“Bernie or bust” supporters damage the Democratic party


Among the many factions that have emerged as a result of the 2016 political climate, there is one group that prevails over all as being the most irritating. It is the small coalition of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, nicknamed “Bernie or Bust.” They vow to either not vote or write in Sanders’ name on the ballot come November when they have the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“Bernie or bust” supporters fail to acknowledge Bernie Sanders and his rival are not nearly as different as their supporters make them out to be. They align on almost every issue, and have a 93 percent record of voting the same in the Senate. This doesn’t stop 61 percent of Sanders supporters from having an unfavorable view of Clinton.

When millions of Democrats refused to vote for Al Gore in 2000 and instead chose Ralph Nader, the more exciting, more progressive Independent, the presidency was handed to George W. Bush on a silver platter. Nader won Florida, a swing state by 537 votes which would have gone to Gore should Nader not have been on the ballot. Should “Bernie or bust” supporters take the Nader route, they might as well hand the presidency to Donald Trump.

There are real, significant reservations to have about a Hillary Clinton presidency. You can disagree with her policy positions and past voting record, as I sometimes do. She is generally less inspiring and less progressive than Sanders is, and only promises to continue Obama’s liberal legacy, instead of moving our country further left. But if Bernie supporters don’t coalesce with Democrats after the convention in July where Clinton will presumably win the Democratic nomination, then the consequences could be more catastrophic than the 2000 election.

Eight years of the Bush administration meant a disastrous war, a $6 trillion deficit, and the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. It is unclear how much damage a Trump presidency would do, but there is no doubt that he would propel our country in the wrong direction.

Die-hard Bernie supporters view Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as if they are yards away from each other on the political spectrum, not lightyears. Jill Stein, the nominee of the Green Party, tweeted that “I will be horrified if Donald Trump is elected. I will also be horrified if Hillary Clinton is elected. Both are corporate politicians.” However, Trump and Clinton’s ideas, values, temperament, and experience are wildly different, and their presidencies would yield almost opposite results.

Clinton is by no means a perfect candidate, but she is most likely the Democrat’s nominee for president, and it is the Democrats’ duty to rally behind her in order to prevent a Trump presidency. The Republican party is consolidating around their presumptive nominee, and Democrats failure to do so could result in irrevocable changes to our country. “Bernie or bust” voters are damaging to the Democratic party and potentially to the future of our country.