As a Bernie Sanders supporter, coming to the realization that he wouldn't win the nomination after all was heartbreaking. I had spent so much of my time and money trying to help this inspiring man spark a revolution. I, like millions of other supporters, felt strongly that the billionaire puppet masters needed to be stopped. I felt that the government should do all it could to ensure every American could find healthcare and higher education. Bernie Sanders sparked a wave of Democratic Socialism in this country.
Bernie did not win the nomination; however, he did spark a revolution. Sanders' platforms and massive popularity forced Hillary Clinton to move towards the Left. He forced the entire Democratic Party to begin focussing on populist issues. This ultimately led to Hillary clinching the candidacy. However, while he lost the nomination, he was not unsuccessful. He pushed the Democrats to accept universal health care, college tuition, and paid family leave. He opened the eyes of Americans to the massive income inequality in this country and led the people on a mission to take the country back from the hands of billionaires. He emphasized the power of money in politics and pushed for major economic reforms and the people listened.
Now that he lost the nomination, the people are still angry. They still believe in Sanders' vision and they want to feel in power again. The people want to take down the powers that be and reclaim this country in the name of The People, not The Elite Few.
Many staunch Sanders supporters embarked on a mission of "Bernie or Bust," meaning that they will vote only for the Vermont Senator and no one else. Now that he is out, they refuse to vote.
This is a severe problem, as many Americans are fed up with the status quo and are afraid of the uncertainty in the world. Many want a change of pace and a new approach to the many issues we face. An overwhelming majority of Americans supported a fringe candidate, operating on a grassroots movement, who spewed radical ideas that would change the fabric of this nation. Many of them were for Bernie, but the rest were for Trump. One led to unity, the other through fear.
Now that Bernie is out, many disgruntled voters are leaning towards Trump and straying away from Clinton, the battered, hotly debated, hard to trust Democratic champion. Many Bernie Sanders supporters don't believe that Clinton will uphold the values of his campaign. They feel she will make empty promises in order to get elected. While this is valid, she will at least keep the status quo open enough for a push from the people to rise up.
If Hillary is elected, she'll do as much as she can for women and children, protecting abortion rights and creating mandatory parental leave initiatives. She will maintain Obamacare and possibly expand it if she feels pressure from Democratic voters and support from Democratic Congressmen. She will try to help students from low-income families go to college and not worry about money. The main issue of the Sanders campaign that she is not clearly on a similar page with is income inequality. She'll recognize that it is wrong, but she has a strong history of helping big business.
If Trump is elected, he'll attack women's rights, deport thousands of Hispanic families, including children, and create a Nazi-esque societal distrust and ostracization of Muslim Americans, not allowing them to leave the country, and torture those he suspects have ties to terrorism. He will tear apart Obamacare and try to assist many Republican Governors in shrewdly preventing policies such as abortion rights and LGBT rights. He will abandon free trade policies and go into a trade war with China, Mexico, and the European Union. He will either become BFFs with Putin, or go to war with him, and he has advocated war crimes against the people of the Middle East.
There are also two side candidates that are running, Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party. Stein feels like a Sanders groupie to the extreme. She has many good ideas, but very little experience and is a fringe candidate. Johnson, however, was an immensely popular Governor of New Mexico and has many strong platforms that resonate strongly with disenfranchised Republicans who dislike both Trump and Clinton.
Johnson believes in free trade, small government, and social freedoms. He is okay with gay marriage, abortion, and different religions. He is fiscally and politically conservative, wishing to stay out of foreign affairs as much as possible and reduce government spending. He also agrees with the ideas of income inequality and would do his best to address this while also allowing business to act normal. His philosophy is freedom for everyone and everything, so long as no one is hurt or disenfranchised.
Sanders supporters can't back out and not vote. They must pick any candidate they believe would help push their revolution forward. Clinton backs almost all of Sanders' platforms to some extent, but is sketchy on the economic issues Sanders raised. Johnson is socially on par with sanders, but not financially or politically.
Bernie Sanders himself backed Clinton because he knew she was the best bet for his revolution to move forward. He knew that she would at least get the ball moving for many of his platforms. He knew that while she herself may not be open to all of his ideas, her administration would be tolerant of a wave of protests and petitions from Democrats asking her for more. He knew that in her Presidency, an aura of Progressivism and Populism could rise from the ground up. He knew that if many Progressive Senators and Congressmen and women were elected, they could push many of his platforms and that Clinton would surely sign those bills.
Bernie or Bust voters need to follow the lead of their fearless leader. He knew he couldn't win and decided to back the next best option. He expects his voters to do the same. Supporting Gary Johnson or Jill Stein would be grand, but Clinton is also the best bet to defeating Trump. She is the only one within a decent margin (and convincing many confused Republicans to vote Gary Johnson wouldn't hurt either.) We stand on the precipice of political upheaval in any direction. The people are so divided that any way the election goes, there is a large chance of the Two Party System crumbling to the ground. A revolution is coming, Bernie Sanders supporters need to decide if it's going to be theirs, or Trump's.