The top comment on Bernie Sanders‘ most recent Facebook post— which acts as a clarion call for his supporters to now support Hillary Clinton so that together we can defeat Donald J. Trump and advance a progressive platform:
“Intelligent Bernie supporters will NEVER support her because she stands for everything were fighting against. #neverhillary”
OK. This shit is sincerely scary for me to read and hear from many ex-Bernie backers (myself included) whom I either know or observe. Don’t misunderstand me: I see how Hillary is entrenched in a toxic establishment that we are longing to transcend. I too want deep, systemic change. And yet to paraphrase what’s at the heart of Bernie’s letter: NONE of the progressive policies that now make up (with thanks to Bernie and his supporters) the most progressive Democratic platform in U.S. history will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November.
The remainder of that top comment to which I’m responding reads: “Just because Bernie has left our movement does not mean it is over.” I agree, he agrees, everyone agrees! Where this sentiment takes a dangerous turn is in the illusion that it’s somehow more responsible for progressives to withhold support for Hillary in place of either another candidate or campaign at this point in the trail.
Zooming out, no matter your politics, I hope we can agree that the level of reform our country needs calls for a powerful balance of intense political pressure (Bernie’s movement of which I’m a part) and a sober acceptance of the current state of affairs. It’s a profoundly uncomfortable (and personal) balance to achieve with no “right” answer.
In this particular case, on the question of the direct consequences of voting for Hillary vs. not voting for Hillary, there can’t be any question about which is more beneficial to our political revolution. Bernie said so himself and I wholeheartedly agree.
Any alternative that doesn’t include voting for Hillary in November, I seriously, and with humility, disagree. If you’re in that camp, my hope is that we may have an open, respectful conversation to discover each other’s priorities and commitments.
I’m committed to advancing progressive policies this November. The most effective way I can see to achieve this is to support Hillary in becoming our next president and the Democratic party in defeating Trump. The dismantling of this incredibly shitty two-party system and, well—everything else—will have its turn next in our political revolution we’re all living through. Onward with a balance of power and patience!
I love you!
What do you think?