May 4, 2016

A Letter to Bernie Supporters.

Ted Eytan/Flickr

Dear Bernie Supporters,

We need you.

As a Hillary supporter, I envy your passion, because I don’t see that level of excitement in Hillary’s campaign. I envy the crowds and the community Bernie brings to the primary. We need that passion and togetherness in the Democratic party as a whole as we pivot to the General Election.

After Bernie’s four-state loss on April 26th, and with reports that Bernie Sanders is cutting his campaign staff, it is increasingly unlikely that Bernie will be the Democrat nominee. But he is not going out empty handed—he plans to stay in the race until the convention in Philadelphia to influence a more favorable progressive party platform. As a Hillary supporter, I look forward to Bernie’s influence on the future of the party.

But let’s cut to brass tacks.

I think it’s safe to say that the next election is a big deal. Will the country continue on President Obama’s progressive path, or will we regress to the right’s extreme policies? The next president will choose two to three Supreme Court Justices. As progressives, if we ever hope to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics, the Supreme Court is key. The GOP candidates want to dismantle everything we Democrats have worked for over these last eight years. If they win, it would be a giant step back for progressive values.

When looking over the fence at the GOP, I see a party in chaos. I have to admit it puts a smile on my face, but we can’t underestimate them. They may seem crazy to us, but many will follow them. The GOP is most likely going to choose a Quasi-Fascist Demagogue (Donald Trump) or a Religious Theocrat (Ted Cruz). They both want to cut education. Instead of fighting for peace, both of the GOP candidates want to increase tensions with China, Russia, and the Middle East. Cruz wants to “carpet bomb” Syria and Iraq while Trump wants to expand our use of torture. Both GOP candidates disagree with the scientific consensus of climate change, for god’s sake!

Bernie supporters and Hillary supporters can all agree that neither GOP candidate would be good for our country.

The GOP wants to divide the Democratic party. Trump has said that Bernie should run as an independent candidate if Hillary wins the nomination. The GOP’s goal is to divide the Democratic party and keep Hillary and Bernie supporters from voting together for whichever candidate wins the nomination. The GOP will continue to drive a wedge between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters. Allowing them to separate us would all but guarantee a victory for the GOP in November.

Many Sanders’ supporters believe Clinton is corrupt and bought by Wall Street, and I know I won’t be able to convince them otherwise. But at least she’s supportive of a progressive agenda. She acknowledges climate change and wants to do something about it. She wants to raise the minimum wage and make college affordable. In the words of Hillary, “There is more that unites us than divides us.” There are legitimate grievances against Hillary Clinton, but if we Democrats hope to win the presidency, we’ll need to come together in the end. We can expect the GOP will, and they will stop at nothing to fight their way to the White House.

Clinton supporters and Sanders’ supporters need to unite, regardless of which candidate wins the nomination.

Lastly, to those who are still unsure about Hillary Clinton, I say this: Hillary may not be perfect, but don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. Let’s continue to take steps forward, not steps back. Whether it takes years or decades, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Together we will win, and we will push our country closer to a more equal and just society.


Your fellow Democratic nominee supporter



Author: Justin Brown

Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr

Editor: Emily Bartran

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