I was passing through one of the worst parts of our city.
I had to get home to pick up my daughter to take her to her club, but there was a shop in the area I wanted to run into for a minute.
Simply getting from my car to the shop is always an ordeal.
People accost me in the parking lot, trying to sell me things I can’t use.
I navigated past a man trying to sell me a flashlight that doubles as a stun gun.
As I opened the door to the shop, I noticed an elderly lady leaning against the wall.
I am embarrassed to say that my first thought was…
“She’s going to ask me for money.”
I overrode this fear and said “Hello” to her as I was entering the building.
I found nothing I desired inside.
Upon exiting the lady asked me if I was going very far.
I pointed in the direction I was heading and she asked me if I would take her to the grocery.
I was not concerned for my safety.
She must have been at least 80 and it took me nearly three minutes just to help her into the car.
She observed my Bernie Sanders stickers (I currently have 11 different Bernie stickers on my vehicle).
She asked me if that was for my job.
I said “It’s for Bernie Sanders. He is running for President of the United States.”
“Do you work for him?”
I figured the shortest answer was to say “Yes” so I did, just as we were pulling into the grocery parking lot.
“Does he pay you well?”
I smiled at this.
“No actually I pay him.”
I pulled up to the door and helped her inside.
“Are you a Christian?” she asked.
This lady was asking me a lot of questions that required long answers and all I had time for were one-liners.
“No.” I replied.
“But you help people.” she said, half asking.
She looked perplexed.
Perhaps she had a stereotype about non-Christians, that they weren’t good people.
“I try.” I said.
She looked at me very intently and said
“I am a child of God. The Sun shines through me.”
“I believe you.” I said.
I had to go.
My humanitarian efforts were making me late.
As I was getting back in my car, she said
“Every day I struggle to find food. I scrape together $20 and go to the grocery. That last me for a few days and then I am hungry, so I go walking around until I gather up enough money to eat again.”
I asked a stupid question…
“Don’t you get Social Security?”
“I do” she said “and that pays my rent, but it doesn’t pay for food and I never know if I will be able to keep the electric on each month.”
I was living inside my head.
I was thinking about how Bernie Sanders will expand Social Security and how millions of Americans live just like this poor lady.
I was thinking about how I need to work harder to get Bernie elected.
I was thinking about how the Republicans were always trying to cut Social Security.
I was thinking about what I could sacrifice, so that I could go home and donate to the campaign again.
And that got me to thinking about how little funds I have right now and how my car has issues that I need to have fixed and how my body has some things going on with it recently that I need to get checked out (my left side had been weak and tingling and I didn’t know what was causing it.)
And I was thinking about how I was late picking Chloe up and how I had to go.
I forgot that there was a human being standing in front of me.
I saw her, without seeing her.
“Be careful getting into cars with strangers.” I said “Not everyone is nice.”
With that, I drove away, leaving her standing there in front of the grocery.
I was already a mile down the road before I stopped thinking about the tingling in my face and realized that I had completely blown an opportunity to help someone in need.
This lady wasn’t like the junkies who converge on me at the gas station.
My father’s alcoholism destroyed our family.
As a result, I’ve had a lot of anger to work through with drug addicts asking me for money.
I used to just glare at them.
I used to have to fight back the urge to humiliate them.
People often tell me that I am compassionate and non-judgmental.
They don’t know.
I am a work in progress and I used to be extremely angry at those I believed weren’t doing their best.
Once, when I had a mini-van full of kids, I got out at the Chuck E Cheese for my daughter’s birthday party.
A man approached me and asked for money.
I escorted the kids inside and then returned to the parking lot and said to the man…
“I am a single father!! I work my ass off!! I have three jobs!! You give me money!!”
He walked away.
I still carry some of that anger with me, despite working on it for years.
I still feel that many people make life choices that are selfish, but I also know that many people are doing their best and their best just isn’t good enough.
The lady I abandoned at the grocery definitely fit into the latter category.
I should have helped her.
Instead I had my head up my ass and was only focused on my own troubles.
I got Chloe to her club on time.
I went to a nearby coffee shop with my laptop and worked on some projects for Bernie Sanders.
I was really into the projects and the coffee was amazing.
I drank a lot of coffee and was too involved with working to stop for food.
When I picked up Chloe, the tingling and weakness on my left side had become severe.
I also was having some trouble breathing.
I was scared.
I went into the bathroom.
I wanted to be alone.
I didn’t want my family to know what was going on.
I didn’t want them to worry.
I used my phone to Google the symptoms.
“nausea, weakness and tingling on left side of body, blurred vision, trouble breathing”
For more than a decade I suffered from debilitating anxiety.
I went to therapy and read a lot of books.
I changed my lifestyle.
I got it under control.
Now I am a pretty anxious person, but it had been over a year since I had an anxiety attack and nothing I had ever had was like what I was experiencing alone in the bathroom.
After reading several articles, it seemed that I had some new (to me) form of anxiety attack or that I was having a stroke.
I didn’t know what to do.
It was either everything or it was nothing.
I was afraid to go to the hospital, but I was afraid not to.
I was there all night.
I took my Bernie Sanders autobiography with me.
Between tests I read it.
It really helped with the fear.
When you read Outsider in the White House it’s like Bernie is speaking directly to you.
That was very comforting to me at this time.
They said that they think that maybe I had a small stroke and that it was good that I came in.
They ran an EKG.
All was fine.
I read forty more pages.
They took blood.
We waited for results.
I read forty more pages.
All was fine.
Then they wheeled me into a room for a CAT scan.
We waited for results.
I read forty more pages.
The doctor came in and told me that I was healthy.
I was relieved and felt silly.
I kept thinking about the lady at the grocery.
Bernie would have helped her and so would I usually.
Why did I just drive away?
It was late when I arrived home.
I put on X-Files and fell asleep.
In the morning I went to the bank and found out that my account had less money than I thought it did.
I was upset about it.
Also I was upset at myself for being upset.
Just a few hours earlier I thought that I had a stroke.
Now I was worried about a few hundred dollars.
I sat in my car and watched the rain and sadness began to creep over me.
I knew how to solve it.
I drove back to the area where the child of God had been searching for food.
I was going to find her and I was going to take her grocery shopping.
Then I was going to drive her home and figure out other ways I could help her.
I am an incredibly selfish person.
I know that I hide my motivations from myself.
I have a philosophy degree.
I know that I probably help people because I love the good feeling it gives me.
I know all about psychological egoism.
I know I’m a selfish prick and I’m okay with that.
I like to express my selfishness in ways that help others.
I drove all over the neighborhood.
How hard could it be to find someone who had “The Sun shining through them” on such a gray and rainy day?
She was not at the pawn shop, the gas station or the grocery.
She wasn’t down any side street and when I asked the people I seen walking if they had seen her, they did not know who I was talking about.
They just asked me for cigarettes.
She was nowhere.
She was sitting in a cold house somewhere, wondering if there was any point in braving the cold rain to find someone to feed her.
And I was sitting in my warm car, wondering how I had ever let such a chance slip away.
Sunday my daughter and I were in Columbus, Ohio canvassing for Bernie Sanders, when we received word that we had been asked to volunteer for a Sanders’ rally, where people had been lined up since 6:00 AM.
I really wanted to go.
I had seen Sanders speak before, but never in a place so large.
It was cold and raining and being that we were in a rural part of the Midwest, everyone we were meeting was Republican and many were hostile.
We were cold, wet and tired, but we made the trip to canvass, not to attend rallies.
I shared my reservations with the volunteer coordinator and she said
“You’ve worked hard. Reward yourself.”
Chloe and I went to the rally.
They gave us special passes and we got to go inside hours before the doors opened.
It was pretty exciting.
They trained us.
Our job was to assist the disabled Berners to their seats.
After a while people began to file in.
I made it my goal to smile at everyone.
We were on guard, because Donald Trump had issued a call to his followers to commit violence against Bernie Sanders’ supporters.
He had promised to pay the legal fees of anyone arrested while doing so.
For three hours we assisted people to their seats.
It was kind of a long walk, so I used the opportunity to speak with the people that we were seating.
They were all so grateful to be there.
A lady in a wheelchair started crying and said
“I’ve never been in a place with so much love before.”
An elderly couple told me that they had “waited their entire lives to vote for Bernie.”
A Sanders staffer was interviewing people.
Those who were “feelin the Bern” were given VIP bracelets, so they could sit behind Bernie and be on TV as he spoke.
She asked them a series of questions to screen them to make sure they were really Sanders’ fans.
She was concerned that Trump supporters would get on TV behind Bernie and cause a disruption.
The stadium was filled up and there were still lines as far as the eye could see in every direction.
Chloe and I were told that our work was done and that someone had saved two seats for us at the top of the section behind Bernie.
We were excited.
We went inside and listened to the opening speakers.
There was a rock concert type atmosphere to the place that exceeded anything I had ever been part of.
It was magical.
Finally Bernie came out and began speaking.
It was only then that I noticed a man several rows in front of me holding up a Donald Trump sign.
He would raise it so the camera would see, but then quickly hide it so that security wouldn’t notice.
I was at an angle, so I could see that he had a smirk on his face.
It was easy to see that he hated Bernie.
While Bernie talked about people being able to pay their bills, this man just stood there and shook his head.
While Bernie discussed institutional racism, the smirking man stood with his arms crossed and chuckled in a mocking manner.
The anger inside me grew.
To see the vast difference between Bernie Sanders, a titan of a man, who had overcome so much, only to devote his time on this Earth to helping others, contrasted with this smirking coward and his hateful sign, pushed me over the edge.
I began projecting all my prejudices onto him.
I imagined what the smirking man’s life must be like.
I imagined him being unaware of his white, cis-male privilege.
I imagined that he had tricked himself into believing that he was a self-made man, just the way his pathetic hero, Donald Trump had tricked himself into believing the same.
I imagined myself speaking with him.
In my mind we were arguing…
He was telling me how Sanders wants to give handouts to lazy people and I was unsuccessfully trying to illuminate him on how so much of what he thought was “self-made” was really just the product of being born with certain advantages that others do not have.
I was getting angrier thinking about the people who were standing out in the cold, to listen to Bernie’s voice of hope and how this guy was depriving one of those people from that opportunity.
I was getting angrier thinking about how he had lied to the Sanders’ staffer and tricked her with his dishonesty.
I considered for a second going up to him and saying
“I hear Donald Trump will cover your legal fees should you get arrested for bashing a Sanders’ supporter, but will he cover your hospital fees when a Sanders’ supporter knocks you the fuck out?”
I imagined myself hitting him right in his smirking face.
I knew I wasn’t really going to do this…
But I really wanted to.
I have learned to recognize the lies that anger will tell me.
I have learned to identify the deception my own mind is capable of.
I know that I represent Bernie Sanders as much as he represents me and I know that falling to such a level is never justifiable.
I reminded myself that this Trump supporter was a challenge to me and nothing more.
20,000 people were focused on a prophet who spoke truth less than 100 feet away and I was focused on an impotent idiot who was miserable and set on making others like himself.
And I was letting him win.
I gave myself a challenge.
The challenge was to not look at him again for the remainder of the rally.
The challenge was to forget him and to focus on Bernie’s message.
Bernie had moved on to talking about a woman’s right to choose.
It was only then that I realized that the man standing next to my daughter was also a Republican.
He too had his arms crossed and an ugly smirk.
He too was shaking his head after each thing Bernie said.
The man yelled at the top of his lungs…
“ALL LIVES MATTER!! INCLUDING UNBORN ONES!!”
Bernie said something else about women’s rights and the crowd erupted.
I screamed at the stage…
“A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CONTROL HER UTERUS MATTERS!!!”
This angered the man next to Chloe and he turned his back to Bernie.
As we were at the very top of the bleachers, this meant that he was staring at a cement wall.
From the corner of my eye, I looked at him and saw him standing there with his arms crossed, staring at gray cement.
He reminded me of a little boy pouting, because he didn’t get his way.
He was in timeout.
As Bernie moved onto speaking out for LBGT+ rights, the man became even more infuriated.
I thought about how boring his life must be, if the best thing he had to do on a Sunday was to stand in the rain for hours, just so he could stare at a brick wall.
I thought about how it must be tough for him to watch the world slip away as America moves towards a more enlightened age.
I thought about how angry he would be when Bernie was elected and how he would be sitting on The Internet complaining about the “fucking lib-tards who had destroyed America.” when all the while we were out rebuilding it.
I grew tired of thinking about him…
I went back to listening to Bernie’s message of peace, love and prosperity.
All the anger left my body as I scanned the crowd, looking at the beautiful faces of those who support a candidate that many do not have the courage to support.
I saw black, white and Hispanic people.
I saw little kids with twinkling eyes.
I saw gay and straight united.
I saw thousands of people with more in common than they had differences.
I saw faith, hope and love.
To be a Bernie Sanders supporter is not like being the supporter of any other candidate.
We deal with discrimination every day of our lives.
It’s not just the uneducated stranger who doesn’t understand the difference between Democratic Socialism and Communism or the Trump supporter in his big, foreign oil guzzling truck who tries to intimidate us as we drive.
It’s the more subtle things that we have to overcome every second of every day.
It’s our own families judging us for being suddenly so political.
It’s the fact that we do for free what all the other candidates have paid staff to do.
It’s the fact that everywhere we go, we are told that we are wasting our time, by people who are brainwashed by corporate media.
It’s the overcoming of our own doubts when Bernie loses five states in one day and we are in tears and so despondent that our family members give us space for the evening.
It’s climbing a mountain and slipping and falling and being cold and sometimes forgetting, albeit momentarily, why we started the climb to begin with.
It’s being the kind of person who gets up off the ground again
Being a Bernie Sanders supporter isn’t at all like being a Hillary Clinton supporter.
The DNC handed the nomination to her.
Her Wall Street and Wal-Mart buddies pay for her private jet while we skip meals so Bernie can afford to fly coach.
They are on top of the mountain, laughing at us and spitting down upon us..
We are not like them at all.
We are not like the Trump supporters who think they are entitled to privilege because of the color of their skin.
We embrace while they divide.
We stand up for human rights, while they point their fingers of blame at those who are less fortunate.
We will not let our country continue down the road to corporate ruin with Mrs Clinton.
We will not let our country be taken over by the NAZI fascism of Donald Trump.
We will call every phone in America.
We will knock on every door.
We will talk to every friend and every stranger.
And when we are weary, we will find solace in each other.
We will deal with every ugly discrimination.
We will never give up or give in.
We have been made strong by our trials.
We have only just begun to fight.
Revolution was never meant to be easy.
When I am out talking to potential voters, I always start with…
“Who do you support in the Presidential election?’
After they tell me, I then follow up with my favorite question..
“Oh yeah? What do you like about them?”
I’ve noticed some definite patterns.
Cruz supporters always talk about how “Obama is ruining the country.”
Trump supporters usually say..
“He knows what it takes to run a business and America needs someone with business sense.”
“He says what’s on his mind.”
I always figured they would say
“I’m a huge racist and so is Trump..”, but so far no one has admitted to this.
Bernie supporters always say that “He is for the people.” or some version of that.
And Hillary supporters usually say…
“She’s experienced.” and “I think it’s time for a woman.”
Wait for it…
Wait for it..
“She’s more electable.”
Is Hillary Clinton more electable?
Poll after poll keeps saying that Hillary Clinton might be less electable (even UNelectable) in a general election.
Let’s examine why.
And before we do, let’s clarify that we are talking about Reuters and Quinnipiac polling, not some online poll.
These polls have been historically accurate for decades.
After all, voting is still a poll, and these organizations have it down to a literal science.
So why is Hillary Clinton so strong in The Primary, yet possibly unelectable vs The GOP?
Let’s examine the reasons.
Hillary is a Very Powerful Primary Candidate Because of Her Strong Support In the South, but this Actually Works Against Her In the General Election
Hillary Clinton is a strong Democrat in the south, but it is STILL the south and the south will vote for a Republican in the general.
In the Democratic primary election you do not need to win the state.
You can lose, but still take home delegates.
It is a race to see who can get to 2,383 delegates first.
In the general election it is winner take all (except for Maine and Nebraska, both Sanders’ states, which are slightly more complicated)
Losing a state by a count of 51% to 49% is exactly the same as losing by 100%.
The states that Hillary is strong in during the primary, are states she simply cannot win during the general.
Even the most die-hard Hillary supporter knows that she cannot win the southern states vs Republicans.
Those states have been red for a hundred years and neither Hillary nor Bernie is going to be able to change that in 2016.
But Sanders is much stronger in the states that Democrats need to win in November.
Sanders strongly outperforms Clinton in states like Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and New Hampshire.
These are the type of states that Democrats have to win in November or else Republicans will regain control of The White House and The Supreme Court.
Sanders is much stronger than Clinton in the states that Democrats need to defeat Republicans in, so in this way, he is a much more electable Democrat.
Let’s examine more reasons…
Some Republicans Will Vote for Bernie Sanders but Hillary Clinton is Universally Hated Among GOP Voters
Republicans are dissatisfied with their leadership.
Much like Democrats, they are rejecting the corporate sponsored puppets who have been thrust upon them.
Much of Donald Trump’s success is due simply to the fact that he is not your typical corporate candidate.
Some Republicans will vote for him simply because they view him as more real and honest.
Conversely, many Republicans cannot stand Donald Trump and in a general election tens of thousands of Republicans have openly stated that they will vote for Bernie Sanders over Trump.
They may not agree with Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism, but they appreciate his honesty, candor and the fact that he does not represent corporate interests.
This doesn’t help Bernie Sanders in the primary, but makes him an incredibly powerful force in a general election.
Could you imagine if there were a Republican that Democrats were willing to cross the line to vote for?
I personally can’t, but if there ever were such a candidate, it would make for a landslide victory for The GOP.
Fortunately for The Democrats, for the first time in decades, we have a candidate that appeals to both parties.
Bernie Sanders bi-partisan appeal makes him much stronger in the general election.
Many Republicans Who Do Not Like Trump Will Still Vote For Him If Hillary Is the Democratic Nominee
Republicans loathe Hillary.
As Democrats we know this.
This is something that Hillary should be proud of.
The GOP is ludicrous and to be an enemy to The GOP is nothing to hang one’s head over.
But the reality is that Republicans are angry and want to unite around a candidate.
The problem they have is that the only candidate that excites their base is an outsider and many Republicans will simply stay home on election day, rather than support a candidate that does not share their values.
Sanders vs Trump means that a lot of Republicans simply won’t vote and, as we discussed, a small percentage will actually vote for Sanders.
Hillary Clinton is the cure for Republican voter apathy.
Hillary Clinton is so hated among Republicans, that record numbers will show up, not to vote for Trump, but simply to vote against Hillary.
That spells big problems for The Democratic Party if Clinton is the nominee.
Say what you will about Hillary, but one thing is for sure, she polarizes her opposition.
A Hillary Clinton nomination means EVERYONE who is a registered Republican will show up to vote against her.
This could pose a huge problem…
Especially when combined with the fact that..
Independents Will Vote For Bernie but Not For Clinton
Americans are fed up with the corporate two-party system.
As a result we have millions of voters who now refuse to side with either party.
They may register as one or the other, but when polled they declare themselves as Independent.
Independents now make up the largest voting group in America at 42%.
Independents, overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders.
Trump is their second choice.
Corporate candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton aren’t even on their radar.
In fact they became Independents largely due to their mistrust of corporate candidates.
This spells big trouble for Democrats if Hillary is the nominee, because millions of Independents will vote for Trump or simply not vote at all.
We may not like it, but that’s the reality of it.
Begging, pleading or threatening with Independents to vote for Hillary just to stop Trump will not work.
Many would rather watch the two-party system crumble, then to vote for a corporate candidate.
But we also need to consider that…
A High Percentage of Lifetime Democrats Refuse to Vote for Clinton
It’s just bad timing for Hillary.
Americans are angry and fed-up after living through the recession, the collapse of the housing market and paying for the Wall Street bailout.
Hillary is a very strong candidate, but many Democrats view her as the status quo.
They are tired of seeing corporate sponsored candidates and simply refuse to vote for them.
Had Hillary won the nomination in 2008, she would have surely beaten McCain and become President.
But, as we’ve discussed, this is not 2008.
Many Americans view Hillary as having caused their financial woes and her ties to Wall Street are a severe handicap for her in the general election.
Furthermore, this is the age of social media and many things that voters didn’t know about (or even care about) in 2008 are now out in the open.
Hillary’s relationship with Monsanto has cost her Democratic support.
Hillary’s relationship with Wal-Mart has cost her Democratic support.
Hillary’s relationship with the for-profit prison industry has cost her Democratic support.
Hillary lost favor among many Democrats and they went looking for another option.
Sanders filled that void for many former Hillary supporters and she hurt herself severely by using campaign tactics that, in effect, polarized former supporters against her.
Hillary supporters can be angry about it, but they would be wise to accept the reality.
You cannot force people to vote for a candidate they feel has betrayed them.
And the threat of Trump will not scare them back into Camp-Hillary.
They are a scorned group and tens of thousands of them have pledged to vote Green Party instead of supporting a candidate they feel deceived them.
Hillary Clinton does not have the support of her own party and this makes her nearly unelectable in the general election.
Vote For Whomever You Want
The point of this breakdown is not to sway readers into voting for one candidate over another, but to inform Democrats of the risks and obstacles we will have to overcome if we elect either candidate to represent us in the general election.
I did not mention Hillary’s private email scandal during this article, because no one knows what will happen with this.
It could range anywhere from charges being dismissed, all the way up to treason charges being pursued.
Regardless this is definitely going to be the topic of much discussion should Hillary gain the nomination and ultimately could be a hill too steep to climb with the aforementioned obstacles we already discussed.
Sanders refuses to mention the email scandal, but Trump has already stated that he will make it the main topic of debate should Hillary win.
I am a feminist and see the appeal of (FINALLY!!) having a female President, but I am also a Democrat and my number one priority is keeping The White House in Democratic control.
I will support whichever Democrat gains the nomination, but it is clear that it would be a huge uphill battle getting Hillary elected, whereas Sanders wins in a landslide of historic proportions against Trump and other GOP challengers.
A high voter turnout means that we can also begin to take back control of The House and Senate, so that the next President will not have their hands tied the way that Obama did.
Make no mistake, this primary will be close and your vote definitely matters.
Democrats have the opportunity to take total control of the government over the next few years.
But we also run the risk of being completely locked out and losing our freedoms to a fascist GOP regime.
I will throw all my support behind Hillary if she gets the Democratic nomination, but based on what we have learned about who is more electable in the general, Bernie Sanders is the best bet for Democrats who value party control of The White House and Supreme Court.
In fact, if Sanders gets the nomination in June then we can pretty much laugh our way through the summer, because he will absolutely annihilate any GOP contender.
I was a die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter from 2007 through 2015, but this is not an issue of emotion.
This is an issue of what is best for our country.
We have to beat The Republicans.
If we do not..
All is lost.
I used to be in love with Hillary Clinton.
Well not “in love”, but oh how I used to love her.
I used to talk trash about how amazing she was when I spoke to Republicans.
I used to say
“If you hate Obama, wait until you get a load of Hillary!!”
I had a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on my car.
I idolized her.
Let me be completely honest.
I voted for Obama in 2008.
But it was an extremely hard choice.
What did I know about her back then?
Well it’s kind of embarrassing.
All I really knew was that she was a woman and that she was a Democrat.
And she was (and still is) an excellent speaker.
And honestly that was enough for me at the time.
And up until a year ago I felt the same way.
So what happened?
I have always been a politically active person.
I fought for immigration reform, went to Planned Parenthood rallies…
I was recruited to be the head of my college’s feminist group (they said I wasn’t like other guys, whatever that means) and I was a member of The Sierra Club and Amnesty International.
I protested both Persian Gulf wars (alone both times).
I’m a vegetarian.
I go to Pride every year.
I’m kind of a huge bleeding heart liberal.
My Democrat friends make fun of me.
I don’t have very many Republican friends.
I voted for Bill Clinton twice, Obama twice and even voted for John Kerry (honestly I wasn’t hugely excited about Kerry, but would have voted for a ferret over Dubya)
I have been a loyal Democrat my entire life and yet I can’t bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Here’s a short list.
And before I begin, I want to say that this has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders.
Let’s assume for a minute that Bernie Sanders loses the nomination and I have to choose between Trump/Cruz/Rubio/Kasich or Clinton.
Let’s take Bernie Sanders completely out of the equation and imagine that I have to vote for her just to keep the GOP out.
I still struggle to do it.
It’s like asking me to choose between death by burning or death by drowning.
I choose neither.
I would choose to vote for Jill Stein if it comes to that.
At least then I could live with myself.
But I cannot feel good about myself, if I vote for Hillary Clinton.
The TPP and Her Lying About It
The TPP would be an absolute disaster for America. We would lose millions of jobs overseas. The Internet would fall under control of multi-national corporations and our own government would be at the mercy of these corporations.
It’s a disaster.
Hillary Clinton helped write it and toured the planet for five years selling it to the world’s governments.
When she found out that Sanders opposed it, she publicly stated that she opposed it too.
That is a blatant lie and you can check that for yourself.
Emails to high ranking Democrats show that Hillary is pressuring them to pass TPP.
She is lying until she gets into office so she can pass it.
That alone would be good reason not to vote for her, but there’s more.
Hillary Clinton Receives Money From The For-Profit Prison Lobby
This is beyond wrong.
In fact, it’s downright Republican.
For-profit prisons have quotas to reach.
They make money from keeping their cells full.
They then turn around and charge the tax-payers money to incarcerate people.
But violent crime has been on the decrease in America for 30 years.
So for-profit prisons lobby our government to pass stricter laws and pressure police forces to make arrests where no arrests are needed.
They pass three strikes policies and mandatory minimum sentences.
But, it gets worse.
The prisons then force prisoners to work for .02 per hour (that’s right TWO CENTS PER HOUR) and then sell the products and services to bidders at a markup.
In short, for-profit prisons target poor minorities.
They are, in effect, modern slavery.
I cannot support a candidate who takes money from prisons for profit.
Hillary Cut Funding To Low Income Families
Hillary likes to talk about how she headed the Children’s Defense Fund.
What she fails to mention is that while she was head of the CDF she actually cut funding to the Welfare programs that were in place and replaced them with weaker programs that caused immense suffering for poor American families.
I am not holding Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform bill against her (although she did speak out religiously in favor of it).
I am talking about Hillary’s choices.
When I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, I used to talk about how experienced she was.
What I didn’t know was that nearly everything she has touched has become worse as a result.
Gutting Aid to Families with Dependent Children was, quite frankly, a Republican maneuver.
I do not know how one can do this and call themselves a Democrat.
Wal-Mart and Union Busting
Hillary Clinton spent six years on the board at Wal-Mart, a company notorious for using sweat shop labor and for treating their employees unfairly.
Wal-Mart has also knowingly been responsible for the destruction of the American small business.
Wal-Mart has made it their strategy to pop-up in the middle of a small town and set their prices to drive mom and pop stores under.
I would be willing to overlook this as a past indiscretion if it weren’t for the fact that Hillary had a previous history as a union busting Republican lawyer and still receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wal-Mart to this day.
The Democrats I know won’t even shop at Wal-Mart.
They certainly would not support a candidate who has an ongoing relationship with such a corporation.
In a Word, Monsanto
Hillary Clinton receives money from Monsanto lobbyists and has spoken out in defense of Monsanto on numerous occasions.
Hillary is more than just a little involved with Monsanto.
In fact, Monsanto lobbyist, Jerry Crawford, is her senior adviser.
Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to childhood cancer and there is some evidence that it may be linked to autism and other diseases.
Monsanto was instrumental in destroying family farming in America.
GMO’s are a serious issue and Hillary’s ties to Monsanto alone are enough to disqualify her with many liberals, myself included.
But there is so much more…
Hillary Clinton simply does not have a plan to deal with Global Warming.
This is undoubtedly related to her ties with Big Oil.
Hillary talks a good game, but upon inspection of her plan you see that she has no actual plan.
If we do not address Climate Change now, then there will be no planet for our children and grandchildren to inhabit.
It is absolutely the most pressing issue facing our planet and I cannot support someone who takes money from entities who contribute to this crisis.
Hillary Clinton Sold Arms to Countries That Sponsor Terrorism While She Was Secretary of State
When I first heard about this, I thought it was a Republican smear campaign.
So I looked into it.
I was shocked that Hillary traded arms to countries secretly for hidden donations to The Clinton Foundation.
You cannot say that you oppose terrorism while you arm the terrorists.
This alone is enough for any Democrat to reconsider supporting Hillary Clinton.
Just think how we would feel if we found out that a Republican did this.
We would want them thrown in prison.
Why should we feel differently about someone who calls themselves a Democrat?
Are we hypocrites?
Getting Money Out of Politics
Ask any American and they will tell you that the biggest problem in American government is that our government represents corporations and not people (and no, I’m sorry, but corporations are NOT people.)
Hillary Clinton is not equipped to get money out of politics as she continues to take money from lobbyists.
Talking out of both sides of her mouth, claiming to be a candidate of the people, doesn’t hold water when you see that she continues to hold her hand out to anyone who will drop a six figure check into it.
Until we have a President who will stand up to corporate lobbyists then our government will not represent The People.
Hillary Clinton represents corporate interests.
Hillary Clinton does not represent The People.
You simply cannot represent both simultaneously.
Hillary Clinton’s manipulation of the Democratic National Committee to deprive the American people of a fair election in 2016 have been deplorable.
She knew she had the nomination wrapped up so instead of giving a fair shake to the other candidates, The DNC and Hillary colluded to have only six debates and they put all of the debates on at inconvenient times, against popular programs, so that the American people would not watch.
From a strategy standpoint I understand, but this is America.
Hiding your competition is not fair to the American people.
The front-runner should be bold and take on all challengers.
You should win because The People want you.
Not because you manipulated the election process.
But it did not stop with simply refusing to have debates.
Time Warner, who owns most of the mass media, is one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors.
They have a vested interest in her winning and it shows in how they report “the news”.
Hillary also receives money from News Corp (aka Fox News).
Rupert Murdoch, half-owner of Fox News is a longtime friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
This is unfair to the American people and I cannot support a candidate who tries to manipulate our election process.
Once Sanders had caught her in the National polls, Hillary stopped hiding and demanded more debates. Sanders, a respecter of Democracy, complied.
More debates are good for Democracy (there were 28 Democratic debates in 2008).
Trying to cheat the American people out of their chance to see their options is anti-Democratic.
Furthermore it is apparent that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is working together with Hillary Clinton and Third Way Democrats to ensure that the deck is stacked against her opponents.
And recently it came out that many of the pro-Hillary pundits were actually on her payroll.
This means that when you see someone on “the news” telling you why you should vote for Hillary, that you are not getting an impartial opinion.
And that is not what The Democratic Party is supposed to be about.
We are supposed to be better than the Republicans.
The Podesta Group and Child Labor
Much of Hillary Clinton’s campaign money comes through the chair of her campaign, John Podesta, head of the Podesta Group.
Podesta gets money from Merck which uses child labor in India to farm Mica for their products.
Hillary Clinton knowingly takes money from child labor.
Many of these children are as young as five years of age.
I cannot feel good about myself, supporting a candidate who profits from child labor.
I’m sick of hearing about it too, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot represent The People if you are being controlled by The Banks.
America has dropped from the world’s top economy to 23rd overall.
The rich are getting richer and the middle-class, which was the backbone of our economy, has all but disappeared.
This is all a result of Wall Street manipulation.
Furthermore Hillary is keeping secrets about what she said during her Wall Street speeches, where she was paid $153,000,000.
When challenged to release the transcripts she said that she would release them when the Republicans did the same.
I do not want a President who waits for Republicans to set her morals and ethics.
I want a leader.
Hillary’s refusal to release the transcripts, which are in her possession and solely her property, is enough of an implication to make even the most die-hard Clinton supporter wonder what she is hiding.
I could talk about Hillary’s conflicts of interest for hours, but the bottom line is…
You cannot represent The People, when you are beholden to The Big Banks.
A Repeated Pattern of Racist Comments and Actions
From her implication that black teenagers are “Super-predators that need to be brought to heel.” to “Black men in hoodies are scary.” to her relationship with racist, genocidal war criminal Henry Kissinger, to the way she treats Black Lives Matter protesters, there is a repeated pattern of racism that seems to seethe out from Mrs Clinton.
When you back this up with some of her questionable policy decisions and support of her husband’s crime bill that targeted black Americans, you start to get an overall picture of a woman who at the very least, does not understand the problems facing black America.
Hillary Clinton toured the country speaking out in favor of Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians.
DOMA devastated hundreds of thousands of lives.
But that was the 90s, right?
She’s evolved since then, I used to say.
She continued to speak out against gay marriage and is on record as recently as 2013 as stating that “marriage is between a man and a woman”.
Then suddenly, when the tides in the country had shifted, and marriage equality became inevitable, Hillary changed her position and became an overnight ally.
As someone who has been fighting this battle since I was 16 years old and lived through DOMA, that just doesn’t work.
You were against us, then you were for us, when it was convenient for you.
That doesn’t fly.
Which leads me to the next reason I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton…
Which Hillary Clinton Will We Get?
Hillary seems to change her policies based on what suits her best at the time.
It seems that she says what people want to hear, then later does what suits her corporate lobby interests.
While this might make her an excellent politician, it makes her an untrustworthy leader.
America is in a very perilous place currently.
We have an economy that is devastated.
We have enemies, both foreign and domestic, who seek to destroy us.
We have a fractured government.
We cannot have someone in office who lies to us.
I cannot vote for someone who puts their own best interest ahead of our country’s best interest.
The Iraq War
It is not just that Hillary voted for a war that killed 175,000 innocent people and created Isis.
It is that she actively spoke up for it and sounded like a Republican while doing so.
She not only spoke up for this unjust war, but was front and center speaking, convincing others to vote for it as well.
We will spend our entire lives trying to recover from the worst foreign policy blunder in American history.
I cannot vote for someone who has repeatedly shown a tendency to go to unnecessary war and repeatedly shown a lack of judgment and capable leadership.
Honduras, Libya and Potential War in Syria
Clinton’s role in the regime change in Honduras and Libya has lead to the slaughter of innocent people in both countries.
It would take hours to outline the full scope of Hillary’s deceptions in these situations, but when she talks about the conflict in Syria, it is clear that if she is elected to office than many more innocents will die.
As a Democrat I cannot vote for someone who will send American troops off to die without just cause.
As a human being, I cannot put someone in charge of the world’s most powerful military, considering that on several occasions she has already used that military to strike down the innocent.
Quite honestly, Hillary is similar to most Republicans in her approach to war.
Underhanded Campaign Tactics
In 2008, Hillary Clinton suggested that perhaps Barack Obama would be assassinated so she could win the Democratic nomination.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton circulated a photo of Barack Obama in a turban and started a campaign against him, stating that he was not a Christian.
This turned into the Birther movement which haunted Obama and detracted from his effectiveness as our nation’s leader over the next eight years.
In 2015, she took an excerpt from the first Democratic debate, where Bernie Sanders said “We have to stop shouting at each other (referring to Americans) over gun control.” and used it in campaign ads to say that Bernie Sanders was a sexist who wanted women to be quiet and know their place.
In 2016, she stood on a debate stage and lied about Bernie Sanders’ voting on a bill that her husband actually introduced.
These are Republican tactics.
These are just a few examples.
There are many more.
I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who spreads lies about good people like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.
I just cannot trust someone who does that.
A Pattern of Silencing Victims
From Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers, to a huge list of people who have crossed the Clinton’s and ended up in dire straights, there is a growing number of people who say that Hillary Clinton has threatened them into silence.
When I was a Clinton supporter, I chalked this up to opportunistic people, trying to get a cut of the vast Clinton fortune, but there are just so many and they all say the same things about her.
Couple this with Hillary’s seeming inability to tell the truth (remember when she bragged about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia and then the video emerged of her elaborate celebrity greeting) and you have to at least wonder if there is some credence to the claims that Hillary Clinton silenced sexual assault victims.
As a feminist, that is a deal-breaker for me.
Which leads me to what is perhaps my most important reason…
I Have a Daughter
I took my daughter to vote for Barack Obama both times that I voted for him.
I wanted her to experience, what I felt, was a huge step for our country in the area of race relations.
I openly wept the first time.
I was excited to vote for Hillary for similar reasons.
I wanted my daughter to see that when she grew up, that she too, could become President.
I wanted her to grow up in a country where women were treated equally.
Having a female President would be proof that we were, at least, moving in that direction.
You can imagine how heartsick I was when I found out that Hillary was not a good example for my little girl.
America is long overdue for a woman to be President.
Indira Gandhi lead India fifty years ago.
Why has America been so slow to give equality to women?
I don’t understand it.
But I now realize that electing someone who is a poor example for my daughter is actually a step backwards for women.
There is a growing list of powerful women in government.
We can only be a few years away from electing a female President.
When we do, I want it to be someone my daughter can be proud of.
Hillary Clinton is simply not that woman.
When I started this, I was determined to fit all of the reasons I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton into one neat little article.
I have failed.
There are just too many to cover.
But I have one more that is of great concern to me…
She Is Not a Good Candidate Right Now
The numbers show that she would lose to three of the top four Republicans and would beat Trump by only one point (she loses to Cruz and Rubio by seven points respectively and to Kasich by three points in historically accurate Quinnipiac polls).
Once you include the fact that she is clearly hiding something in her 38,000 deleted emails and that her IT person, Brian Pagliano, has been given immunity by the FBI and DOJ, it is clear that Hillary is not a good candidate to support in this crucial time for our country.
With this indictment hanging over her head she will most certainly lose to the GOP.
Can you imagine the ways in which they will use this information against her, over and over and over again?
She is facing federal indictment during an election.
Democrats deserve better than that.
The next President of the United States will have the opportunity to appoint either two or three Supreme Court Justices.
The GOP has control of The House and Senate.
If they gain control of The White House and The Supreme Court as well, then Democrats are effectively locked out of government entirely.
A woman’s right to choose will be gone.
All LBGT+ rights, GONE!!
It’s too crucial.
As a Democrat, I need a candidate who will beat the GOP.
Not a candidate who is facing federal indictment during an election.
I used to be in love with Hillary Clinton.
These days, not so much.
It always hurts when you allow yourself to be duped.
I didn’t really know Hillary.
I projected my wants onto her.
I believed that she represented me and when I found out that she didn’t it hurt.
I’ve moved on and I sincerely hope others will learn the things that I did.
I do not believe that Hillary supporters are bad people.
I believe they are just like I was.
Life is busy.
Who has time to research politicians.
Pretty lies are more fun than ugly truths.
But I can’t support someone who has done the things she has done.
Maybe you will think I am just a scorned, former lover.
All I know is that the more I learned, the more it hurt me to see someone with so many people looking up to her, do things that hurt so many.
I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.
I cannot live with blood on my hands.
I love people who love Bernie Sanders.
They are intelligent.
They see through bullshit.
They seek truth.
They strive to be fair.
Each one of them is a daily reminder to me that the world is okay.
Before this happened, I wasn’t so sure some days.
From the time I was a kid I knew that the fix was in and I just wanted to Rage Against the Machine…
But no one would rage with me.
Everyone was watching football.
I was the only one protesting.
Why couldn’t I just relax and watch American Idol?
Why was I angry about what was happening to others?
The world was going to hell and no one noticed…or cared.
When I found out Bernie was running I knew it would change my life.
I ran to my girlfriend’s house and said
“You know the Senator from Vermont that I like? He’s running for President!!”
She pretended to remember and I paid back her courtesy by rambling on about him for like fifteen minutes.
She had no idea that this was the first of many bedroom speeches about the Brooklyn Jewish guy I had literally fallen in love with.
To my knowledge, she has never been jealous.
But she might have ran, if she had known that my daily moods would be decided by what people in the media had said about my hero.
She couldn’t have known, in that moment, that I would break into nightly rants in the kitchen about Bernie Freaking Sanders (!!!) and get myself so worked up that I would have to stop talking because my throat was tightening and I was about to cry.
I had no way of predicting that my kids and their friends would soon come to talk more about Bernie Sanders than they talk about video games.
I could never have guessed that this great man and his run for the Presidency would have resulted in bringing me closer together with my family and friends.
I never anticipated that we would spend so much of our lives making signs and t-shirts and traveling across the country to attempt to be tiny cogs in some great and beautiful machine.
I never thought I would be involved in something so great that everywhere I went I would meet amazing people who shared my values and my desire to make America all it can be.
Being a Bernie Sanders supporter eliminates the need for greetings.
There are no strangers.
When we meet each other we are instantly friends.
We know what we stand for and we know what we stand against.
I love people who love Bernie Sanders.
They are good and decent people.
We do not follow someone who is secretive and scandalous.
We follow someone who is inherently good.
Someone who dissolved all the imaginary barriers of age, race, orientation and gender and brought people together in a way we did not know was possible.
We know all the Bernie-Bot jokes and hear how we are cult-like and “drink the Bernie Kool-aid”
We’ve all been called commie.
We’ve all been disowned by a family member.
We’ve all been made fun of by people who, sadly for them, just don’t get it.
But we get it.
We have been waiting for this our entire lives.
We were sleeping and wanting desperately to be awakened.