Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bernie Supporters, Now is Not Time to Jump Ship

Bernie's defeat during last night's Super Tuesday was disheartening to say the least. But just because the majority is paying attention to the sharks and ship captain, doesn't mean you give up on the guy pointing out the disaster we're heading into.

Months ago, before any #StillSanders hashtag appeared, I was asked in an anonymous Tumblr message if I would change my blog name and start following another presidential candidate if Bernie didn't win the nomination.

The question seemed absurd to me then. I didn't start a blog and several social media channels so I could flip flop between lackluster political candidates. I don't spend hours of my day every day reading Bernie, sharing Bernie, discussing Bernie just to give up once he secured the white house. Win or lose, Bernie champions a message I care about, and as long as that message is carried, I will kept fighting for it.

I thought others who proclaimed they "feel the bern" were the same as I, that they too had latched on to the message and were in it for the long haul. Now, with Bernie's chances for the nomination growing slimmer, I was disappointed to see messages of those I once trusted urging others to vote for Hillary to save the country from the impending Trump nomination.

And if you're one of those people who championed Bernie but are now limping away and suggesting we all do the same, then I have to ask you, what were you fighting for in the first place? Because the issues haven't changed, and if you ever really cared about them, Bernie is still the best choice for president. Do you not owe it to yourself and this country to continue fighting for Bernie?

Running scared to vote for the lesser evil is what establishment politics wants you to do. How many presidential elections have you heard the saying "But I can't vote for him because he can't win?" We, a country built by revolutionists, have let ourselves believe we have no power. Many of us are sick and tired of our political system, but we've bought into the fallacy of the throwaway vote. The reality is if we only had the courage to band together, we could truly change something.

There is, even now a path to the white house. Bernie does extremely well with Independents and young people, two groups that have felt excluded by and haven't participated in our political process. Bernie is the only candidate with a net favorability rating among voters and polls better than Hillary against the Republican candidates. While Hillary gains support mostly among democrats, Bernie appeals to a wide group voters, Democrats and Republicans alike. Bernie's support can be expected to grow after the primary as he gains more exposure among the American people. Hillary's support may not as her numbers have stayed around the same since the primary started. 

Bernie plans to fight all the way to the convention where it all comes down to super delegates. If Bernie can pull off an impressive delegate count to rival Clinton, and the delegates recognize Bernie has the support and the momentum to win the general election in a way that surpasses Clinton's chances, they should vote for him.

Of course, there's always the chance Bernie doesn't win. But what really changes then? Do you honestly believe our country is best served by voting for another candidate? We backed Bernie because we believed in what he represented. None of that changes if he doesn't win the nomination.

What about the fossil fuels destroying our planet? What about people who still can't afford life saving healthcare? What about preventing Wall Street from crashing our economy again? Our crumbling education system? The disappearing middle class? Our bought politicians? Our obsession with continuous warfare? Our terrible mass incarceration and criminal justice issues? No one said the political revolution was going to be easy. And I for one fail to see how turning in my values and beliefs for an establishment candidate is going to be helpful.

Our country cannot continue to survive like this, and Hillary is not going to fix it. Yes, Trump is scary, but that's no reason to buy into the establishment ploy and drag our country though 8 more years of income inequality, corrupt politics, and no change. Hillary is just as likely to destroy the country as Trump, she'll just do it quietly and behind closed doors.

Hillary has to earn our vote and has already demonstrated how little she cares about it. So what do we do? We get back to what we've been doing. We phone bank, canvas, and volunteer our heart out. We show up and vote and drag our friends and family out with us. We make Hillary fight for every last delegate until the convention.

And what if Bernie doesn't get the Democratic nomination? Then we see if a third party candidacy is an option, and if it is we fight our heart out for that. And if not, we continue to fight for Bernie and his beliefs and vote berniecrats into office one county, city, state at a time. We change Congress. We get involved in our political process, attend protests, and demand that our representatives work for us. We do not give up! And we do not give in!

Bernie has been fighting for us for over 40 years, even when no one was around to take him seriously. Now is not the time to jump ship, or perhaps the perfect time if you were never serious to be begin with. We are the political revolution, and it can only go as far as you decide to carry it. Sign the Bernie or Bust pledge to write in Bernie's name or vote Green in the general election. Tell the establish we're not playing their game anymore.

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