Ambivalent Hillary Clinton Supporters: Do Not Say I’ll Be To Blame If “The Donald” Becomes President Because I Cannot Support Hillary In The General Election… Look In The Mirror

Patriotic Patty. Family photo, 1972, standing on the front porch of the new, not-yet painted home my father built.

Some of the smartest women I know are ambivalent Hillary Clinton supporters who worry about Bernie Sanders’ “electability” and the Congressional “gridlock” they forsee should he become elected. Several of them have told me I HAVE TO SUPPORT HILLARY IN THE GENERAL ELECTION IF SHE’S THE NOMINEE or I’ll have only myself to blame when Donald Trump is elected president.

Before I go any further, let me say I also know some Hillary Clinton supporters who are enthusiastic and will joyfully cast votes for the former First Lady and Secretary of State. I don’t agree with them. But respectfully, I agree to disagree. Since they’re firm in their decision, they can go ahead and taunt me a little bit if they want to. It’s the ambivalent ones who are eager to judge me who I wish to address. I do so with love. As I said, they’re some of the best people I know.

I became a Bernie Sanders supporter a few weeks after he announced his candidacy. Before then, I didn’t know anything about him and had hoped Elizabeth Warren would run. Back then I agreed with my ambivalent-about-Hillary-but-supporting-her-anyway friends. In fact, I issued the same warnings to people who told me how much they hated Hillary and could never vote for her. Are y0u crazy, I’d ask? Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t going to live forever! There’s so much more than the executive office riding on this election! I was really turned off by the hatred.

Just to be clear, I’m not a Hillary hater. I’m not a Sarah Palin hater, either. Generally speaking, I’m not much of a hater at all. I cringe at the word hate when associated with people. I say I hate liver and onions. I say I hate the weather in November when the trees are leafless and the grass is dead but there’s no snow on the ground yet and the sky is completely cloud-covered for days. Maybe I really do hate those things. But I don’t think I have the capacity to hate any person. The feelings I have toward “The Donald” come as close to hatred as a non-hater can get. I can’t stand to listen to him. I’ve completely written him off as a person who has possibility of redemption. I think he’s a psychotic narcissist who preys on the fears of decent people. A month or so ago when he called for the registration of all Muslims I was so heartsick I wrote to the Southern Poverty Law Center and pleaded with them to register his campaign as a legitimate hate group. I started a MoveOn.Org petition pleading with major media to boycott him. I can’t stand the guy and I think he would make the worst possible president in the history of presidents.

But I am not sure I will be able to bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton in the General Election if Bernie Sanders doesn’t win the nomination. And if that’s the case, it won’t be my fault if “The Donald” gets elected.

My highly-intelligent-ambivalent-about-Hillary girlfriends aren’t the only ones putting on pressure. Yesterday I felt so upset about the Clinton Campaign and media coverage of the 2016 election that as I climbed into bed, I told my sleepy boyfriend this troubling end-of-the-day thought, “I really don’t feel like I can support Hillary in the General Election if she’s nominated.” As he turned out the light he yawned and said, “Well then, prepare to call Donald Trump president.”

I tossed and turned thinking about it. This morning I woke up completely processed on the issue, with a clear conscience that told me this: “It’s ok if I can’t support Hillary Clinton in the general election. I don’t have to make that decision today but I can trust my gut instinct. If on election day I feel like I might throw up in my mouth if I vote for Hillary, then it’s OK. I can write in Bernie Sanders or neglect to check any box for president at all.”

Anybody who knows me well knows I feel things deeply. It may sound melodramatic when I say I might throw up in my mouth if I have to vote for Hillary in the general election. As a kid growing up my family frequently accused me of melodrama. So maybe I am melodramatic. But this is the fact. I felt so terribly about Hillary Clinton last night when I went to bed that I realized if I had to vote right then in a general election and the Democratic choice was Hillary Clinton, I would sincerely have an upset stomach.

I don’t like Hillary and I won’t apologize for it. I’m open minded and willing to consider that something could change my mind between now and Nov. 1. But the fact is this: I truly do not want to vote for her ever. My dislike for Hillary Clinton is infinitely less severe than my dislike for “The Donald.” I dislike him so much that I have trouble saying his name. But I dislike her as much as some of my liberal friends dislike Sarah Palin. I also dislike Sarah, probably even more than I dislike Hillary. But since she’s not a Democrat, my expectations for her are much different than they are for Hillary.

Before the 2016 election started my dislike of Hillary Clinton was not yet fully formed. This election cycle has pushed me firmly into the “disliking Hillary” category. Before then it was, meh, Hillary. I wasn’t crazy about her but I didn’t see any real harm in her, either. Three things have changed since then:

  1. For many months, I’ve watched all corporate media favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders to the point of a complete blackout of his campaign in 2015. As a former journalist this overt favoritism feels more tragic than unsettling. In addition to assuming she was the runaway favorite while five-figure crowds filled auditoriums across the country to rally for Bernie Sanders, I’m sickened by the TV interviews. By-and-large when reporters interview Hillary Clinton they roll soft-ball questions to her and fawn and gush at her responses. When reporters from those same networks interview Bernie Sanders they pitch fast balls, curve balls and hard balls in every attempt to make him look like an old-radical buffoon. Rachel Maddow is a noticeable exception to this pattern.
  2. Hillary now reminds me of Jan Brady, so much so I actually Googled “Is Hillary Clinton a middle child?” She’s not, so I’m not sure what her excuse is. Despite the fact that she’s received so much more media attention than Bernie, whose campaign literally has risen up out of the ashes, Hillary and her campaign management team constantly play the victim. They’re more concerned with exposing the faintest hint of negativity in the Sanders’ campaign then they are with forwarding their own platform. Everything is “Look what Bernie’s doing!” “Bernie’s picking on me!” “Bernie’s such a bully!” “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!” Gag. Seriously. Just gag me.
  3. I am more upset than ever about the influence of large corporate donations on campaigns — and it’s an issue I’ve been extremely concerned about for 15 years. Today I know the Clintons have procured more money through a well-oiled fundraising machine than any other American family ever has done. They’ve even outpaced the Bush family. So I don’t trust Hillary Clinton to fix the problem. How can I? I trust Bernie on this issue because he has a proven track record of standing up to corporate greed and big banks. Conversely, according to the Washington Post (which endorsed Hillary), in the past 15 years the Clintons have accepted more than $150 million in speaking fees and in the past 41 years they’ve secured $3 Billion through their well-oiled fundraising machine.

So you see, I’m just not feeling it with Hillary Clinton. Not at all. Am I attacking her? I am sure she and her campaign staff would say I am. But I don’t feel that way. I’m expressing my true feelings and providing facts to illustrate why I feel the way I do.

Am I sure I won’t vote for Hillary in the General Election if Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the nomination? No, I’m not sure. I might. I might not. I’ve decided I’m not ready to concern myself with that question yet because I don’t want to be sick to my stomach for the next nine months. In the end, I will follow my conscience.

Between now and then all I ask is this: If you are an ambivalent Hillary supporter, you better zip it if you feel the urge to judge me for the fact that I may not be able to support the Democratic heir apparent in a General Election.

You won’t guilt me into checking the Hillary box on election day. I’ll need to feel it from my heart. Please consider this: if you’re willing to vote for a candidate you feel so much ambivalence about in a primary election, and you’re looking for someone to blame if “The Donald” becomes president, maybe you should look in the mirror.

You are aware that 3 million individual donors feel passionately about the reform upon which Bernie Sanders’ campaign is based. You are aware that this momentum has the potential to carry Bernie to the White House. But you just can’t “feel the Bern” because some of those Sander’s supporters are rude and so mean to Hillary.

Well, let me ask you this: did you lose a job in the past decade? I did. Did you lose your life savings? I did. Did you go bankrupt from medical bills because you had a serious illness and no health insurance? I did. And I bet if you asked around the Bernie Sanders camp, you’d find at least a million people who have been through what I have been through and worse in the past decade.

If you’re going to vote for someone about whom you feel ambivalence, you have every right to do it. But I hope you will consider that your vote for that candidate is a vote against Bernie Sanders. So you’re every bit as responsible for putting “The Donald” in the White House as I am. Maybe it needs to happen, I don’t know.

I do know this: You can only see the stars when the sky is dark. Maybe the sky needs to get darker before our country is really ready for change. I hope not.

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