We don’t need a politician to lead us in a progressive revolution.
On the eve of one of the most exciting presidential primaries in New York, I am very proud to stand alongside my partner with Secretary Hillary Clinton. I don’t think that I can state my case for her any more eloquently than he did, but I do want to speak to any of my friends who may be feeling torn between “being a progressive” and voting for Sanders and “being a pragmatist” and voting for Clinton. I also want to speak to those friends who have told me flat out that you cannot be a progressive and vote for Clinton.
There is no such dichotomy. Voting for Sanders does not make one any more of a progressive than voting for Clinton does. Voting for Clinton does not make you any less of a progressive.
No vote for a politician makes you a progressive. What makes you a progressive is the meeting you hold the day after election to plan how you will accomplish your progressive goals. What makes you a progressive are the doors you knock for your cause. What makes you a progressive are the people you organize to work with to win a $15 minimum wage or funding to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic or to roll back discriminatory voter laws or end our racist system of mass incarceration. What makes you a progressive is the phone bank you run or the action you stage to hold your elected officials accountable to progressive values so that they vote for the interests of the people, not the donors.
Progressives do not need a politician to lead us in a revolution. We are the revolution that will lead (or drag along) the politicians to a fairer and more just society. Revolutions are not led from the White House, they are lead in the streets and in living rooms and community meeting rooms late into the night.
I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because I know that, even if she is not perfect on the issues, she knows how to bring people together, how to listen to opposing sides, and how to chart a strategy forward to achieve real change. I want Hillary Clinton to lead our country’s executive branch, and I want Bernie Sanders and his movement to help build the revolution that leads her and our governors and mayors and our Congress and our state legislatures and our city and town and county councils down the progressive path to a fair and just society.
Whoever you vote for in tomorrow’s primary, don’t let that be your contribution to the progressive movement. Get involved in your community, hold those in power accountable, and make change happen.
#ImWithHer and, yes, I’m a progressive.
Barry Weinberg is a member of West Harlem Progressive Democratic Club. His views are his own.