerns about just how hard it may be to rally these crushed, frustrated young supporters and bring them back into the institutional fold, many of the young people I spoke with on the fringes of the convention had a remarkably sanguine attitude towards the road ahead—and what a Clinton candidacy means for the former Sanders coalition.