Dear Bernie supporters:
I wish I could find the words to make you understand. Yes, I support Hillary Clinton because I think she is the best candidate to handle the job in the running right now. I know we disagree strongly on this.
But I am not a corporate shill. I have not been duped by the “lame stream media.” I am not turning a blind eye to the problems that are facing us as a country and the way in which she may not be the optimum candidate. I came to this decision after a great deal of considered thought. I really wish Martin O’Malley had been able to compete: to the left of Hillary and with the executive experience Bernie lacks, he was really the candidate I supported. I came to support Hillary after he dropped out.
I am firmly in the Al Franken, Kristen Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party. We need to pull the party to the left, and Bernie’s candidacy has done that. To tell you the truth, I am pretty stoked about that. If we can regain Congress, with a Democratic president who will nominate a Supreme Court Justice who is not a right-wing ideologue, we just might get Citizen’s United overturned. And Shelby County v. Holder (although that will require Congressional action as well). And we can reaffirm Roe v. Wade, and make sure that Obergfell doesn’t get watered down. With a progressive Congress we can enact job protections for LGBT people. And work to make sure that women have access to reproductive and other health services, as well as equal pay.
But the thought that you might vote for Donald Trump makes my blood run cold. Or that you would sit out the election, helping Donald Trump — as well as Republican Senators and Representatives — to an office which would allow him to destroy the lives of so many Americans makes me want to cry.
So if I seem angry, if I seem to lash out, it’s because I am very, very, frightened. I remember 2000, and the people who thought George W. Bush wouldn’t be that bad, and that it didn’t matter because he would be a one-term president. We all know how that worked out: I have friends who spent time fighting in Iraq, and other friends who have sent sons there. I do not want to see that again.
Every election is important, but this one is crucial. The Republican Party has gone from being conservative to being completely unhinged, and they must not be allowed to prevail in November.
Finally, if you just cannot bring yourself to vote for Hillary (although I really, really hope you do) please still vote. Vote for progressive candidates in every office from dogcatcher on up. That’s the way that we will change this country. A fifteen dollar minimum wage is important nationally, but in the absence of that we can pass it at the local and state level if we just elect candidates who care about working people. That’s what we’ve done most of the cities in the county where I live. That’s what they did in Seattle. Change can start at the local level, and spread.
Please, for the love of God, don’t sit back and bask in ideological purity while those who do not have that luxury suffer.
Even without Bernie, we can have a political revolution. It just has to start at the bottom up, rather than the top down. Don’t assume that because you can’t have Bernie as the Democratic nominee you can’t make significant change for the lives in your community right now. Just ask the former DAs in Chicago and Cleveland, who are out of a job because the Black Lives Matter movement decided that they needed to go, because they didn’t want to bring the cops who shot young black men and children to justice.
Please. Let’s stop arguing and start talking about making real change for the most vulnerable people in our country.
Ahh, that “We’ll vote for Trump” stuff is just smack talk in the heat of the moment. As long as she adopts enough of the policies and addresses the problems Bernie brought to the table first, we’ll vote for her.
I hope you’re right. As I said, I remember 2000. I think Bernie is going to get one significant thing: I think he is going to be able to get the party to push state legislatures to adopt open primaries.