Many Hillary Clinton supporters are waiting impatiently for a fuddy-duddy senator from Vermont named Bernie Sanders to ride off into the sunset after he personally gives his heartfelt endorsement to their candidate.
The only problem is that Sanders has this funny idea that he's somehow still competing in the Democratic Primary. Sure, the contest isn't technically over. And yes, the nominee is ultimately decided at the Democratic convention. But the writing is on the wall; the voters have spoken and they want Clinton to become the first woman to win the presidency of the United States of America.
So why won't Sanders just play along and go away?
The answer is simple if you've paid attention to his message from day one. Bernie Sanders has an agenda.
And it's the same agenda he's had since the first day he announced his campaign at a barely noticed "press conference" he threw together in Washington D.C. on his lunch break. From day one, Sanders never gave anyone the impression that he had any desire or ambition of becoming president.
His candidacy felt almost like a lark, a protest candidacy aimed at raising awareness of a set of very specific issues. That's because it was.
And the reason Sanders is still hanging on is the same reason he entered the contest to begin with. It's because his mission is not yet complete. His very specific set of issues are not yet guaranteed to be on the Democratic Party platform this year, at least not to the degree at which he and his supporters can be satisfied.
Sanders wants Clinton to convert from being a centrist establishment Democrat to a Progressive revolutionary and continue his fight. His campaign was always about his platform, about the issues, and not about him winning the nomination. That's why he was so successful during a primary contest that was supposed to be little more than a coronation for Hillary Clinton.
And during this process, something unexpected and wonderful happened within the Democratic Party. Young voters started looking up from their smartphones, notebooks, and tablets. They started turning their attention from their favorite mindless reality TV shows. They started feeling a pull towards something greater than themselves that was being expressed by an old man who was up to four times their age.
Young Progressive voters started to wake up and feel inspired. This was something the Democratic establishment had always hoped for in theory, but they never seemed to be able to connect with what seemed to be an apathetic self-absorbed non-voting constituency.
So instead, Clinton and the Democratic party focused on the tried and true minority voters. They looked at demographics and formulas. They wanted to maximize their traditional strengths while improving their weak margins among non-traditional demographics such as Independents and blue-collar Republicans.
But somewhere along they way they failed to notice that the young soon to be Sanders supporters were starting to look around. And what those young unengaged voters saw was a Democratic Party constantly on the ropes being battered by Republicans who seemed to do nothing but win elections.
Meanwhile, the issues they cared about were being neglected or negotiated away by President Obama and the Democratic leadership.
In conclusion, the reason why the Sanders campaign will continue into the convention is because his supporters are sick and tired of negotiating for crumbs and half-measures. They no longer believe that compromise can lead to change. They are sick of seeing Republicans get everything they want, while Democrats feel grateful for getting whatever they settle for.
Sanders will not go away because his supporters have, in essence, become the candidate. And as far as Sanders supporters are concerned, backing down has officially gone out of style this year.