Like millions of supporters of Bernie Sanders, I have not quite gotten over his loss to Hillary Clinton. I didn’t expect it to sting this bad, but for me, Bernie wasn’t just another politician or candidate, but a rare leader who means what he says, keeps his word and takes bold risks. I feel like Bernie was a game changer.
Perhaps more importantly, to this day I feel like Bernie would have been a much better opponent for Donald Trump than Hillary and I am disgusted that the Democratic establishment clearly did everything in its power to make sure Bernie didn’t win. Bernie has none of Hillary’s weaknesses and is so amazingly different from Donald that the contrasts in character and policy would’ve been so clear for the country to see.
In the end, though, Bernie lost on votes. I won’t quite say he lost “fair and square” — because everything wasn’t fair or square, but I am convinced, as are my closest friends in his campaign, that if everything was fair and square, Bernie still would’ve lost to Hillary. If everything was fair and square, Bernie would’ve still been blown out in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Texas. Hillary crushed Bernie in the Deep South and the difference in delegates can be found there. It wasn’t even close in those states. Hillary’s ties there paid off and the Sanders campaign struggled to figure out how to resonate in meaningful ways in most of those states. Had Bernie tied or narrowly lost to Hillary in those places, he might be our nominee right now. That’s not what happened.
The Democratic National Committee sucks. Superdelegates suck. Big money from lobbyists and SuperPACs suck. The primary between Hillary and Bernie taught me about so much of what is wrong with politics, but again, Hillary won. She earned more pledged delegates. Clearly she racked up on superdelegates. I hate the system, but in the system we have, she won. I’m repeating myself because I know it’s her earned victory that has been particularly hard for many Sanders supporters to accept.
I’ve played over in my mind a hundred different scenarios that I think could’ve translated into a victory for Bernie, but here we are. It’s essential that we at least accept the full facts of where we are, because we have to decide where we go from here. We cannot get stuck here spinning our wheels because we have important decisions to make.
I actually like Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party a lot. I have deep admiration for what the party stands for and what they are trying to do by being a true hub of progressive values. At this point, I trust the Green Party more than I trust the Democratic Party.
Jill Stein, though, cannot win against Hillary and Donald — period. It won’t happen. No matter what we say or think it won’t happen. It’s not going to happen. I don’t think Stein or the Green Party are spoilers. They are earnest in every way and it is up to Hillary to earn votes. However, Jill and the Green Party cannot win this election. They will not win a single state. They will not win a single congressional district.
I have actually grown to like the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. He is a skilled, experienced leader with principles he actually believes in. He cannot and will not win. He will not win a single state, even his own, and I doubt he will win a single congressional district. Like Jill and the Green Party, I don’t see Johnson and his party as spoilers. They are running on ideas and principles.
The bottom line is that the candidate with over 270 electoral votes on Election Day will become the next President of the United States. It’s not really one election, but 50 different elections. Nate Silver and the team at 538, say that if the election was held today, Donald Trump has a 54.1% likelihood of becoming the winner. That’s terrifying.
In no reasonable scenario will Jill Stein or Gary Johnson win and the odds of Hillary winning are getting worse, not better.
I’m reading a lot of people quote random sayings from gurus and heroes on how we should never allow fear to guide us. I understand the spirit of those quotes, but sometimes we must act based on the dangerous possibilities we are facing.
I have studied Donald Trump for over a year now. I’ve written more articles about him, his bigotry, his sexism, his xenophobia, and the terrible policy ideas he has that flow out of those things than almost any writer in the country. I believe he is a racist. I believe he is a white supremacist bigot. I believe he is a phony and a fraud. I believe he is a con artist. I believe he is a man of the lowest moral character. I believe he is a stone cold liar.
Most of all, though, I believe Donald Trump poses a dangerous threat to three particular groups of people that I love — immigrants, Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement. To be clear, I am not saying that Hillary Clinton is a savior or hero to those three groups, but what Donald Trump means to them is substantively and significantly worse.
I have friends who are undocumented immigrants in this country. Many have lived here for decades. They are wonderful people and see themselves not just as undocumented immigrants, but as undocumented Americans. They work. They pay sales tax. They raise wonderful children. They love this country and chose to be here. They obey the laws at rates higher than average citizens.
Donald Trump has pledged to forcefully deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants in 18 months. That’s over 450,000 people per month. He has not said how he will do this or where he will deport these people because saying so would show us all that his plan horrifically resembles something akin to Nazi Germany.
Donald Trump, if elected President of the United States, would not need congressional approval to enact such a plan. He could do this on his own using current laws. The President is not powerless.
For this policy idea alone, I believe it is worth whatever sacrifice or stance we must take to stop Donald Trump. The man is a liar, but I believe if elected that he would make good on this mass deportation plan and make good on his pledge to pour our national resources into building a bigger wall across our southern border. He doubled down on these very ideas in his keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.
Secondly, President Donald Trump would pose a serious threat to American Muslims, their families abroad, and any Muslims trying to visit our country. Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed that he would be interested in banning all Muslims from entering the country. At first he said he would even ban American Muslims visiting abroad from re-entering before slightly backing down. Now he is talking about banning every person from particular regions or countries from entering the United States. Mind you, of the hundreds and hundreds of mass shootings in this country, only one Muslim immigrant, the wife of the San Bernardino shooter, has been identified. Most mass shooters in America are white and nearly all of them are born and raised in America — including the Orlando shooter, the Dallas shooter, and so many others. Beyond that, the overwhelming majority of murders in America are from homegrown men and women who just have outrageously easy access to our abundance of guns.
This notion of giving people religious tests to determine if they are Muslims or not is horrifying. The idea that entire countries full of people would be banned from entering the United States is preposterous. Both notions put policy on the idea that Muslims are dangerous and that people from certain countries, who look a certain way, if they are Muslims or not, are dangerous. If this does not trouble you, check your heart and soul. If this does not trouble you, read your history books and see what happens when people from certain religions or ethnic groups are targeted. It gets ugly very quickly.
Lastly, I believe that President Donald Trump would pose a grave threat to the safety and security of the Black Lives Matter Movement and all of us who are in it. Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee, who was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention, has called us “scum” and “terrorists.” Trump may very well empower Sheriff Clarke to serve in his cabinet. Beyond that, though, Trump himself, during his speech at the convention and elsewhere, has alluded to restoring “law and order” in a way that suggests his intentions are to crackdown on protestors and dissenting voices. I fully believe that Donald Trump would be a J. Edgar Hoover type for the Black Lives Matter Movement. I would fear for my own safety and the safety of my brothers and sisters in the movement.
Furthermore, Trump has emboldened white supremacists and bigots from coast to coast. They love him. They have expressed this in every way possible.
I have serious qualms with Hillary Clinton and with the Democratic Party, but I have more than qualms with Donald Trump — I have grave concerns. Maybe you don’t have undocumented friends. Maybe you don’t have Muslim friends. Maybe you are not in the Black Lives Matter movement. And maybe because you are disconnected from those three groups, you don’t really see and feel the threat that Trump poses to them, but it is very real.
We all have to make choices here. I am choosing to follow Bernie’s lead in supporting Hillary Clinton. I am sure it is exponentially harder for him than it is for me or for you, but I trust this man. He knows that we only have two real choices for President. It’s either going to be Clinton or Trump. Period.
You can vote for Jill Stein. You can vote for Gary Johnson. You can write in Bernie. You can sit out and not vote. You can vote for Deez Nuts, but know this, because of the way our system is shaped right now, either Clinton or Trump will become President of the United States and your vote or no-vote will all play a role in who gets elected.
If you know me at all, you know that I have nothing but love and respect for each of you who want to change this system once and for all. I do too — badly. After this election, I will do everything in my power to explore and expand our options. I am not satisfied with where we are, but with everything in me, I am convinced that President Trump will be a problem that we all regret way more than President Clinton.
Lastly, and I know this is hard for some of you die-hard Bernie supporters to accept, Hillary Clinton does have some good stances, views and ideas. Bernie has forced her to the left on many issues. The official platform of the Democratic Party is as progressive as it has ever been. Yes, I know it’s not binding and that they can simply ignore it and do whatever they want, but I believe a real chance exists that Bernie’s influence on the Democratic and the influence of the millions of us who voted for him, may actually cause Hillary Clinton to be more progressive than she ever would’ve been without us. I think that the coming resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz from the DNC all but shows us that our power and influence is real.
Let’s not blow this. I know voting for Hillary Clinton is going to be tough when you believe in your heart that better options were available, but it’s time for us to rally behind Bernie and stop Trump. I’ve never said this before, but I believe that stopping Trump is a national emergency. He is that big of a threat and he is starting to pull ahead in the polls.
This is not a test. This is not a game. Please, join me, join Bernie, and get behind Clinton so that we can stop Trump together. Hold your nose if you must. Do whatever it takes, but please join us.
Credit : nydailynews.com