Why This Bernie Sanders Fan Is Voting for Hillary Clinton
Today, this Bernie Sanders fan is voting for Hillary Clinton. The reasons are fairly simple. She’s not racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, anti-Latino, or anti-any-minority-group that Donald Trump has insulted. She has not “allegedly” raped or sexually abused anyone. (Yes, the bar is pretty low.)
Despite her manifold imperfections, let’s face it: Unlike her opponent, she has spent much of her life trying to make the world a better place for those Americans who are not in the 1 percent. She has often fallen short, but in truth, how many of us can say that we’ve worked with incarcerated teenagers and disabled children? Fought to bring health care to all Americans? Helped 9/11 first responders get the health care benefits they deserved? Fought to make women’s rights human rights? Stood up for LGBT rights?
Meanwhile, what has Trump done? He’s spent a lifetime trying to make his world a better place, even at the cost of other people’s welfare.
If Trump were a student at my sons’ elementary school, he’d have been suspended long ago for tantrums, bad sportsmanship, use of foul language, name-calling, bullying and, last but not least, “alleged” sexual harassment and sexual abuse of more than a dozen women.
If he were my kid, I’d have sent him to therapy to treat his narcissism, lack of impulse control and difficulty acknowledging the truth. Why have we tolerated in Trump, a would-be leader of our nation, the kind of behavior that no reasonable mother, father or school principal would tolerate in children? Do we want our children to see in our highest leader a man who mocks others and promotes violence? Are these the “family values” to which we want our sons and daughters to aspire?
As an overgrown boy who has offended and demeaned every minority group, entire countries and pretty much everyone who does not flatter him, he has trodden upon the ideals inscribed in our Constitution and in our hearts: truth, equality, liberty, justice, freedom.
If Trump were my kid, I would ground him and take away his phone privileges. I would insist that he take a walk, meditate, do some yoga, take a cold shower and engage in restorative justice—the kind our schools have embraced to teach children how to make amends after they harm people.
If he argued with and insulted me (which he no doubt would), I’d tell him that his Neanderthal impulses were being instilled in him by our reality-TV culture. I’d have him relearn those old-fashioned values that real patriots value: integrity, respect, tolerance. These are the kind of morals our vaunted institutions and schools have etched into their walls—the kind of high-minded values promoted by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump is a product of the dumbing-down of our nation—a nation that has come to value television over books and insult-flinging reality-TV stars over people who work hard to advance themselves. We’ve come to promote fame and fortune over determination, kindness and generosity. How far have we fallen?
Perhaps it makes us feel better to see someone else get downtrodden. It makes us (within the confines of our own homes) feel safer and better about our own lives, as in: “Wow! My life is pretty great compared to that loser’s life.” But let’s face it—these reality shows are nothing but verbal gladiator games; they appeal to our lowest instincts.
Why is Trump famous? He’s famous for judging others, for deciding who to fire, who to destroy, who to debase. The thing he’s best at is name-calling. Do we want a leader who is a destroyer or a builder? A divider or a uniter?
Can you imagine saying this to your grandchildren? “Let’s overlook President Abraham Lincoln’s storied legacy of honesty. Instead, let me tell you the story about President Trump, who bragged about sexually abusing women. Who lied about his tax returns and successfully evaded paying taxes for years, even though he was a billionaire. He also refused to pay his workers—wasn’t that clever? And did you hear about how he polluted the drinking water of a 92-year-old woman when a pipe broke on his golf course near Aberdeen, Scotland? The woman had to cart her own drinking water from a stream, in a wheelbarrow—for four years.
“Yes darlings. Cheat the poor. Stomp on those who are different from you in skin color, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Make enemies wherever you go and brag, sneak and steal so you can get ahead. That’s what America is all about.”
Or will you tell the story of how you voted for Hillary, even though she was imperfect, just as our union is imperfect? Then you might add, how you continued to push her, after the election, to make sure that she stayed true to her promises to create a better world and a better country — one in which people of all races, colors and creeds were respected and offered the same rights, opportunities and protections.