A lot of people are frustrated that Sanders hasn't dropped out yet. As a Sanders voter, I agree he needs to withdraw, but I think far more important then when he drops out is how he drops out. He has raised a large number of issues, pushed the political conversation (and Clinton) to the left and above all energized young voters powerfully & importantly. He needs to drop out in a way that does several things:
1. Gives them a sense of all they accomplished. Because they accomplished a lot.
2. Imparts to them the absolute moral imperative of voting for Clinton over Trump.
3. Keeps the activists he has inspired engaged in politics, ideally spinning off organized movements and not just individual activists.
Those movements could be a lot of things; two important areas, in my view, are A) downballot organizing (nothing will happen without multiple victories at every level; Sanders's organization could and should be a powerful force pushing the democrats both left & into power), and B) issue organizing (holding all democrats' feet to the fire on issues of inequality, money-dominated politics, and the other issues that Sanders focused on). Ideally they'd do A through November and B thereafter, but any combination would be good.
Conceding last night wouldn't have down much for any of those three goals. So I don't think he should have done so. But he needs to be laying the groundwork. Will he/is he? The signs are mixed: a lot of (not entirely credible) reporting is portraying him as very personally bitter; at the same time, there are reasons to be hopeful (he requested & is having a meeting with Obama on Thursday). It could go either way. I hope he does the right thing. Taking his time & doing it carefully is not only consistent with that, it's necessary for it.
Electing Clinton is necessary to progress in every area Sanders supporters care about; it is sufficient for progress in none. If Sanders, and we, can bear that in mind, we'll do well. So keep hope alive, as another Democratic candidate who didn't receive his party's nomination used to put it.
Cross-posted from Facebook.