I voted for #Bernie Sanders in the primary. I did so with pride and conviction. I still, till this day, revere this man wholeheartedly. I firmly believe that he espouses all that is good and pure about our country. He embraces those things that are in essence what this country should be. If he were the nominee of any party that would be that party I would campaign for, vote for, donate to, and do everything humanly possible to help him get elected. Unfortunately, he is not the nominee and he has endorsed #Hillary Clinton. At first, in all honesty, that endorsement from Bernie was hard to comprehend. However, after much deliberation and soul searching, I support her as well over #Donald Trump.
Before I explain why I support her, let me preface this explanation by saying this-I loathe Hillary #Clinton. Second only to Trump, she is my least favorite person to ever run for office. She embodies, in character or lack thereof, everything that is wrong with Politicians. She is inconsistent, essentially she will say whatever, at the time, is politically expedient (thankfully, what is politically expedient right now is the message of Bernie Sanders). She loves war, I am unfamiliar with a time she has not been willing to support a war or even create an invasion (thankfully, war is very discouraged now in the US). She isn’t a personal supporter of LGBTQ rights (Thankfully she realized she needed to be publicly and therefore, joined the fight for equality). She has said very racist things against certain minority groups and Bill Clinton is the king of dog whistling (thankfully, being racist may work for Trump and FOX supporters, but not most of America). She doesn’t personally support the efforts of the middle class she adopts, as I said earlier, whatever is politically expedient (thankfully, the middle class issues are at the forefront of this election). There are so many issues I have with Hillary Clinton that I could go on for a really long time. I do not support her because I like her, I don’t like her and I don’t have to like her in this election season – I just have to love our country too much to allow it to diminish because my dislike of her supersedes any rationale. If I thought there was a viable way to defeat Trump and not vote for Hillary, I would do that in a heartbeat and never write this. There isn’t an option – it’s Hillary or Trump.
First, Trump may be the most inept and uninformed person to ever run for office as anything, anywhere, in the history of the world. He refuses to learn what he doesn’t know and believes that relying on instinct replaces conventional wisdom, research, knowledge, briefing – literally everything that is used to ensure competency in decision making, Trump lacks and prides himself on lacking. Do you literally think it is prudent that we stay ignorant about the world knowing that our ignorance can lead to greater carnage globally than we have now. Do you want a commander-in-chief that denies reason and gravitates toward gut reaction over well-informed briefings. Do you want a person leading you that doesn’t understand our relationship with Russia and the importance of NATO. Do you understand the importance of NATO to the existence and security of the United States; unless you are suicidal, Trump will get us killed with his ignorance of its importance and his ignorance of our importance to world peace. Do you want a President that says other countries should have nuclear weapons – do you understand the damage of a nuclear weapon being in the hands of our enemies or newly acquired enemies after Trump. Do you want the rest of the world to no longer admire this country or view us as the standard bearers of the world – do you understand why that is important and beneficial to us Americans.
Second, Trump is the worst kind of opportunist. He has tapped into everything that is wrong with this country and our people. He has flirted with racism, bigotry, xenophobia, demagoguery, sexism, and inflammatory beliefs the likes of which we have not seen in decades. People look at his rhetoric and say: “Oh, he walked it back; He doesn’t believe these things; He won’t be able to do the things he says”. The truth is, that all may actually be true; however, his rhetoric has proven to be dangerous to the millions of minorities in this country and offensive to the global community which what is minority in the West is not the minority globally. Many Trump supporters use the most vile and offensive language publicly to condemn minorities here and undermine the progress we have made over generations toward equality. While I believe that racism, bigotry and the like exist in the Democratic Party, I do believe that the damage Trump has already done is unparalleled.
I never really understood things like anti-semitism until Trump ran for President. The images I have seen, from anti-Semites may take years for me to overcome. I saw people celebrating Hitler, images of Jewish people being killed, Jewish people in ovens, support of the holocaust and some of the most vile rhetoric and abusive imagery I’ve ever seen. I am more accustomed to seeing images of blacks and Hispanics in very derogatory imagery, but never saw anti-semitism like this before. Further, I’ve never heard the kind of rhetoric against Islamic people like I have heard since Trump decided to run for President. Is this truly what you think will make us safe – by maligning our allies of different races, religions, creeds and they won’t retaliate. Do you think our country is safe because we are just so great no one has tried to overthrow us or undermine our democracy. Do you understand that it is our diplomacy with countries all over the world that keeps the peace between us and countries. ISIS isn’t a country attacking the West, it’s an extremist group that wants to overthrow their own governments and the Wests. Countries do not attack the United States – why do you think they don’t.
Third, the issues that made us support Bernie Sanders, are polar opposite to what Trump supports. If you are a #progressive, you care about raising the minimum wage to a living wage. Trump doesn’t want to raise the minimum wage. How does that help those families barely making it daily after working multiple jobs to make ends meet. You may say that they should have gone to school to get a better paying job, etc… all the stereotypical rhetoric we hear. However, I ask you this – would you like to have trash all over your street because no one picked up the garbage – we need garbage collectors; do you shop at stores – we need cashiers; do you order from stores online – we need people to package your items and ship them. Do you like that your streets are shoveled when their is snow – we need street workers. Do you eat at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, or any fast food restaurant – we need those workers too. Therefore, when you think about a society where no one will do those jobs because of low wages, what kind of chaotic place would we live in. Every employee should be able to survive if the business is surviving as well. Hillary wants a living wage, Trump does not.
If you believe a woman should have the right to choose what she does with her body, then Trump absolutely cannot be your candidate. Trump isn’t even sure what position he should take or not take on abortion. One minute he states that a woman having an abortion should be punished. The next minute he states that the woman should not be punished. Prior to running for President he was pro-choice; now he is pro-life. On an issue so fundamental to women in this country, there cannot be a President who doesn’t understand the importance enough to take a consistent position on abortion. Further, do you really want the #GOP to continue to tell women how they should handle their body, their choices about their body. Do you want GOP to continue to impose their will on women based on their religious beliefs in a society that is supposed to be free.
Fourth, Trump intends to appoint Supreme Court Justices that are conservative and similar to the late Scalia. If you have ever read an opinion by Scalia and consider yourself a progressive – this may be the most important reason to support Hillary. Hillary will appoint Justice/s (more than one Justice may be appointed) that represent the ideology of the United States – belief in Affirmative Action (something that benefits white woman more than any other group). People presume Affirmative Action is exclusive to minorities, it’s not. People forget that there was also a Women’s Suffrage movement – there was a time women could not vote in this country. We still don’t have equal pay for equal work. We need Affirmative action and programs that support opportunity for women and minorities.
Our Justices decide things like Citizens United, which must be overturned. Our Justices decide things like healthcare, death penalty, criminal justice, literally everything you can think of can be brought before the Supreme Court. Every issue you care about as a progressive will be in the hands of Donald Trump to appoint Justices for lifetime appointments. Long after a disasters Trump Presidency we will be living with the remnants of his decisions with the Justices he will appoint – fanatics that could change the landscape of this country for generations. Do you really dislike Hillary so much that you will allow Trump to support a Justice like Scalia who may have been one of the worst justices for equality for women, minorities, disabled, LGBTQ community, etc… Do you want a Justice that will attempt to undermine gay marriage after finally achieving it after hundreds of years. Think long and hard about this.
Fifth, If you care about Climate change then you cannot vote for Trump, a man who believes it is a hoax and refuses to listen to science. Do you want a President who will undermine our agreement with countries accepting this crisis and working to alleviate it so he can allow his ignorance to leave this country and world less safe and healthy than before.
There are so many issues with Trump that if I decided to continue I could write a book. However, what is most important to me is to make the case to fellow Berners about why we must stop Trump. This election literally is the MOST important election in decades. It is a defining moment in our history that can change this country and turn a super power into a much less powerful nation. There was a time that Romans ruled the world – they don’t anymore – remember the fall of the Roman Empire. We used to have monarchs that dominated countries, that has changed. The world evolves and the US can become a country that is no longer powerful or great if we denounce those things that make us great. That is what we do when we vote for Trump or vote third-party that cannot win.
Take your feelings about Hillary out of this election – replace them with the issues you care about then ask yourself who will get you there. Wanting to blow up the system to make a point will only hurt you and your future. It won’t hurt the politicians who are insulated and protected from consequences – it hurts YOU! Do you care about the minimum wage, do you care about abortion right, do you care about climate change, do you care about taking money out of politics, do you care about equality and Affirmative action, do you care about diplomacy and safety of this country, do you care about gun control… If you do then the choice is clear for this election. Jill Stein will not win, #Gary Johnson will not win, neither candidate will be able to avert the threat that is Trump. If they could defeat Hillary and Trump I would support either one over both. They can’t win and won’t win. Even if they could they would NEVER get anything passed in Congress and we would have the same gridlock in Washington. Do you want to support a candidate that can’t win and/or get anything done that you care about. Voting for Jill Stein is a vote for no-progress and more obstruction. That’s not a vote for you, but a vote against you.
So here is what I offer fellow Berners – vote for Hillary for this election. Take it one election at a time. In the interim stay proactive – stop sitting out during mid-term elections then get angry with POTUS because he can’t get done what he promised you. VOTE! Support progressive candidates – where are you when these candidates are trying to run for office to help get the change you are looking for. Stay active and hold Hillary’s feet to the fire on those things she is promising to do. Fight to make sure that next election is not a binary choice. We need more parties in this country. It is clear that the #DNC and RNC are corrupt to the core and we need new political parties to represent the diversity of opinion in this country. We cannot get that if you sit idly by until Presidential election time. If you can, run for office – local, state, federal – get involved! It’s people that create change. In 2020 if Hillary does not live up to her promises she should be primaried and hopefully replaced. Don’t view this election as an eight year deal, view it as four. You owe it to yourself now that you know, to stay active to get the change you seek. Join efforts to stop corruption in our political process by getting new people and new blood elected. Voting for anyone but Hillary will never get you to the position to make real change.
Bernie showed us the corruption that we didn’t see before. He woke us up and made us realize we deserve better from our elected officials. He explained why elections are so important and why who governs us matters. He took his philosophies and beliefs, the ones we hold dear, and forced incorporation into the Democratic platform. He endorsed Hillary because he understands the world we live in now which requires us to choose between one who won’t do anything we care about and another who at least says she will. It’s time to get over your anger and focus on what is best for YOU right now given your choices. Voting for Hillary is no longer a choice for those of us that love our country – it is mandatory. People say they won’t vote for her because of their conscience, I have to ask you, can your conscience allow you to vote for any candidate that could put Trump in the White House. Bernie did not inform us so that we could remain ignorant. He informed us so that we could fight and stand up to what is wrong with this country – Trump embodies what is wrong with us. Bernie transformed the Democratic platform to be democratic – is that not what you wanted; didn’t you want change or did you just want Bernie to be President and change wasn’t an issue.
Hillary is lucid, intelligent, surrounds herself with informed people, she can be checked or stopped, she’s not abusive to others, she can be held accountable by the people, she can be ridiculed or condemned – none of these apply to Trump. He wants a dictatorship where he is the Supreme Idiot. Trump will eviscerate you if he even question him. He attempts to ruin the careers of people who disagree with him in a society that is supposed to be democratic. He berates his enemies or opponents on a personal level. He lacks the temperament of a President.
To be clear, I’m not saying you should like Hillary, I’d be a hypocrite if I did. I’m not saying campaign for her, because I don’t plan to. I’m not saying donate to her, because I don’t plan to. Hillary would not be my 1000th choice if I had options, but I don’t. Hillary sucks, I don’t like her, but I love me and I choose me this election. I choose what is good for me given my choices and it is clear that Hillary is the best choice between the two. If she fights at all to implement even half of what she claims, we, the people, will be better off than before. Keep you eyes open for 2020 and stay focused. Don’t look back at your decision today with regret. Wake up – Time to choose! #StopTrump2016