An Open Letter to My Fellow Sanders Supporters

I’m with you, I’m frustrated, and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.

First, an allegory making the rounds on twitter that I feel perfectly sums up the face-spiting-nose-cutting-off that is being espoused by some:

Your local beer store is out of your favorite beer, but they’ve got one that’s pretty decent. However, instead of opting for an OK beer, and hoping they’ll have your favorite in stock next time, you storm home and drink a bottle of bleach.

Drumpf is a non-option. His presidency would likely be disastrous for many of the progressive values we hold, assuming we are unable to flip one or both chambers of Congress.

I find the “Drumpf and Clinton are equally terrible” argument impossible to square with reality. Clinton has been a prominent political figure for three decades, constantly in the spotlight. Yet the most damming condemnation that can be placed at her feet throughout her entire career is that she was “extremely careless” in the handling of classified information while Secretary of State.

Fair enough, that is unacceptable. It should not have been allowed, it has been addressed head on by multiple investigations, and behavior will doubtless change as a result.

Suffice it to say, a private email server would hardly be considered newsworthy among the litany of scandals on Drumpf’s rap sheet. Not to mention the slew of dangerous personality traits that make him entirely unfit for the duties of Commander-In-Chief.

On a personal note, he’s currently suing my hometown, the city he hopes to preside over, to cheat us out of tax revenue from his latest hotel…

This isn’t apples to oranges, this isn’t even apples to vegetables.

This is apples to supernovas.

One is demonstrably beneficial, albeit somewhat run-of-the-mill. One is large, loud, flashy, and one of the most destructive forces known to science. The Economist rates a Drumpf presidency as one of the top 10 risks to the global economy and geopolitical stability. No one alive who has held the office thinks he is worthy of it, and the list of prominent Republican who do not support him is substantial, and getting longer.

Fine, like counting to five with a grenade in your hand, Drumpf is right out.

But what about voting for a third party, someone truly progressive like Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein?

Honestly, I’m all for amending the constitution to correct the shortcomings of a first-past-the-post system. Until we do that, however, third parties will never be viable in the Unites States, and far left or far right third parties will only serve to hurt center left or center right candidates.

OK, so no third parties and definitely not Drumpf.

But still, why should I support the Democratic Party? They have ignored my voice.

If there’s one thing we should take away from Sanders’ and Clinton’s political careers it’s that change isn’t easy; it takes time, but that doesn’t make it any less worth fighting for.

I’m overjoyed with the wave of support for Sen. Sanders. It has illuminated an enthusiastic progressive element within the Democratic Party I honestly wasn’t sure existed.

Yes, it has been nasty at times, it has been exasperating. Many Sanders supporters have felt for the first time the condescension from party-line Democrats typically reserved for rural Republican voters.

But contentious democratic primaries aren’t new, they aren’t going away, and I would argue they are healthy for a big tent political party. In terms of giving voice to the progressive left, Sanders’ campaign was a resounding success. Our goal now should be to carry that success forward, to ensure that his campaign meant something, and to move our country and our politics ahead in due course.

In an era of seemingly unbreachable divides we must seek to be the bridge builders, not the tantrum throwers and certainly not the wall builders. Democrats from all persuasions need to listen, and to hear each other. And then we must act to improve, to ensure that the valid concerns raised by all sides are addressed, for the benefit of the party and the union.

But first, we must elect Hillary Clinton.

“We all do better when we all do better.” — Paul Wellstone