Bernie For Hillary

I love Bernie Sanders, and I loved him before I even knew he existed. He came into the picture last year embodying everything I had already believed in plus more on top of that. He is the clearest symbol for progress our country has ever seen, and he’s been pushing for it since before most of us (the younger voting audience) were even born.

I’d follow Bernie to the edge of the world, as would many of you, which means following him to Hillary’s side when she is the only option against a Trump presidency. Bernie understands that. I am completely for rebelling against our current corruption-filled political structures and have been very vocal about it. I would love to protest the system by refusing to vote and give my voice to something I see so much fault in, but this election cycle it’s just too dangerous. This demagogue had the largest voter turnout in Republican primary history. His campaign is fueled by the latent anger, fear, and hatred within so many Americans and his support numbers are staggeringly high. Despite this, I keep coming across progressives and liberals who think he has no chance in this election. We’re not supposed to be the ignorant ones. There is a real chance Trump could become the next president of the United States.

I’m no huge Hillary Clinton fan. This campaign cycle has brought to our attention many of the harmful things she’s said and done. Just to name a few, she is the shining example of corporate and media influence on the political world. Major news outlets have been skewed in her favor from the very outset of these campaigns. She has said quite a few offensive statements over the years. There is a lot of distrust in her, especially in regards to all the deleted emails. She has a terrible voting record when it comes to wars, and Haiti (and other Latin American countries) got messed up badly under her administration. I want to make it a point to not trivialize any of this, she has her detrimental faults.

She does have her share of positives though. Especially through this campaign cycle, Bernie has forced her and the DNC at least slightly out of the grey shadows of the center and onto more forward thinking solutions. She’s been vocal about a $12 minimum wage with a gradual increase to $15. She knows about the real dangers of climate change and says she wants half a billion solar panels by 2020. She talks about a woman’s right to making decisions about her own body and protecting planned parenthood. She has a tough stance on gun control. She says she’ll fight for LGBTQ equality. These are just a few examples, but especially domestically, she does have some good policies. In the words of Bernie himself, “between the two campaigns we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

Now there is a lot of justified anger towards the Democratic Party going on in the wake of these email leaks. Top officials who are supposed to remain neutral during the primary process clearly had a bias showing towards Hillary. There is a lot of justified anger at the current voting system in which millions of Americans didn’t get to vote during the primaries and their voices subsequently silenced. There is a lot of justified anger at the way mass media skewed public favor towards Hillary and made Bernie seem like a lesser candidate. However, if we let this anger get in the way of electing the only realistic choice left standing in between us and a Trump presidency, we will end up regretting it.

Right now we have to be pragmatic about the options that lay before us. The most powerful seat in the world should never have to be an option between “the lesser of two evils”, but we need to be honest that the negatives that come with Hillary barely scratch the surface of the horrific effects that could follow a Trump presidency. It’s necessary to address just how dangerous and regressive it would be if he wins.

Trump never gives real solutions, he just bad mouths those who oppose him and consistently says he’s going to do “great things.” His lies are blatant and constant, ranging from extremely incorrect statistics about black and Hispanic crime, false accusations against Obama and Hillary, and fear-mongering fictions about Muslims (just to name a few). Donald knows nothing about restructuring our education or healthcare systems. He knows nothing about dealing with foreign governments in a respectful and diplomatic way. He knows nothing about the true dangers our planet faces with climate change. In fact, he’s a denier of climate change, turning his back to what science shows is so clear around us, and in doing so he puts the entire planet at risk for catastrophe. Many of the people all around the world living in coastal regions who are barely, if even, contributing to climate change will be the first to feel it’s tragic effects, and his ignorance will be putting them in danger. He will do nothing to aid the black rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights movements that are still a very real part of our country. On the contrary, any progress on these fronts that’s been made over all these years will be backtracked between him and Mike Pence. He has insulted over a BILLION people with his statements on Mexicans and on banning Islamic immigrants. He knows just how racist America really is, and he’s capitalizing on it. Internationally, other countries are scared for us, and scared for themselves. Trump is open to using nuclear weapons. On torture, he believes “we should go for waterboarding and we should go for tougher than waterboarding”. He has no problem relentlessly bombing the families of suspected terrorists yet refuses to acknowledge that the real terrorism happening on American soil is coming from other Americans. Someone with such an utter lack of regard for human life should not be placed in charge of our military or our nuclear access codes. Just like Michelle Obama said in her DNC speech, “When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady, and measured, and well-informed.” These traits are just about the furthest things from what Donald displays.

The damage would continue to grow even past Trump’s own actions. Think about who he would nominate for the Supreme Court, a powerful seat that’s held for life, not just one or two terms. We also have no idea who he would fill his cabinet with, but rest assured it’s going to be people who have varying versions of his same ideologies. It’s baffling how millions think he’s going to help save them and be an honest voice for them when his entire history as a businessman is dotted with lies, cheating small businesses and local contractors out of money, and multiple bankruptcies. He is the textbook case for a sociopath which helped him earn his billions by carelessly stepping on other people, and this blatant disregard for humanity should be a glaring red flag in a presidential candidate.

We would be giving this hate filled man, I’m not even going to call him a man because most of the time he acts like a child, the most powerful seat in the world. Look at how much fear and anger he has amassed in our country after a year of political media attention….we can’t even imagine the harm he would do with 4 years (potentially 8) in the Oval Office. You may want to keep your hands out of this election and abstain from voting, you may want to vote for another party, but by not voting for Hillary, you are getting Trump one vote closer to winning. Right now there is no third option that’s actually going to compete, there are millions of voters in the older generations who are already set in stone for their support of Hillary or Trump. Many of them probably have no idea who the other candidates even are. One more time, fourteen million people voted for Donald in the primaries. Hillary is going to need every single vote she can get in order to beat him.

My fellow Berners, stop attacking Bernie and calling him a sellout for backing Hillary. He knows she is the only option against Trump, and their campaigns have worked together to make her a more progressive option. Having Hillary in the Oval Office would still be a step towards the country Bernie and his supporters fought so hardly for us to have. It’s not as rapidly transformative as he and many of us wanted, but it’s progress. Even if you don’t think you’ll be negatively affected by a Trump presidency, think about the millions across our country who surely will. If he wins, his backwards ideologies will shape the direction America goes. If he wins this election, so does racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny.

America is my home and I love my country. I love my fellow citizens and I know all the varying races, religions, sexualities, and other differences are what make America so amazing. They’re what make America, “America”. Trumps monochromatic image of what our country is, was, or is supposed to be, doesn’t fit into the reality of what life is actually like for so many Americans. Him and his supporters will try to force their fallacies onto a country guaranteed to reject it, because our beautiful diversities are what make us such a great nation.

I agree, we are in dire need of reengineering our political systems, but there are significantly more effective ways of doing so than by trash talking Hillary right now and abstaining to vote in one of the most high stakes elections in the history of the United States. The importance of us younger generations voting in local elections is becoming more and more of a conversation. We also have a voice in our congressional, mayoral, and judicial elections and it’s time to make ourselves heard in these branches of government as well. By doing so we can permeate progressive ideologies throughout all of our country’s political veins.

Regardless of if he’s in the White House or not, I will never call Donald Trump my president. However, we need to do anything in our power to stop him from holding that title, and that means going to the polls and voting for Hillary Clinton this November.