For an unprecedented number of people, Bernie Sanders was the ideal Presidential candidate. He spoke for the young generation and the values that they hold in highest esteem-- equality for women and help for the disabled, for instance. He made promises that actually seemed promising, all while carrying an air of authenticity that is lost on most politicians. For many, it was Bernie or bust.
However, this year's Democratic National Convention that just took place in Philadelphia ultimately decided that Hillary Clinton would be the official Democratic nominee. To say the least, a large minority weren't happy. The people that believed in "Bernie or bust" protested, walked out, boycotted-- they did everything they could do written in the books of civil disobedience. Most importantly, they refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton. A large part of them want to either vote for Jill Stein, a member of the Green Party, other third party candidates, or to write in Bernie Sanders as their vote.
And for me, that's where the "Bernie or bust" mentality becomes a mistake.
Everyone has a right to vote (well, if you're over 18) and with that right to vote comes a certain responsibility to both yourself and your state, and even your nation. In swing states especially, where the popular vote does actually mean something more than decided Republican or Democratic states, your vote counts.
In any other situation, in any other election, I believe that writing in a candidate or voting third party would be respectable. But not for this election. This election in 2016 is one of the most important ones our country has ever seen-- and Donald Trump is too much of a threat for it to be ignored anymore.
Bernie Sanders is not the Democratic candidate, but Hillary Clinton is. "Crooked Hillary" who tells lies and is essentially a representation of what could go wrong in a government. "Crooked Hillary" who knew about Benghazi and has thousands of emails that everyone wants to read. "Crooked Hillary" who iscrooked, but is still a better person for America than Donald Trump.
At the end of the day, the United States is a two party system-- if we're being real, a third party candidate could never really win. To vote third party or to write in Bernie on your ticket is a mistake, because all it is doing is taking away votes from Clinton and giving them to Trump. This is a time where some ideals have to be put aside to avoid what could be America's destruction and the decimation of the Republican Party as a whole.
"Bernie or bust" fans have to realize that it's time to choose the lesser of two evils: a woman who symbolizes the corruption of government, a "true politician," or a man who is a physical representation of what is wrong with our culture. Donald Trump is dangerous. He is impulsive, he has little understanding of both politics and the military, he has no respect for women or anyone not white and Christian-- he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, write off Obamacare completely, get rid of gun-free zones near schools. This man wants to ban Muslims from entering the country.
Donald Trump is a threat to the United States, but if an elected, he would be a threat to the world at large. The world is at too fragile a state for such a person to be elected into what is already the greatest country in the world.
And all that said, Hillary Clinton has her problems. Hillary Clinton is in no way the ideal Presidential candidate for the Democrats as everyone was hoping for. But she's so much better than him, in terms of a liberal social agenda that Bernie Sanders fans really loved him for, and in terms of political experience, both domestically and internationally.
The race is really between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and any votes that don't go to Clinton ensure that Trump will--horrifyingly-- succeed in becoming President. The effects of Trump becoming President are so unfathomably more detrimental than Hillary, that I implore every person that lives in a swing state and who plans on writing in Bernie or voting third party to reconsider your vote. Your vote is your vote, you have the right to vote and you have the right to completely ignore this plea; but vote without spite, and vote with the entirety of the United States (and even the world) at mind.
Vote who you want to vote for-- that is your right and that should never be taken from you-- but just consider all of this when you do.
Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary, and it wasn't selling out that made him do it: it was recognition that Donald Trump was the worst option and that realistically, it is Clinton or Trump. So maybe you should too.