In what is likely its final campaign ad—an ode to his supporters and the movement that grew up around his back-to-back presidential runs in 2016 and 2020—the Bernie Sanders campaign posted a video on Thursday night to thank all those who put their faith in the Vermont senator as he called on them to continue the struggle to create a better nation built on values and policies that "lifts up all of our people."
"As I hope all of you know," Sanders says in the video, his voice set over images and footage from the campaign trail, "that this race has never been about me. I ran for the presidency because I believed that as a president I could accelerate and institutionalize the progressive changes that we are all building together. And if we keep organizing and fight, I have no doubt that is exactly what will happen."
"We often hear about the beauty of America," Sanders continues, "and this country is incredibly beautiful. But to me, the beauty I will remember most is in the faces of the people we have met from corner of this nation to the other. The compassion, love, and decency I have seen in them, makes me so hopeful for our future. It also makes me more determined than ever to work to create a nation that reflects those values."
"Please stay in this fight with me," Sanders concludes. "Let us go forward together. The struggle continues."
Shared among campaign staff and supporters online, the video was taken not as a farewell but an emotional call to action for what comes next to the movement sparked by Sanders' presidential runs.
"Okay well I am absolutely crying," said progressive supporter and podcast host Julia Claire on Twitter.
Years from now, after we have missed our climate deadlines, been ravaged by pandemic and depression, we will look back on this moment as an opportunity missed.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
History will lionize Bernie Sanders and his movement. https://t.co/lBTQ29haSq
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) April 9, 2020
The video, said artist and Sanders backer Molly Crabapple, "brings a tear to my eye. We could have had so much better."
In a column for In These Times on Thursday, filmmaker, author, and activist Astra Taylor wrote that ultimately Sanders' departure from the 2020 campaign is an indictment of the nation's political system, not a reflection of anything that his campaign did wrong.
"I'm pretty sure historians will look back kindly on Sanders," wrote Taylor. "He is the rare honest public servant, and one who ran a campaign centering human dignity." In the end, however, that was not enough.
"Like so many others," she continued. "I didn't just want Sanders to 'change the discourse' or 'win the ideological war.' I wanted him to win the election. But I also knew it was an incredible longshot. We've made progress, even if we haven't reached our goal. The fact that his campaign got as far as it did signals a massive sea change. A democratic socialist can win millions of votes in America. A decade ago I never would have believed such a thing to be possible, and that's our new foundation to build from."