This is gonna hurt.
Telling a Bernie supporter to get over it and accept defeat is the second most ineffective way to convince them to get over it and accept defeat. The most ineffective way is to scare them into supporting Hillary because the other guy is a historically worse candidate and will destroy America. They’ve followed a man who has preached the hope and promise of what America could be since he announced he was running for president. They’ve followed a man who never took money from big donors and special interest groups. They’ve followed a man who has walked the walk and talked the talk. Bernie supporters experienced an unprecedented event in American politics, a candidate told them the truth and refrained from pandering to them. He didn’t promise that he would save them. He promised that he would lead them. They would have to do the saving. He made his supporters feel necessary to the process and not just by voting, but by becoming a movement and getting involved. He didn’t just give them a solution, he made them part of the solution.
Here’s how you convince a Bernie supporter to get over it. Tell them not to get over it. Tell them that Bernie specifically said this wasn’t about him. This was and is about us. He is a radical agent of peaceful change, and his supporters should be just as engaged with him out of the race as they were when he was in the race. His movement isn’t over. His movement, like every successful revolution, has simply adapted to changing conditions. He’s realigned the front from the White House to the down ticket races. Bernie supporters should put their money and efforts into winning House races, Senate contests, statewide and local elections.
Do not tell them to give money or support to Hillary for two reasons. First, she doesn’t need their money. She’s got Super PACs and wealthy donors to help her win. That’s who she came to the dance with, that’s who she will continue to dance with. The rich and super rich can’t buy any more influence than they already have, but they will continue to try. Second, the truth is the DNC did lie. They weren’t a neutral arbiter of the Democratic primaries even though they claimed to be on many occasions. The system is corrupt. No reasonable person can look at what happened this campaign season and not see the full scale fraud that took place. I am 50, and I’ve never seen lines to vote as long as we saw this election. I’ve never seen this many voters purged from the system, and I’ve never seen voter registrations mysteriously change in mass the way we witnessed in these primaries. Bernie supporters should be mad about all of it. They should be vocal. They should be obnoxious. They should be demanding a change. Everyone should.
So, this post is clearly not an endorsement of Hillary. This is an endorsement of Bernie’s revolution. Be part of the solution. Vote for the candidate that has a real chance of winning and who best fits the down ticket candidates you are going to help get elected. Bernie hasn’t been defeated. He’s just getting started. He scored a major win by pulling Hillary to the left. Her acceptance speech outlined Bernie’s platform as her own. She’s even vowing to push for a constitutional amendment that overturns Citizens United, a move that will take money out of her own campaign’s pocket next election.
If you want to continue Bernie’s revolution, you are going to have to dive on a grenade and vote for Hillary. And after you’ve marked her name on the ballot, vote for every progressive candidate you can. People who will make her life a living hell until she delivers on Bernie’s revolution. People who will demand Liberal SCOTUS appointments. People who will push her until the anti-Citizens United Amendment is the law of the land. That’s how Bernie wins the 2016 election. If you want to take your ball and go home, you’re free to do so, but Bernie loses if you do. That’s not a scare tactic. That’s just what happens when believers give up on a revolution. If you’re not willing to make a sacrifice, then this wasn’t a cause you wanted to fight for. This was a trend you wanted to be a part of until you were asked to do something hard. Shifting your vote to Dr. Jill Stein is easy. She is a true progressive, but she can’t win. That is a reality. I’d love to say that she can, but she can’t. Just because you will vote her doesn’t change the fact that the system is corrupt. They, the powers that be, won’t let her win. Nothing changes until Bernie supporters become the powers that be, and you do that by voting for Hillary and giving her lawmakers that force her to govern from the left.
And for my Republican friends. What the hell are you doing? The man-turd that is your current nominee does not in any way represent your values. You have to have a revolution of your own to save your party, and the candidate that can deliver on that is Gary Johnson. If he draws enough votes from your side of the aisle, he gets you all back in the game. Otherwise, you might as well dust off the old Whig Party stationary.
Here’s my one caveat to all this. If you are a progressive in a deeply red state, a state that Hillary has no chance of winning, my suggestion is not to vote for her. Give your vote to Jill at that point, or any other progressive presidential candidate. If enough red state progressives cast protest votes, that will make some noise. The media will take notice, and it will make our political leaders take notice.
Fight on fellow revolutionaries!