For the past year, I have been actively and vocally supporting the Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, and his presidential campaign.
I have given money, campaigned for him, and become involved in local politics as well as various Bernie Sanders support groups. I helped organize a March for Bernie in Albany on the day of the National March 4 Bernie. Three media outlets from Albany showed up for us. And I spoke so very passionately for him and against Hillary Clinton.
I have been an active and vocal critic and dissident of Hillary Clinton. I do not like most of her politics, and I do not completely trust her.
I was part of the #BernieorBust movement. And I was so very set in my decision. And now I’ve made my final decision of this election cycle.
Now that my anger from the primary results and the DNC’s now widely-known but always suspected suppression of Sanders’ campaign has subsided and I’ve licked my wounds and grieved.
I am begrudgingly voting for Hillary.
First, let me preface this by saying you don’t have to agree, and I will not argue. Belittling, berating, and bullying will not change my mind. That said, I will do the same for you if you vote for Jill Stein, etc. I support your right to choose your vote according to your conscience. And I agree with much of why you are all choosing to support Stein. I get it, I do.
Hear me out.
Why did I change from #BernieorBust to #GirlIGuessImWithHer? Simply put: because of Jane Sanders.
Yes, I said Jane Sanders.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Titled Jane Sanders: Why Bernie Sanders Supporters Shouldn’t Get Over It, Jane said:
“He’s not going to win the presidency, we’ve known that since June 7th [the day of the last big primaries, in California and New Jersey], but we had to do as much as we possibly could on the issues to honor all of the work that so many people have done, and that we did. So that’s why I say it’s a bit of a relief now — now we can move to the next chapter.
‘How granular did those discussions with the Clinton campaign get?‘
Very, very, very. This is not conceptual at all. It’s policy. Where is the money coming from? How are we going to do it? All of it is in stone. It’s good.
We understand that we earned their support and their trust. Now Hillary Clinton has to earn their support and their trust. And we will hold [the Clinton campaign] accountable because we are endorsing her. We are that much more committed to making sure [she follows through on her promises], instead of saying, Oh, it’s politics as usual, people change. We’re not going to let that happen. Not without a big fight, if anything. If the Democratic Party starts backing away from the platform, ever, we will fight like crazy to support the work that all of these millions of people did.”
As a hard-core believer in Bernie’s platform, it’s important to at the very least have a Democrat in the White House. Otherwise, his platform within the DNC’s current platform (which is 80% of Bernie’s platform, BTW) is null. With Trump in office, that platform is obsolete. With Hillary in office, Bernie and WE can keep the pressure on her to abide by that platform.
Bernie stayed in the race for leverage for the DNC to adopt his platform. He risked his political career for us. For his platform. I owe him the dignity of keeping his platform on the table. And I owe down-ticket candidates the same. I will fight for those candidates and Bernie’s platform in every way I can. By voting down-ticket candidates into office, they and I can hold Hillary accountable to Bernie’s platform. If Trump is in office, there is simply no hope of that happening. And this is why we ALL need to be sure to support our local Berniecrats.
And if Bernie and Jane fight when/if the platform is challenged the way they fought for all of us this election cycle, I am confident the platform will stay in place. And as I did from the first day Bernie announced his campaign and candidacy, I have faith in him.
All that said: I will be working between elections on helping build up third party options. I still firmly believe that the two-party option in American politics is dangerous and antiquated. I encourage you to help in strengthening third party options in this country. To help dismantle the two-party system that has so thoroughly corrupted our nation’s politics.
I also encourage you to help with Bernie’s continuing movement at Our Revolution, which will help recruit, train, and fund candidates running on Bernie’s platform. Also look into The Sanders Institute, which will also help the movement stay in motion.
It is important that we continue to work to change our political landscape. Until then, we have to work with the system we have while we work to create the system we deserve.