Democratic primary and caucus voters in record numbers have given Barack Obama a lead in both the popular vote and delegates. He is expected to continue to lead in popular vote and pledged delegates through the remaining primaries and caucuses.

Unfortunately, some Hillary Clinton backers, including some wealthy party funders, are apparently demanding that she persist in a scorched earth type of campaign, regardless of the consequences. They hope superdelegates to the party convention will overturn the will of the majority of primary and caucus voters. Evidently some are urging Clinton to use any means necessary, including divisive fear-mongering and racism, to achieve this end. Unease is mounting among Democrats and progressive-thinking voters.

This slash and burn campaign hands a gift to the Republican right, regardless of who becomes the Democratic nominee. If Clinton gains the nomination through such tactics, it will make it more difficult to inspire and energize a united mass outpouring of voters — including the new voters, young voters, independents and even Republicans, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and so many more who have been moved into political activity by the Obama campaign — to deliver a landslide defeat to John McCain and his right-wing, anti-worker Republican agenda in November.

It would not only seriously damage the Democrats’ chances for the White House; it would also undermine every Democratic candidate for Congress.

For the American people, it would make it much harder to seize the historic opportunity we have this fall to end decades of right-wing rule and open a path to progressive advances.

It would be good to see Democrats unite behind the front-running candidate as soon as possible.

The upcoming April 22 Pennsylvania primary presents an opportunity to deliver a message: We the voters reject appeals to racism, scare tactics and dirty tricks. We want a campaign that brings people together, that can mobilize millions to defeat warhawk, anti-worker McCain and his right-wing backers.

We urge democratic-minded people around the country to join in the many ways to get involved in the Pennsylvania campaign. That grassroots people-power can get us united and on track to end the right-wing nightmare and move our country in a new, positive direction.