The presidential primaries are now over -- only the District of Columbia remains on the schedule -- and the Democrats have selected Hillary Clinton to run against Donald Trump. She won a decisive majority of the pledged (popularly selected) delegates. Senator Sanders and the superdelegates should honor the public's choice.
The Democratic campaign focused mostly on policy issues and despite a few rough elbows, was remarkably civilized. The Republican campaign, by contrast, seemed to have as its main purpose to identify and then eliminate every person with the temperament and experience to serve. In selecting Mr. Trump it accomplished its purpose admirably.
The question now is how many of Senator Sanders's supporters will vote for Secretary Clinton in November. I see the Sanders supporters in two camps: one group includes the protest voters and the other group consists of the policy voters. Through some very rough math, based largely on the difference in the results between closed-primary states where only registered Democrats vote, and the open-primary states where independents could choose a Democratic ballot, I believe that about 1/4 of Senator Sanders's voters are protest voters and about 3/4 are policy voters.
Many of the protest voters will vote for Mr. Trump, not because they agree with his views, but because to vote for him is to say that the system is fouled and needs not just minor repairs but a major overhaul, one of the points that Senator Sanders made through the primary campaign. The protest voters don't support Mr. Trump's solution (if indeed he has one), but they are so strongly opposed to the political establishment that they will vote for the anti-establishment candidate whether he be left, center, right, or politically undefinable.
The policy voters, on the other hand, will almost all vote for Secretary Clinton over Mr. Trump. How could they not? Consider, for instance, foreign policy. Senator Sanders was the most pacifist of the candidates; Secretary Clinton has a track record of being quick to advocate force. On that ground one might favor Sanders over Clinton, as I did. But I don't see how anyone could conclude that Secretary Clinton is more bellicose than Mr. Trump. (I'm a little surprised that Mr. Trump hasn't set off a foreign policy crisis already, and he's not even been nominated yet.)
Or consider immigration. Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders hold similar views on immigration: provide some amnesty and a pathway to citizenship and legal status for the law-abiding majority. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, appears to oppose this nation admitting any immigrants that he can't marry, and his policy seems to be to build a wall, with nothing more. I think it would be fun to build a wall -- Banksy could make it a tourist attraction -- but only if the nation simultaneously adopts a process to let people in through the gates. Why should the workers on whom American agriculture depends have to pay smugglers to get them through the desert to their jobs? Mr. Trump offers rhetoric but no answer. Anyone who agrees with Senator Sanders on immigration can't possibly agree with the position that Mr. Trump espouses. (The spouses themselves are lovely.)
Is Hillary Clinton the perfect candidate? No. Is she likely to push major reforms through a hostile Congress? No. But is she more dangerous to the economy, to foreign relations, to education, and to equal rights than President Trump would be? No, no, no, and no. I'm not enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton as president, but I'm open to changing my mind, and I intend to vote for her in the general election.