Stop telling me I must support Hillary Clinton if she beats Bernie Sanders


Why is it assumed that I must hand Hillary Clinton my vote if she beats Sanders in the primaries this spring? Why is it my “responsibility” to pick the lesser of two evils when I have better choices that align with my ideals?

While Jill Stein has little chance of winning, would it make more sense to vote for the person I believe is best suited for the job? Isn’t that exactly why we vote? Perhaps we have this broken two party system because we simply let people tell us who to vote for.

Clinton has done nothing to earn my vote, yet I am told day in and day out that I must support Clinton if Sanders loses to her or I am somehow doing democracy wrong.

I am sick and tired of voting for the party candidate, regardless of my feeling towards them. That is not how a democracy functions. I should vote for who I believe is the best person for the job, not who I am told to vote for.

There is a specific reason I am not a registered Democrat (I am not, so I can vote for Sanders in the primary, but won’t be after that). It’s because I am not a Democrat. Today’s Democratic Party is a center-barely left party that is so worried about pandering to the middle-right they cave to Republican demands day in and day out and leave real liberal and progressive voters in the dust.

I have even stopped calling myself liberal because today’s liberals are far too moderate. I don’t care what demands the GOP has, they are terrible, selfish and I have no time for them. I am not willing to compromise with billionaires to protect their wealth.

I am a socialist, and most consider socialists to be liberals, but liberals today are capitalists who are fine with the capitalist system of economics and governance and I am not. So the term liberal simply does not apply anymore.

Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, is not the kind of socialist I think this country really needs, but he is the best chance we have to move this country in the right direction. That is why he, a liberal, has my support. It’s because his vision for America is very close to mine, and through his victory I believe we can continue to move the country more and more to left and away from this oligarchy we have created.

I don’t believe Hillary Clinton is a good choice for president. I don’t think she cares about feminism, women’s rights, gay rights, and all the other issues she only recently adopted out of political convenience. I think she will hand over those rights in order to look as though she “gets things done” and can “work with the other side.”

Currently, all my support is behind Sanders, and I am not officially saying I will not support Clinton if she gets the nomination. Mainly because I still believe 100 percent that Sanders can win.

I am saying, however, I am tired of being told who to vote for. I don’t have an obligation to vote for anyone, let alone someone who I don’t think should be president.

No one owns my vote but me.


photo credit: Press Conference With Russian Foreign Minister via photopin (license)

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About Dan Arel

Dan Arel is an award-winning journalist and the author of the best-selling book The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is also a freelance columnist for AlterNet, Time, and The Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter: @danarel