My Fellow Sanders Supporters
Just because you aren’t going to get your way doesn’t mean you should vote for Donald Trump
Last night Bernie Sanders suffered a pretty shocking defeat in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. 5 states and their respective delegates were up for grabs and Sanders was only able to walk away with 1: Rhode Island. His victory was powered mostly by the student population in Providence. Given Sanders string of 9 victories a victory in New York and a 4 state victory was just the thing Hillary Clinton needed to galvanize the energy and momentum in her direction and put her over 2000 pledged delegates, well on her way to the 2123 she needs to win on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Many Sanders supporters would be quick to remind me that there are “voting irregularities” in New York that are being investigated and that things were so messy in Nevada that Sanders ended up with more delegates then he won on the night he voted. Sanders supporters will also point out that these facts have been little covered in the media. Many Sanders supporters have written into the show complaining about the mainstream media narrative being in favor of Clinton and against Sanders and that they are unduly influencing the election. My GOP friends (of which I have many) would remind me that “indictments” from the FBI are coming and that the Democratic party should not be putting forth a nominee that will be facing a full federal investigation in regards to her emails and the sharing of classified information on her private server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Cenk Uygur is hanging all of Mr. Sander’s hopes on Clinton being forced out by an investigation.
When it comes to voting irregularities, I’m sure the state attorney in New York will quickly find out what (if anything) went wrong with the voting of people in New York.
The FBI has been claiming that indictments are coming down for months now and yet, the indictments still aren’t here. I will believe it when I see the news story come across the wire.
There is no grand media conspiracy to denigrate Bernie Sanders. There have been plenty of articles written about Bernie Sanders, he has gotten plenty of coverage. If anyone has been sucking the air out of the proverbial media room it’s Donald Trump.
With that in mind, we stand in a situation where it seems like Bernie’s chances of getting the nomination have, in the course of about 10 days gone from very good to nearly impossible. This has caused many Bernie Sanders supporters, already deeply unsatisfied with Clinton’s corporate ties, many scandals, and other problems to be even more disaffected. Indeed her victories reinforce the internally-generated Bernie Sanders message that there is too much money in politics, the corporate media is against any candidate that the “99%” want in power and that our politics is bought and sold by wealthy people and corporate interest. When the whole world is against you, the only thing that will satisfy this anti-political urge is victory against the poisoned political machine.
That may not happen in the case of Bernie Sanders.
But Sanders supporters can take heart. They have moved the political dialogue of this season to the left and indeed the American conversation for this election. Bernie makes the GOP sound crazy and out of touch and he has successfully turned Hillary into something resembling an actual progressive. Will she go to the right in the election? Probably not, the right is poisoned with the spectre that is Donald Trump. His bloviating tendencies and extreme conservatism will keep her to the left because that is what Americans want right now. They want real solutions to pressing problems.
There is however, one trend that is worrisome: Bernie Sanders supporters are moving to the right and deciding that if they can’t have Bernie they’d rather have Trump than Hillary. Many of these people were the same people that were outraged because of things that Trump said about Muslims and immigrants. But now that it looks like their guy might be dropping out in the coming weeks or at least going to the convention to watch the actual first ballot occur and watch Hillary become the party’s nominee; they aren’t happy and not content to work from within. It is this behavior that sets the party back, sets back progressivism and quite honestly really pisses me off.
The simple matter is this: you aren’t getting your way and like selfish little children, you’ve decided to take your ball and go home. That kind of attitude won’t get you far in politics, life, or much of anywhere else. Being contrary for the sake of being contrary is counter-productive to any progressive vision that you claim to stand-up for in public.
If you would rather vote for a racist, fascist, blow-hard than vote for someone who we can use our voice to influence; please leave the progressive movement now and be honest about your true political leanings. To those of us who deal in politics regularly, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the political kitchen. If seasoned politicos took this attitude every election, very little would get done. Some of the Bernie supporters have bullied, been disruptive, and generally malcontent. To me, this belies their real progressive ideals and betrays that their support of an agenda goes no farther than the person of Bernie Sanders. When major Supreme Court decisions come up, when it comes time to pass legislation, where will they be? What’s worse is that this happens in the progressive movement over and over again. It is counter-productive.
However, I would like to reach out to Sanders supporters and tell you this: I caucused for Sanders in my state of Washington and I will vote for him in our semi-open primary in a few days time. I know full well that things look rather bleak for someone who I think would be the best thing to happen to this country since FDR but I am already Ready for Hillary and most importantly, I’m ready to get a progressive agenda moving.
That agenda doesn’t even inch forward with Donald Trump in the White House.
Let’s come together with Hillary supporters and show the world that when it comes to the hard decisions, to borrow a phrase, “Yes We Can.”
Originally published at The Cameron Cowan Show.