Since the Democratic National Convention at the end of July, Bernie Sanders has been keeping a fairly low profile. It was to be expected coming off a very long, exhausting presidential campaign.
However, running as successful of a campaign as he did, Sanders is fully aware that he couldn’t stay on the sidelines for too long. He hasn’t been making many huge appearances, but he has been speaking to the press more and doing interviews which are going to be key in helping Clinton defeat Trump this November.
For instance, an interview he did with MSNBC’s Morning Joe where he perfectly explained why voting third-party plays right into Donald Trump’s hands.
“Let us elect Hillary Clinton as president, and the day after, let us mobilize millions of people around the progressive agenda,” Sanders said.
After a recent NYT/CBS poll was mentioned showing that around one-third of voters under 30 said they were supporting a third-party candidate, Sanders talked about how foolish it was to cast a “protest” vote that does nothing but help elect a dangerous demagogue like Donald Trump.
“Look, I was a third-party candidate. I began my career running as a third-party, getting 2 percent and then 1 percent,” Sanders stated. “I’m the longest serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress, but I think that before you cast a protest vote, because Clinton or Trump will be president, think hard about it. This is not a governor’s race. It’s not a state legislative race. This is the presidency of the United States.”
“And I would say to those people out there who are thinking of the protest vote, think about what the country looks like and whether you’re comfortable with four years of a Trump presidency,” he added.
Everything he said here is absolutely spot-on.
Don’t get me wrong, Bernie Sanders is partially responsible for some of the negative views younger Americans have about Clinton based on some of the things he said during his campaign, but what he’s saying here is something that those voters desperately need to hear — even if I’m certain many of them are going to accuse him of “selling out.”
Actually, he said something I told Sanders supporters a long time ago — the best thing to do if his primary campaign wasn’t successful was to rally behind Clinton, help elect Democrats to local, state and congressional elections and then hold her accountable for every promise she made during her campaign. No matter what they might think of her, she’s still a candidate who:
- Will appoint liberal Supreme Court justices like her husband did when he selected Ginsburg and Breyer.
- Supports gay rights and same-sex marriage.
- Won’t overturn the Affordable Care Act, but rather improve upon it.
- Is actually more liberal than President Obama when it comes to combating climate change.
- Supports immigration reform.
- Wants to raise the minimum wage.
- Supports education reform.
- Is pro-choice.
- Won’t vilify Muslims, Mexicans or immigrants.
- Wants to help Syrian refugees.
- Hasn’t advocated for committing war crimes.
- Isn’t heaping praise on a Russian president trying to undermine U.S. policy.
The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, even if she doesn’t make all the wildest dreams of the far-left come true, at least she won’t undo all the progress we’ve made like Donald Trump would allow Republicans to do. Which means our job — all of us — is to hold Clinton accountable for the promises she made. And if she doesn’t try to do what she said she would, then I’ll be one of the first people pushing to “primary” her in 2020.
In 2000, we saw what happens when people cast “protest” votes — we ended up with George W. Bush. And just like we’re seeing now, many of those folks who voted for Ralph Nader couldn’t be convinced that on Al Gore’s worst day he was still a million times better than the alternative.
Eight years later, we were engulfed in two wars; our national debt was spiraling out of control; thousands of Americans had died; and our economy was on the verge of almost complete collapse.
Only this time, the nightmare that Trump will bestow on this country will make Bush’s eight years look like a pleasant dream.
So, I sincerely hope Bernie Sanders gets out there and says this sort of stuff more often. There are far too many of these under 30 voters who aren’t accurately remembering what the 2000 election was like and this year could very well turn out how that one did. And just like the Brexit regret so many folks in the UK felt once they realized their “protest” vote ultimately handed bigots their victory, there’s no “do-over” if Donald Trump wins November 8th.
Watch Sanders’ comments below via MSNBC:
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