The opening days of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., have been notable for the reluctance on the part of Bernie Sanders's supporters to accept that their candidate lost the primary race fair and square. There have been protests outside the convention centre and disruptions on the floor inside.
This really should stop. As the comedian and actress Sarah Silverman told the "Bernie or Bust" crowd at the convention on Monday, "You're being ridiculous."
The Sanders supporters are caught up in the emotion of a movement that Mr. Sanders – a socialist and independent who joined the Democratic Party only after he decided to run for the party's nomination – billed as a "revolution." The fervour of his supporters was a big part of the Democratic primary story. Many of his most ardent fans are young, progressive voters spurred on by his calls to reduce income inequality, expand public health care and make university free for the middle class.
His loss to Hillary Clinton, a mainstream centrist, was hard enough to swallow. But it became even more unpalatable after Democratic party e-mails were hacked and stolen, possibly by a Russian government operative, and leaked to Wikileaks just prior to this week's convention. The e-mails revealed that the party establishment was rooting for Ms. Clinton, a breach of neutrality that has led to the resignation of the chair of the Democratic National Committee.
But while the e-mails make it clear who had the party establishment's sympathies, there is not a shred of evidence that this led to any tampering with the electoral process. Bernie Sanders came in second because he received the second-most votes. It's that simple. The Sanders camp has stated unequivocally that Ms. Clinton won a clean race, and Mr. Sanders himself fully endorsed Ms. Clinton on Monday night in a powerful speech at the convention.
And still the "Bernie or Bust" movement continues. His most ardent supporters say they won't vote in the election, or will waste their ballot on the Green Party.
This is madness. Mr. Sanders showed maturity by backing Ms. Clinton. He recognized that democratic politics must sometimes be about compromise, and that it's not personal. Churlishly refusing to embrace the winner of the primary, even at the risk of hurting one's own interests, is exactly the kind of move you'd expect from supporters of Donald Trump.