Hi Yvonne! I admire your enthusiasm and passion. The other day I was listening to a forum on NPR about the current presidential candidates. The forum was composed of women, both republicans and democrats, and the conversation primarily focused on women’s issues in relationship to the candidates. The end of the forum, one woman said, I paraphrase, “at the end of the day you have to have passion about your candidate”. It’s so true. The last candidate I had passion for was Jimmy Carter in 1980 (yes, there were people enthused about him, and I was one of the 10 people who voted for him in the general election that year!); this year, there’s no scale to measure my dislike for the republican candidates and their party platform, and on the democratic side I’m not feelin’ it from either candidate. I’m engaged, but, it least for me, this political season is like a glass house, everyone is inside, and I’m stuck on the outside, with no ticket to get in, relegated to watching.
That’s fine, with no horse in the race, I can stand by the sidelines and watch and listen to the spectators. When people are passionate, I always pay special attention — it’s interesting to hear why a born-again Christian is so committed to Ted Cruz, or a Trump supporter is so enthusiastic about him. If the reporter is good and questions the supporters, it’s easy to see that while supporters have passion for their candidates, they don’t necessarily equate the candidates policies and the negative impact it will have on their own well-being — they just love their candidate! That’s what passion will do sometimes: make us make choices that are inimical to our own self-interest.
Your post is filled with passion, but there seems to me a contradictory message. You state that 33% of Bernie supporters have taken the “Bernie or Bust” pledge (your post is the first I heard about it)driven in large part from the character failings of Hillary Clinton. That’s fine, too. The contradictory part for me starts with your statement, “Berners are some of the most politically astute people I know” and followed by Berners taking this pledge. What does not seem too astute, is that short of Sanders winning the primary there’s no alternative. As feebly progressive as the Obama administration has been, I certainly don’t want to walk back any gains that have been made in healthcare, environmental law, civil rights, or any other progressive gains that have been eked out over these past seven years. I don’t understand how one can be politically astute and think if Sanders can’t be president that a Trump or Cruz administration would be better than Clinton.
Come November 8th, whether he wins or loses the primary, Bernie Sanders will be voting. If he does lose, I’m sure he’s going to tell all his bernreaved (sorry, I could not resist) to get out and vote, as it’s in their interest. Yes, you would be bummed to see Clinton sworn in in January, but just think how bleak you’ll feel when you have to say, “President Trump”. Think of all that passion, “and you blew it”.