• I Supported Bernie, and Now I Support Hillary

    Like many other people my age, I was a big Bernie Sanders supporter. I agreed with his policies, was inspired by his candidacy, and was disillusioned with a system that I felt was corrupt. Since then, I have put deep reflection and thought into the consequences and the stakes of this election. What is the best way of achieving the bold, progressive change that America needs?

    The answer, under every practical and logical scenario is to see Donald Trump lose this election, and badly, and to see Hillary Clinton continue Obama’s legacy. She should strengthen what he started and so build her own presidential legacy by fighting to make college and healthcare affordable, combating climate change, fighting for a $15 minimum wage and workers rights, fighting for gay rights and reproductive rights, among many other things. Most importantly, we need to make sure America has a liberal majority Supreme Court. This will affect all issues dear to us for decades to come. We need to avoid the disasters that would come with a theocratic, biased, right-wing court.

    Currently the vast majority of Sanders supporters are backing Hillary. However, there are still many who will vote for Jill Stein or just stay home, and that’s a giant mistake. When it comes to Jill Stein, our governmental system just doesn’t practically allow for a third party to win or to become a long term legitimate party, so by taking progressive voices and power out of the Democratic party you are being counterproductive. Like it or not, unless we fundamentally change our governmental system, the Democratic Party is the best chance there is to create positive change. Also, when it comes to not voting, that’s never an option because there’s always a better option, and if Democrats win their races by bigger margins they’ll feel more comfortable to do progressive things, and if Republicans win in smaller margins they’ll be more moderate. Choosing either of these options is simply just a cop­out.

    We have a responsibility to make sure all of the progress of the last eight years is not flushed down the toilet because of a stubborn ideological purity. It is our responsibility to see that a narcissistic, sociopathic, science denying, authoritarian, bigot does not hold the most powerful office on Earth. Because if a Trump victory does occur, that’ll mean the Republicans control a majority of every layer of government, everything from the state legislatures, to the governorships, to the Senate, to the House, to the Supreme Court, to the Executive Branch. In that scenario, say goodbye to the ACA, banking regulations, EPA and all the environmental actions taken in order to reduce the effects of climate change, Iran Nuclear Deal, Planned Parenthood, any type of criminal justice, gun or police reform, among many other things. Then, say hello to trickle-down economics on steroids, which includes but is not limited to exponentially increasing income inequality, huge tax breaks and cuts for multinational corporations and billionaires, gutting unions, and economic recession. We can also expect a toxic environment of fear and hostility where huge swaths of the population feel totally alienated, and fear for the safety of their families in a country that elected a man that openly and aggressively promotes and advocates for bigotry and discrimination towards them.

    Hillary Clinton has to win this election. The Democrats need to take back the Senate and do well in the House. Though some Bernie Sanders supporters may not like it at first, voting for a person in which you agree with on 80 or ­90% of the issues is always better than for a person that you completely disagree with, who represents the worst of our society.

    Photo credit to Schroepfer.

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