A Reminder For Bernie Sanders Supporters Considering Donald Trump: It's A Betrayal Of Bernie's "Revolution"
There was always going to be a certain subset of disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters pondering voting for Donald Trump, potentially seeking comfort in the presumptive Republican nominee, turning away from the saner alternative out of some heady mixture of spite and anti-establishment sentiment. And in case his recent hints on Twitter that he would welcome such Berners weren’t doing the job, Trump has now come out and used those exact words. Trump declared his intentions toward the feelers of the Bern in the wake of last night’s primary bonanza — the results of which cleared the path for Clinton to become the Democrats' presumptive nominee.
“For all those Bernie Sanders supporters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of super delegates, we welcome you with open arms,” Trump said Tuesday night in a speech — literally delivered from his New York golf course. Whether that fact will damage the message to Sanders' supporters, who tend to disavow inequality and corporate wealthy, remains to be seen. The fact that Trump called the Vermont senator “Crazy Bernie” may also hinder his attempts at outreach.
I fear, though, that while the majority of Sanders' supporters probably wouldn't dream of backing Trump, there's evidence that a small cohort would. A Washington Post/ABC News poll from May found that of Sanders' supporters, 69 percent said they'd support Clinton in the general election and 20 percent would back Trump. I worry that for some Sanders' supporters, Trump's shared disdain for the former Secretary of State will make it seem okay to consider voting a candidate who has made a stream of misogynistic, xenophobic, fear-mongering remarks (oh, and has advocated for war crimes) into our nation’s highest elected office.
That's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the myriad of differences between the reality TV business mogul and the Vermont senator — and why I believe any rational Sanders supporters would not find Trump to be the better option.
For starters, one of the cornerstones of Sanders’ platform has been fighting climate change. Could Bernie supporters back a man who has pledged to somehow dismantle the Paris Agreement, even though he’s not totally sure what it is? Trump's views on immigration, his plans (or maybe it was “just a suggestion”) to categorically ban Muslims from entering the United States, to build a border wall, to refer to members of other races in blanket terms like “rapists” and “terrorists” while smiling over Trump Tower taco bowls are diametrically opposed to the polices and values that the Vermont senator has preached throughout his campaign.
In unequivocal terms, I believe there is no way to have truly believed in the platform Sanders is running on and still vote for Trump, or even to abstain from voting at all, which might as well be voting for Trump. I’m not 100-percent sold on Clinton either, but unfortunately, at this point, that doesn’t matter. I believe you cannot be a person who doesn’t approve of racism, sexism, the suspension of human rights, and climate change-denial and still reconcile yourself with turning to this man. There is no “I don’t agree with everything he says, but…” on someone like Trump. It doesn’t work that way.
For any Sanders' voters tempted to go to the Trump side, they should ask themselves: For whom do they think Sanders would want them to vote? It's not a big mystery, folks. Sanders said in his speech Tuesday night, "We will not allow Donald Trump to become President of the United States.” Listen to your candidate of choice, Sanders' supporters: Trump is not the way.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster