What Do Bernie’s Supporters Do Now?

This post was first published on www.LiberalAmerica.Org

Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton his full endorsement on July 12, 2016. As Tiffany Willis, founder of Liberal America, reported, many of the #BernieorBust activists refuse to follow him down that path. Folks have been discussing a few options:

  1. Backing Jill Stein and the Green Party;
  2. Holding their noses and voting for Hillary;
  3. Voting for Trump and trusting that he won’t get enough cooperation from Congress to get anything done;
  4. Protesting in Philadelphia at the Democratic convention; and
  5. Continuing to insist that Bernie should be the nominee.

Bernie Bashers

Many people in this last group are attacking Bernie, some with the same level of invective that they used about Hillary. No matter which choice you make, this is not helpful. It’s immature. Why spread negative energy around? Bernie promised to support the Democratic nominee when he signed up to run as a Democrat. He is a man of his word. That’s one of the things I love about him. All along, he has told us that the political revolution will be a long process. And it will be. More on that below.

Being the Change We Wish to See

Apparently Mahatma Gandhi never actually said “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” although the quote has been wrongly attributed to him. But it’s still good advice. If we want a more compassionate world, we need to be more compassionate.  If we want a more peaceful world, we need to be more peaceful ourselves as we continue to pursue the change we seek.

 What About the Platform?

The Sanders campaign got significant concessions at the Dems’ platform committee. The $15/hour minimum wage, a call for tougher regulations on Wall Street, and tougher language on climate change made it into the platform, although opposition to the TPP did not. Do they mean anything? Not really. They’re not enforceable. Maybe if people follow what Clinton and the party do and try to hold her to her commitments, it might help. But don’t hold your breath.

Which Choice to Make? 

That depends on what’s most important to you and what you think will happen. Roland Vincent recommends voting for Trump, in part, because a Trump presidency would make Bernie Sanders a major leader of the Democratic party.  He thinks that a Republican-controlled Congress would obstruct Clinton even more than they did Obama and that the Dems would lose the 2018 midterms. Perhaps that’s so, but I wouldn’t recommend that choice unless you really think a Clinton presidency is the worst possible outcome and you don’t care what message you send with your vote.

If you believe Trump would be much worse as president than Clinton, you don’t want your vote to help make Trump president. In that case, consider where you live and what’s happening in the polls in your state. Consider which way you want the country to go and what message you send with your vote.

If Bernie is still your man, follow his lead and vote for Hillary. Or if the ideals of the Green Party are closer to your heart and the two major candidates are very far apart in the polls, consider voting Green. A Green vote would send a clear message about the direction you want the country to take. A vote for Trump would say that you agree with him. But if the race is close in your state, don’t risk making Donald Trump president. Do you want more of that thinking in our world?

Keep talking about that revolution

Change happens slowly. Bernie told us we would have to be in it for the long haul. The movement to get big money out of politics and elect a Congress that’s responsive to the people is ongoing. Bernie will campaign for progressives running for office “down-ballot.”

To know more about who’s continuing the revolution, check out www.brandnewcongress.org.

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