First let me acknowledge that during the primaries I donated to the Sanders campaign and didn’t donate to the Clinton campaign. Let me also admit that I voted for Bernie in the California primary. But as I watched Bernie’s behavior at the DNC and that of his supporters, I’ve come to regret having supported or voted for him.
I don’t know exactly how much one has to make to be considered part of the one percent Bernie rails against, but I suspect I’m in it. That said, I believe in many of the issues Bernie championed. A living wage. An affordable education. A fair and humane immigration policy. Real campaign finance reform. Those are ideals to which I subscribe.
So I supported Bernie.
For better or worse Bernie didn’t get the Democratic nomination and, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Brad Marshall notwithstanding, he lost fair and square. So why at the convention did Bernie look like he’d been coached by the same people who coached Johnny Depp and Amber Heard for that Australian apology video? He spent most of his prime time speech continuing to campaign for himself, and then gave Hillary a weak endorsement that amounted to little more than saying she, or for that matter anyone, was better than Trump.
During Hillary’s acceptance speech Bernie looked like a prisoner of war. And throughout the convention he stood silently by while many of Bernie’s supporters booed Hillary repeatedly, disrupted the convention with their protests, and claimed they would not vote for her even if that meant Trump won the presidency. Instead of leading his troops to the Hillary camp like a true general, two days after the DNC Bernie announced that he’s leaving the Democratic Party, essentially taking his ball and going home.
What kind of leader does that? Could it really be that the only difference between Bernie and Trump is that Trump succeeded in hijacking a political party and Bernie didn’t? Say what you will about Hillary but after her primary loss in 2008 she too must have been incredibly disappointed, and yet she still proudly endorsed Obama, actively campaigned for him, and made sure all her supporters did the same. That’s actual leadership.
So Bernie, I wish I could have my vote back, and I want my money back too (I know, Trump would simply stop payment on the check). And to the Bernie supporters who are sitting out this November or worse, I hope you’re not black, or brown, or Jewish, or Muslim, or an immigrant, or a woman, or have a disability, or are part of the LGBTQ community, or are any of the other things that make us such a magnificent melting pot nation, because at this point every vote not cast for Hillary is a vote cast for Trump and if Trump becomes President you, even more than most, are fucked.
And if you think you’re just casting a protest vote that won’t matter because no one would actually elect a vile, racist, sexist, anti-semitic xenophobe with no experience and a terrible temperament to the highest office in the land, you might want to read up on another political outsider, one who came to power in 1933 in the Weimar Republic by preaching fear, divisiveness and hatred. Because there’s no walking back from a Trump presidency.
I’m admittedly late to the party, but better late than never.