CONTRIBUTOR

Dear Bernie Supporters: Don't Lose Your Seat At The Table

Let’s stave off the existential threat Donald Trump presents to our republic.

11/03/2016 06:24 pm ET | Updated Nov 04, 2016
Carlos Barria / Reuters
A combination photo shows Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Dear fellow Bernie supporters and other irate independents,

In a time of insanity, I’m voting for Hillary.

Why?

Aside from the despicable racism and sexism of the reality show star?

Aside from his tax evasion and lying and bankruptcies?

Trump denies climate change.

Hillary has said she will honor the Paris Accords and invest in alternative energy.

Trump wants to be a “law and order” president in a time when crime is at all time lows.

Hillary has promised to continue reforming the broken and racist criminal justice system.

Trump has shown an alarming disrespect for women and teenage girls.

Hillary promises to be a president in advocacy of women and children.

We must hold [Hillary Clinton] accountable if elected. But because of her promises, we will have a seat at the table.

These are all promises, of course. And it is up to us whether those promises become action. We must hold her accountable if elected. But because of her promises, we will have a seat at the table.

We can be certain that there will be none of us advocating in the room where the decisions are made in a Trump administration. There will be no seat at the table for those that believe in criminal justice reform. There will be no anti-fracking activists or leading civil rights advocates or brokers for peace, no LGBTQ proponents. Just a draconian return to failed Republican economic and social justice strategies.

Those of us that work for change in various causes have found a place at the table in the recent Democratic administration. It took a while, but our voices were heard and a mutual belief and shared mission led to real change. A pipeline was stopped, rehabilitative programs restored, sentencing for non-violent crimes reduced, funding for arts education increased, gay marriage became legal, millions of people that couldn’t afford insurance now are covered.

None of this would have occurred during a McCain, Romney or Trump administration.

And to those of you that are so pissed you are going to vote for a third party:

That is your right. Candidates must earn your vote. But Jill Stein is no Ralph Nader, and Gary Johnson is no Teddy Roosevelt ― and neither of them has shown us any examples of their past advocacy leading to any significant change.

Regardless of how this election goes, the Democratic Party has to reform itself.

Regardless of how this election goes, the Democratic Party has to reform itself. The people that Bernie Sanders engaged can either be their allies for the future or a constant thorn in their side. The Democrats must get over this notion that they are owed anyone’s vote because their candidate isn’t as bad as the other. Remember, that despite the narrative we have heard ad nauseum about Nader giving us Bush, more Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader in Florida in the 2000 election. Nader didn’t cost Gore the election. The Democrats that didn’t vote Democrat cost Gore that election.

So I ask you to join in this pact. Let’s stave off the existential threat that Donald Trump presents to our republic. If you are in a battleground state, please vote for Hillary Clinton and then throughout her administration, hold her to task for the promises that led to your vote. Let’s work to reform the Democratic Party to be what it purports to be, a party that represents the people and not its moneyed interests.

Real progressive change comes from relentless advocacy and activism. But it also needs someone that knows how to listen, someone that believes in science, someone that understands reason. Trump is clearly not that person. I am holding onto the hope that Hillary will be.

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