Why The Hell Would A Bernie Supporter Rather Trump Win Than Vote For Hillary?
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Politics and Activism

Why The Hell Would A Bernie Supporter Rather Trump Win Than Vote For Hillary?

An Attempt To Understand The Perspective Of The "Bernie Or Bust' Movement

Why The Hell Would A Bernie Supporter Rather Trump Win Than Vote For Hillary?
Gage Skidmore

Imagine you're angry. Really angry. So angry that you're a few delegates and a parliamentary procedure away from raising hell in Nevada. You hate unbroken banks, and the mere thought of closed primaries nearly puts you into a rage-induced coma. Got it? All right, now you're ready to understand how the "Bernie or Bust" people could possibly be ready to hand the election to Trump if Hillary is the Democratic nominee.

Before we begin, I'd like to be clear: this is not an attempt at a defense of the Bernie or Bust movement. I'm not sure that, from the point of view of the left, it's a highly defensible position. But those who hold it are not necessarily crazy - this article is an attempt to understand what their motivation could possibly be. You can never participate in reasoned, useful discourse with another person if you don't understand where he or she is coming from first.

Now, some might take the route and explain that to not choose Bernie would be to controvert the will of the people, and that they couldn't ethically vote in that case. However, Hillary has a substantially higher number of votes cast in her favor, so that explanation is right out.

Others might argue that Hillary is insufficiently progressive, or that she's too corrupt. But, if one looks at some of her policies, she's actually fairly far to the left - despite her deceptively pragmatic approach. And honestly, in terms of corruption (or, really, any other flaw), Trump certainly is guiltier (or at least his advisors are). So what gives? Why would the supporters of the further left candidate prefer that someone slightly to their right lose to some very far to their right, so long as they're not forced to vote?

There are two categories of possible explanations. The first assumes that the decision is less about practical effects - less about weighing the two candidates' likely policies and impacts as president - and more about moral outrage being expressed through a protest vote. That might be what the answer is - it's certainly something I've heard. That they could not bear to vote for Hillary, who won in what they perceive to be (and, truthfully, what very well might be) a corrupt system.

There is, however, another possible explanation. The second category of these plausible justifications is all about pragmatics - which candidate's presidency would be ultimately preferable. I suspect that there might be a few Bernie or Bust-ers out there who have decided that between Trump and Clinton they'd rather Trump because they're playing the long con: they think Trump will be so awful that, in four years, their political revolution will have much more support as a result of Trump's harmful policies.

You see, if Clinton were elected, she'd likely pass or attempt to pass more incremental reforms - positive change, yes, but not the sweeping, immediate, drastic change promised by the Bernie. Nonetheless, things will improve - and the dissatisfaction that has fueled the rise of Bernie might be somewhat calmed by the improvements, no matter how minor. Trump, on the other hand, who promises tax cuts for the wealthy with a price tag of 10 trillion dollars, will only leave people feeling ever more disenfranchised - leaving room for a much more progressive agenda to take root. Thus four years of suffering are traded for the political revolution they so desire.

Do I know if that's what anyone's reasoning actually is? Nope, not at all. But hey. If you, like me, really really really really don't want Trump to win, it's imperative that we find out what these Bernie or Bust people believe.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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