The vast majority of Sanders voters have said they will vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I am one of them as I feel like supporting Clinton is still the best way we can fight for liberal values given our political climate. There is still a small, but vocal minority of Sanders supporters who are very loudly telling people to vote for third parties this November. Bernie Sanders, the longest serving Independent in Congress, doesn’t agree with that strategy. At a breakfast sponsored by Bloomberg Politics Sanders said this about the Green Party:
“I don’t know the leadership of the Green Party, but I respect what they’re trying to do. They’re focusing on very, very important issues. But I think right now — what is it, three, four months before an election — you’re going to end up having a choice. Either Hillary Clinton is going to become president, or Donald Trump.”
Sanders went on to talk about the realities of our political system and how there are only two choices. Whether we like it or not.
“We are not a parliamentary system, as is the case in Europe. “If we were in Europe right now, in Germany or elsewhere, the idea of coalition politics of different parties coming together — you’ve got a left party, you’ve got a center-left party, coming together against the center-right party. That’s not unusual. That happens every day. We don’t have that. We have and have had [two parties] for a very long period of time — and I know a little bit about this, as the longest serving independent member of Congress.”
If we care about liberal values, our best bet is trying to fight for them within the Democratic party. Bernie has already made the Democratic platform the most progressive as it has ever been and we can keep pushing it further. There simply isn’t another option at this time. The Green Party has exactly zero candidates in the House or Senate and their current presidential candidate hasn’t served above City Council. If the Green Party (or any other party) wants to flourish, they need to build themselves up starting from the local levels.
It may not sound as sexy to reform an existing party instead of jumping into a new one, but it’s simply the best option available for fighting for liberal values given the realities of our political system. If we elect Hillary Clinton, we create an opportunity for our country to continue to get more progressive. She’ll elect more progressive Supreme Court Justices and work for many of the values Bernie was fighting for anyway. We can continue to fight at the local and state levels to elect more progressive officials at all levels of government. That is how Bernie’s political revolution can still take place. If we elect Donald Trump, we won’t just maintain the status quo, our country will move backwards and we’ll have to make up a lot of lost ground, if there is any ground left. The choice is yours.