Look, I get it. It feels like a huge betrayal when the candidate you believed in endorses someone they spent months campaigning against. As a Bernie Sanders supporter, I find it difficult to accept that come November, he will not be able to make it to the Oval Office. However, it is not who will not make it to Oval Office that scares me, it is the possibility of who might make it there if we Bernie folks do not get behind Clinton.
If you have not yet figured out who I am referring to, it is Mr. Donald J. Trump. While the initial response to his possible presidency was received exactly as it should have been, with immense disbelief and ridicule, it soon became apparent that millions of disenfranchised, lost voters may actually make it happen. And from the moment that became clear, the Democratic Party’s primary goal shifted from choosing a candidate they believed was best for the country to just somehow being able to prevent Trump from becoming the president.
I am incredibly bothered by how many supporters think Bernie Sanders’ endorsement means that he’s a sell-out, when from day one, he clearly stated that he would “do everything [he] can” to stop Trump. He said this in early April by which he had already won a staggering number of nine primaries against the odds, but his purpose was the same even then as it is now. If those who say Bernie turned on them truly listened to his goals, this endorsement would not be surprising to them. While Hillary Clinton is part of the establishment herself, her presidency would still be somewhat beneficial to the progressives throughout the nation.
Plus, Bernie Sander’s platform is extremely cause-based, and by endorsing Clinton he is merging his bigger causes with the Democratic Party’s platform. Clinton has already adopted Sanders’ college tuition plan and $15-federal-minimum wage stance which is a huge win for Sanders and all of his supporters. According to an article from Los Angeles Times that came out shortly before the endorsement, Clinton has accepted several other policies by Sander’s campaign. DNC’s co-committee chair even stated that, “There has been no deliberation of a party platform like this in decades.”
The reason behind these changes was Sanders strong negotiations before the endorsement. He knew that it was wrong for him to ask his supporters to vote for someone whose policies differentiated strongly from his, so he ensured that now when Clinton gets elected, his supporters would also be heard.
Despite all of these efforts, saying #BernieorBust is not only selfish, but akin to saying #Trump2016. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party is bending over backwards to appeal to us because they know they need our votes in November to beat Trump. Of course, you can argue that there are also third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein that are more deserving of our vote than Clinton. But then ask yourself, can they truly defeat Trump from becoming our president? If there is even a slight hesitation to say yes, then stop saying #NeverHillary.
I think many of Sanders’ supporters who would rather not vote than vote for Hillary actually don’t think it is possible for Trump to win, or they do think it is possible, but simply don’t care for the outcome. Just take Brexit for example, the Leave and the Remain groups were just as tied in the polls as Trump and Clinton with Remain slightly in the lead like Clinton. But to everyone’s shock, the Leave EU campaign won and now the fates of thousands of immigrants in UK is in jeopardy. It is very much possible that we may see a Trump presidency if all of us Bernie Sanders voters don’t unite behind Clinton. So if you are a Sanders supporters who plans on not voting, don’t vote for Clinton, vote against Trump.
If Trump starts rounding up and deporting millions of innocents who have built successful lives in this country and are contributing members of society, or starts to ask Muslims to wear badges stating of their identity, I, for one, would proudly know that this was not the fate of the country I voted for. Make sure you can say the same.
Link for Bernie saying he’ll do everything: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/275180-sanders-ill-do-everything-i-can-to-stop-trump-white-house
Link for the LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-democrats-platform-bernie-sanders-20160710-snap-story.html