, , , ,

#BernieOrBust or #UniteBlue

So, you are a Bernie Sanders supporter and you feel the Bern! I salute you, informed voter. You like your man’s chances of winning but in the recesses of your consciousness a frightening scenario continues to play out. What if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination? With Donald Trump seemingly inevitable as the Republican nominee what do you do in a Clinton v. Trump presidential contest? Do you swallow hard and vote for Hillary? Write in Bernie? Or do you just stay home on election day? All around you self-professed ‘Democrats’ are telling you that you are obligated to “unite blue” and vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. “We cannot have a President Trump!” they say. So this becomes your conundrum. Speaking in the language of hashtags in this Twitter fueled election, are you #BernieOrBust, or will you #UniteBlue?

“Donald Trump is a racist”

There is no denying that the Trump campaign has operated unflinchingly within the theater of the bizarre, a grotesque sort of performance art for the hate filled among us. His undisguised racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and general bigotry matched only by a flamboyant stupidity. But there is only one presidential candidate with a history of calling black youth “super-predators” needing to be “brought to heel”.  This would be the same candidate who used public and political prominence to oppose LGBT rights for decades. A candidate who voted to build a 700 mile wall along the Mexican border, and wanted to deport Central American children fleeing violence to “send a message” on the geopolitical stage.  Yes this is the same candidate who laughed heartily when reminiscing about helping a man who had raped a little girl escape punishment.  And it is the same candidate who has consistently supported and promoted military excursions which have led to the slaughter of countless men, women, and children. Of course if you haven’t guessed by now, this villainous mystery candidate is Hillary Clinton.

You see my friends, bigotry and hatred can manifest themselves in many different ways.  For Trump it is like poetry, for Hillary Clinton more like prose.

“The GOP’s policies are terrible”

Policy positions that make progressives cringe (an abbreviated list):

  • Opposition to the reinstitution of Glass-Steagall
  • Support for fracking
  • Opposition to GMO labelling
  • Opposition to $15/hour minimum wage
  • Support for capital punishment
  • Support for the Patriot Act
  • Warmongering – e.g. Support for ground troops and a no fly zone in Syria
  • Opposition to legalized/decriminalized marijuana
  • Opposition to single-payer health care

For more on these policies you may want to check out HillaryClinton.com. Yes this is a platform straight from a Republican’s wet dream, but it is also the platform of Hillary Clinton. Throw in the fact that she has received more Super PAC money than any other presidential candidate, and her half-decade as the global champion and salesperson of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and it may be fair to wonder if she is running for the correct party. If you are a person who doesn’t want to vote Republican because you disagree with their policy positions, well then perhaps you shouldn’t.

“But the Supreme Court!”

This is the, *ahem*, trump card of ‘unite blue’ apologists. And it is certainly a fine point in theory. With three Justices nearing or cresting above 80 years old in a presently 4-4 (conservative/liberal) split Supreme Court we are told a Republican President may be able to nominate their way to a conservative majority. For liberals this most specifically means a threat to abortion rights, and gay marriage. But here is the hole in this rationale. Assuming the Constitution of the United States still means something, President Obama will do his mandated duty and nominate a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia before the end of his presidency.  This presumably liberal judge will tilt the balance of the Supreme Court further than you may think. This is because Justice Anthony Kennedy, nominated by Reagan, voted for gay marriage, and has voted to uphold Roe v. Wade (Please feel free to insert a #ThanksReagan here). In other words, liberals will have a 6-3 majority on these issues. In a Republican fantasy, and yes the death of liberals is something I imagine Republicans fantasizing about, perhaps more than one Justice will die over the next four years. But this dubious possibility doesn’t have quite the same headline grabbing pre-eminence as ‘imminent loss of women’s and LGBT rights possible!’.

“So #UniteBlue, or #BernieOrBust?”

If you are a sports fan who feels obliged to support a team regardless of the quality of the product they provide, you may find yourself a long suffering fan of the New York Knicks, or Chicago Cubs.  Similarly it is the perceived obligation to unconditionally ‘unite blue’ which has led to the neoliberal, corrupt, vote-suppressing, faux-GOP reality of the Democratic Party today. It is ironic that so much of the Hillary Clinton campaign itself has been about obligation; the obligation of women to avoid a “special place in hell”, the obligation of African-Americans to support Hillary because her husband played saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show 25 years ago, and of course Hillary’s own obligations and whether they are to the millions of corporate dollars funding her or the millions of votes she intends to receive. I am not here to tell you how to use your vote, dear reader. But if Hillary Clinton leaves you worried about getting burned, perhaps it is simply time to irrevocably #FeelTheBern.

Written by Nigel Clarke

Writer and notorious vagabond. From the frozen north. Follow Nigel on Twitter @Nig_Clarke.

Nigel Clarke is a Writer for Progressive Army.


Leave a Reply
  1. The way things are going, the SCOTUS argument is moot. Repubs won’t approve ANY nomination by ANY Dem. It’s just their MO now. May as well vote for the one you really really want.

  2. You fail to say that the Iran deal and Obamacare will be in jeopardy if Repubs win and fail to mention that Obama’s Climate agreement with China will also be in jeopardy and Trump is not just a racist but someone of whom minorities and Moslems will live in fear. Trump is not just a polarizing figure but a monster who’s now suggesting rolling back first amendment rights against the press for their unfavorable coverage of his candidacy.

    • By requesting that I, as a Bernie supporter, let Donald Trump win because Hillary, in your view, is not much better, is like asking me to let Hitler occupy the White House without feeling a guilty conscience about this.

    • Theresa Mullen Hillary will lose to Trump in the general election. That’s why I won’t even say that I would vote for her if Bernie doesn’t get nominated. Bernie WILL get nominated or Trump WILL win. Simple as that.

    • Jared Lapierre I fail to see the logic in not voting for Hillary because she will lose the election to Trump. That makes no sense to me. (My parents knew that Jimmy Carter was going to lose to Reagan in 1980 but they voted for Carter anyway.) The argument is suppose to be don’t vote for Hillary based on principle, and the way I see it if Bernie-supporters refuse to vote for Hillary on principle they should be principled enough to know that a Trump win will make life far worse for many people, Moslems and minorities especially, and they should feel the sting of that. Not voting for Hillary in the face of a Trump nomination should be something that hurts; something that plays on one’s moral conscience. It shouldn’t be celebrated. It shouldn’t be counted as a victory for liberals or anyone else.

    • Gustavo Eetwidomayloh Santana I am voting for Bernie friend, and even look forward to doing so on March 8th in Michigan, but that’s not going to solve the Trump problem if Hillary wins the democratic nomination. While I support Bernie’s cause my first concern has always been to keep the Republicans out of the White House, and considering the fact that not Bernie, as he hoped, but Trump is the one who has been bringing in new voters to the polls in record breaking numbers my first concern, and even mission at this point, is to keep Trump out of the White House, who will make life a living hell for far too many Americans, minorities and Moslems especially.
      What I find to be troublesome about the hard leaning left Bernie or bust crowd is that the vast majority of them are white people who know that they are unlikely to be negatively affected by what will be the Hitler-like presidency of Donald Trump and for that reason it’s much easier for them to stay home on Election Day, while minorities vote for Hillary, whom the larger majority have decided to support.

  3. I’m not compelled to vote for Hillary, Bernie I am. I stand by this. I’m not gonna physically drag myself out to vote for someone I don’t want to win, especially when Trump is going to win if Hillary gets the nomination. A vote for Hillary now IS a vote for Trump.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Problem With a ‘Single Issue’ Candidate

#BernieOrBust or #UniteBlue