What we progressives must learn!
The saying “Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line” continues to be true.
We as a party cannot only nominate superstars to progress forward. When a transcendent figure like US President Barack Obama comes around, it is easy to fall in love and vote. However, not every nominee can be transcendent and it is our responsibility to continue to push for progress even if the nominee is flawed.
When we nominated Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, she was the only candidate in the general election that could have helped move the US forward. We failed her. We failed our values. We failed future generations. And we failed because we were selfish, thinking that if we were not completely in love, we would cast protest votes (third party, write-in, not vote) to provide ourselves with a “clean conscience.” However, it is because of our protest votes that US president-elect Donald Trump won. Numbers show progressives outnumbered conservatives in swing states (when comparing the number of votes and protest votes on each side). Even with Trump’s flaws, they still fell in line and voted for the most unqualified candidate ever, because they knew that to create change for a future they believe in, they needed to win.
We as progressives did not learn from 2000, but we must learn from this year. Winning is the only way to protect our values and create change. No matter how often we complain or protest, it will not matter, because they are in control.
We did not lose because we did not elect US Senator Bernie Sanders. Numbers show that Sanders had millions fewer votes than Clinton, and he did not get attacked and branded by the other side to affect his popularity. We also did not lose because we had a flawed candidate in Clinton. We have won with flawed candidates in the past. And their side continues to show us that no matter how flawed their candidate is, as long as they fall in line, even with the most flawed and unqualified candidate in history, they can still win.
We lost for a simple reason, we did not come together, but they did. Numbers show that more than 90 percent of conservatives in swing states voted for Trump. Numbers also show that if progressives did not cast as many protest votes compared with conservatives, Trump would not have won.
Therefore, I implore that we learn to keep our eyes on the ball. No matter who our candidate is in the future, no matter if you do not like him/her, vote for them. We vote not just for ourselves, but for our values, for our children, and what we believe the future should be. And only through winning can we affect change, and have a future where climate issues, women/minority rights and securing protection for those most in need can be protected.