My Progressive Generation,
Listen, I understand why you love Bernie Sanders; I have the same sentiments toward him. He has refreshing viewpoints with which I completely agree. He’s straight-forward, believable and endearing. But the truth, which might be hard to swallow, is that Hillary Clinton has basically clinched the nomination. Based on proportional delegate allocation, it’s going to be practically impossible for Bernie to recover from his current delegate deficit. I love idealism, but I”m also good at math. Polling doesn’t even show him as competitive in many of the states where he could gain on her lead. Upsets similar to Michigan wouldn’t even help, because only landslides are going to net enough delegates to make a dent, and it would take major gains to overcome her massive lead.
I am not asking anyone to stop supporting Bernie or to give up on him. Please continue supporting him, because it helps to pressure the Democratic party to move to the left. If you want to hold out hope throughout the primary, that is totally understandable. My only wish is that you stop demonizing Secretary Clinton. The memes and hashtags and negative propaganda need to stop. This rhetoric is extremely counterproductive, because at this point it doesn’t benefit Sanders as much as it hurts Clinton in the general election.
No matter who wins the Republican nomination (and it’s almost certain to be Donald Trump), they are worlds behind Hillary Clinton. Even Bernie has agreed with that assessment. The GOP candidates are anti-abortion, anti-LGBT rights, and practically anti-everything that progessives value. Maybe Hillary has been against certain things in the past, but much like President Obama, whose positions have also evolved, she has gotten on board with most liberal standpoints over the last 25 years.
The questioning of the sincerity of her gay rights support is one of the things I take issue with the most, and also one of the best examples. I am gay, and even though Hillary previously was against gay marriage, she now supports it. Flip-flop, pandering or genuine evolution, it doesn’t matter anymore as long as she supports us, so I don’t think our allies should judge her for her previous statements. She has actually acted upon her evolved beliefs on numerous occasions, so they are genuine, and we need to accept that she has changed her views. My own family, my boyfriend’s family and the loved ones of many LGBT people that I know have changed their views over the same time period, and I don’t think they’re disingenuous.
It’s is a common story for members of our community that grew up in the 90’s, and anyone that doesn’t fall into that category needs to understand the evolution that we’ve seen — and greatly appreciated — among most of society. Mrs. Clinton is one of those people that has moved forward with society. In the most basic sense, that is progressive, and she is no worse than anyone else that has changed their views. Her push for LGBT rights around the world as Secretary of State has more than made up for any prior lack of support. This one issue should elucidate the point that we can believe her when she changes her viewpoints. Is it really a bad thing to consider new viewpoints in order to side with the majority of those you represent?
While Clinton has changed, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are outwardly against progressive causes. The same goes for most Republicans. The plethora of progressive beliefs with which they disagree or ignore are all issues for which Clinton has expressed support. The fact that Donald Trump wants to deport all undocumented immigrants and ban Muslims from our country should be more than enough reason to do whatever it takes to prevent him from taking office, even if that means voting for someone that you don’t totally support. I’m not even being dramatic when I say that voting for Trump, or a third party, or a write-in, or abstaining from the general election, is essentially a vote against women, Muslims, immigrants and the LGBT community.
It’s not about choosing the lesser of two evils. The policies proposed by Trump are frightening, to say the least, and the worst you can allege about Hillary is that she is is a corporate puppet. But that’s inconsistent with her actions. She actually fought for progressive interests when she was on the Wal-Mart board, for instance, and her vote for bankruptcy reform was mischaracterized in that video we’ve all seen with Elizabeth Warren (who I actually happen to love). Before the vote, Clinton actually advocated for amendments that addressed Warren’s concerns. The same pattern can be seen with President Obama. He took money from Wall Street, but as President, he criticized their actions, and signed into law the most restrictive policies against the financial sector in decades. Meanwhile, the Republicans outwardly side with these interests, which actually garners the donations for them.
I get that it’s not easy to vote for someone that competed against and defeated someone that you wholeheartedly supported. To be honest, I felt the same way about Obama in 2008. Since then, I have seen him support many of the values that I believe in during his time in office. We have made so much progress under Obama, and I firmly believe that you will see the same from Clinton. Don’t reverse it with a Republican. Whether or not you believe that she is truly a progressive, you need to be there for her in November, because she will be there for us for the next 4 years. She may not be perfect, but she’s absolutely going to give this country a better image and a better chance for progress than any Republican out there. So please, let’s stop the divisive rhetoric before it’s too late, because you’re lying to yourself if you think that a Clinton loss will outweigh the negative effects of a Trump presidency.
Someone That Doesn’t Want To Watch America Burn