I love #Bernie Sanders, and I don’t just love him because I live in Vermont. To be honest, before he announced his candidacy, I didn’t know what he was all about. When I found out, I was still not at all that impressed. I’m not a Conservative, but Bernie’s politics were a little left for me. However, as I continued to listen to Bernie speak and read his platform pieces I began to see that maybe his ideas weren’t as crazy as I thought.
So I started to follow Bernie mentions on social media. I saw stories about how Bernie routinely bought socks for homeless people. I saw stories about how Bernie took the time to stop and speak to supporters in the middle of an event. I saw that Bernie marched in Pride parades in the 70’s and 80’s, despite the harm to his political career. Friends shared videos of Bernie speaking to Congress over the past thirty years, always saying the same things. It dawned on me that Bernie Sanders was probably the most authentic man in politics. I felt the Bern.
My husband and I campaigned for Bernie before the New Hampshire primary. We drove through the ice and snow, got our car stuck, and walked up half mile long driveways to talk to people about Bernie. We got some doors shut in our face and we got a stern talking to by a staunch Clinton supporter, but we also had some amazing conversations. We continued to Feel the Bern.
Why then, do I say that I’m not Bernie or Bust? Simply put, it’s because I believe this election is too risky. As much as I love Bernie, I think the Bernie or Bust mentality is extremely harmful. I honestly believe that Bernie or Bust mentality will lead to a Trump presidency. Before my fellow Vermonters start a riot headed toward my house, let me explain.
Say the Bernie or Bust crowd decides to write in Bernie as a third party candidate. Rather than having the desired effect of getting Bernie elected or proving a point, this action would just pull votes away from Trump and Clinton. Obviously, pulling votes away from Trump is a plus, but when Clinton is the only other option, pulling votes away from her could be dangerous to the outcome of the election.
A third party candidate has never won an election for the Presidency. Some have won for the House or Senate, notably Bernie himself, but a third party candidate has never snagged the top office. On two notable occasions, the election of 1912 and the 2000 election, third party candidates have been blamed for changing the outcome of the election. Remember the 2000 election? The accepted narrative was that Gore would have won if Nader hadn’t run. In this election, write ins for Bernie would most likely pull votes from Clinton. Currently, Clinton is only ahead of Trump by five points. This is far too close for comfort. A write in for Bernie is essentially a vote for Trump.
What if the Bernie or Bust crowd just doesn’t show up to the polls? First, it would be a shame if so many people who were never involved in politics suddenly decided not to engage because things didn’t go their way. Second, the accepted trend is that high voter turnout benefits Democrats. If a bunch of people who would typically vote Democrat decide to stay home because they won’t vote for Clinton, and a bunch of Republicans and independents who hate Clinton show up at the polls, the result is a Trump Presidency.
So, even though I love Bernie, I will vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination. I say if because it’s not over yet. I don’t think Bernie should drop out and concede. He said he’d see it through to the end and I’d like to see him be a man of his word, as he’s always been. There will be a contested convention, which will likely end in Clinton’s nomination. At that point, I hope that Bernie chooses to encourage his supporters to vote for Clinton. Bernie and his Bernie or Bust supporters need to be willing to vote for Clinton. It pains me to say that, but I truly believe it’s for the good of the country. Do you really want four years of Trump? #Donald Trump #Election 2016