It’s common knowledge that during primary races candidates on both sides of the aisle pander to the most extreme side of their respective parties in order to gain notoriety and attract as many voters as they can.
Voters have seen this with Hillary Clinton, as a center-right candidate, she has continuously paid lip service to Sanders ideals in order to gain the support of Sanders supports, especially in the case that she wins the nomination and needs them to win.
We have also seen this from Republican candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz who have abandoned some of their more moderate positions to pander to the far religious right and to keep up with the racist and xenophobic rhetoric of the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.
However, once the dust settles and both parties have their nominees, the candidates usually head back to their more moderate positions, the positions voters are used to seeing from them when they are not up for elections.
This does, however, leave Sanders supporters in a particularly tough spot as they know if Clinton takes the nomination, she is likely to abandon many of the leftist ideals put forward by Sanders that she adopted in order to win the nomination and head back to the center-right position she has been known for. In reality, she will be the ideal candidate for the Party of Lincoln if that party still managed to exist today.
She has vocally campaigned against universal healthcare, saying time and time again that she believes that the Affordable Care Act was hard enough to get passed and she believes that the government should only keep improving on that. She says she believes in universal healthcare, but she seems unwilling to do the work to make sure every American has coverage.
She claims to agree with Sanders on free public colleges for all but then backs away from that when she believes that some, like Donald Trump’s children, could then use that to go to school when they clearly can afford it. Sanders has pointed out to her that they would be eligible because their family would be paying the taxes that make it possible, but reminded the former secretary of state that it would be unlikely that Trump’s children or children like them would give up the chance to attend an ivy league or private school just for a free education.
She is also a war-hawk who has made numerous foreign policy errors and even to this day suggests she will make more with her stance on creating a no-fly zone over Syria that experts have said will only strengthen the ISIS resolve without actually accomplishing anything positive.
She voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, two things she has now shifted away from, calling them mistakes when she realized voters didn’t want to elect someone who would so easily vote to send American troops to their deaths.
Liberal and progressive Americans want a true leftist candidate and they are being spoon fed a centrist by the DNC and being told to fall in line in line and not to question her record, just listen to what she says now and pay no attention to her past. The Human Rights Campaign endorsed Clinton over Sanders, even though until 2013, Clinton did not support the HRC campaign of marriage equality, even though Sanders always has.
Planned Parenthood endorses Clinton and she said in a recent televised Town Hall meeting that she would support the government intervening in some abortions while Sanders said he would not support any government interference.
Yet, why should American voters believe she would hold any of these values once she has their vote? If she were to take office, she would no longer need to impress these voters and could sprint back to her center-right position that supported these actions in the first place. Voters have no guarantee that she will be the progressive candidate she claims when her history shows she has been anything but.
Those on the far-left and those coming to the Democratic Party only to support Sanders are facing the real dilemma of what to do next. With only one real third-party option, that of the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who won’t appear on all ballots across the country, voters are left with a center-right war-hawk who likely won’t stand by their side if she secures herself the job, Americas true leftists are abandoned with nowhere to call home.
The question becomes, do they support a candidate like Stein and make a statement and conscientious vote, or do they bite the bullet and vote for Clinton and later hold themselves accountable when she abandons their ideals and risk having voted for someone who will send troops into battle and continue to leave so many American without affordable healthcare?