We are interrupting our regularly scheduled adoption programming to speak about the upcoming U.S. presidential election. As usual, the media is out in full force with every type of speculation on how this whole thing will shake out. But there is one group that is becoming increasingly vocal and which I find increasingly alarming. They call themselves “Bernie or Bust”.
In my opinion, they are acting like a bunch of bullies with their stance that they will take their marbles and go home if their candidate, Vermont senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders, does not end up being the democratic nominee. But this is not how democracy works, or, at least, is supposed to work. I can fully understand the anger and the frustration that the DNC* superdelegates could end up choosing the party’s candidate over the will of the people. In a true democracy, the final choice should be made by the will of the majority. But remember, the superdelegates do have the option of changing their minds any time up to this summer’s convention. And I hope (trust?) that they will avail themselves of that option if the majority of voters support Bernie Sanders rather than the current front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. But let’s see how things play out before anyone stomps their feet and threatens to abandon ship. After all, we are only at the beginning of the primary season and there are many more primaries and caucuses to go.
From everything I have read and heard from and about Senator Sanders, even he would not support your actions. He has, in fact, stated that he will not run as a third party candidate if he is not selected by the Democrats. For those of us old enough to remember, he does not want to see a replay of the 2000 election when third party candidate Ralph Nader took a number of votes, predominately from the Democrats. I can understand how Bernie feels. I could not bear the thought of such a repeat, either. And while I don’t agree with all of Bernie’s agenda, I can certainly see his appeal. He comes across as being more honest and having more integrity than any politician I’ve ever seen. Even using words like ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’ when speaking about a politician is pretty much a contradiction in terms. But I don’t think Bernie would encourage anyone to cut off their nose to spite their face. He has even said that, while he and Mrs. Clinton have many ideological differences, either candidate would be better than what the other side has to offer.
Of course, everyone must vote as his or her conscience dictates. But realistically, I believe that to do a write-in for Bernie, or to abstain from voting at all if Senator Sanders is not at the top of the ticket, is a de facto vote for the Republican candidate. As a democrat, and undecided at this point as to which candidate I will support, I would hate to see the White House once again in the hands of a Republican administration. The truth is, the primary is not really where the action is–what matters is who can win in November. And that’s a question I can’t answer. My crystal ball is out of order. But I am beginning to wonder, who are these sources that are promoting the message that Democrats better take the “Bernie or Bust” people seriously? Is this based on true polling data, or are these people trying to lead us astray? Again, not something I can see clearly at this point.
So I would ask the “Bernie or Bust” people to hang on, hold tight, and do whatever you can to promote your candidate. But in November, I hope that all Democrats will get behind whichever candidate has won fair and square the democratic nomination.
I’m sure Bernie would expect no less.
Update: As we all know, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been chosen as the presidential candidate for the democratic party with Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate. In Bernie’s own words, “On his worst, worst, worst day, Tim Kaine is 100 times better than Donald Trump will ever be.”
United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
*Democratic National Committee