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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Proud of you? Yes, Sir.

The following are excerpts from a letter which I sent to Senator Bernie Sanders this afternoon.

Dear Senator,

This missive is in response to your Facebook post from yesterday.  ...

As you may know (and can verify from your list of campaign contributors), I have supported you in your bid for the presidency since last year.  In two separate quarters, I contributed enough to be on the list which you were required to turn over to the FEC.  ... the money I sent you was not money I could simply dole out willy-nilly, but I believed in your message and your ideals.  I still believe in those ideals.

Many of your former supporters, since you endorsed Mrs Clinton, and more since you spoke on her behalf at the convention asking us to vote for her, have disparaged and vilified you, accused you of selling out or betrayal or both.  I am sure this is not news to you.  I have NOT been one of those.  Search my posts on Google Plus ...  You'll find nothing of the sort.  I have tremendous respect for you.

I was raised in a conservative Republican family.  When I first registered to vote in 1983, in spite of this state not requiring party registration, I insisted on having "Republican" on my registration form.  I was Chair of College Republicans in the '84-'85 academic year at my university.  During the summer terms of 1985, I took "Western Thought and Culture" (a general education version of Western Civ) and "20th Century Europe" (a senior-level course in the HIST department).  The next year, I took two semesters of Logic.  My eyes were opened to the direction in which the "conservative" movement of the time, and the Republican Party, were moving, and so I joined the Young Democrats at my university that year ('85-'86).  I thereafter campaigned and voted for Democratic candidates for various offices, local, state, and federal.  ...  The Republican Party ... painted Mr Clinton as a "liberal" and a "socialist."  I bought into their rhetoric and campaigned and voted for him when he ran for President in 1992.  After he took office, however, I was dismayed and disappointed to see him cave on almost every lukewarm attempt he made to put forth any "liberal" or leftist policies at the first whiff of resistance from the opposition.  I had not joined/registered Democrat, and I was pleased that I had not.  I began looking into "third" parties.  Since then, I have vacillated between supporting "third" party candidates ... and Democratic candidates, at the local, state, and federal levels.  I did not vote in 2000;  I was living out of state and still registered here, and my absentee ballot did not arrive in time for me to return it.  Had it arrived in time, I would have voted for Nader, as I had done four years previously.  I cannot say if I would have regretted it or not as a result of George Bush the Lesser being "elected," so I will not attempt to analyze that hypothetical situation to find an answer.  I have, however, since then, voted for Democrats for President with a single exception, that being Obama's first run, when I felt I could support nobody running.  I was generally favorable toward Obama, but resented the insinuations I kept seeing that people who did not vote for him were racist.  I resent the blatant allegations in this year's primary season as well that anyone who voted for you over Hillary was sexist, but I supported you before that crap started.

When you declared your candidacy, I looked into your record, your stances, your platform.  I liked what I saw.  I thought to myself, "Gigi, this is the guy you thought you were voting for back in 1992."  I therefore enthusiastically supported your candidacy.  I campaigned for you on social media and contributed financially to your campaign.  I joined various communities on Google Plus which were explicitly formed to support your candidacy, and some which were "Progressive" and/or "Leftist."  I was eventually made a Moderator of one such community, the "American Progressives" community on Google Plus.  I even acted against my better judgment and paid dues in December to become a member of the Democratic National Committee for this year, solely because of your candidacy.

I do not know your motivation(s) for endorsing Mrs Clinton and speaking at the convention on her behalf, asking your supporters to vote for her.  I have seen various claims, including one that you were required to agree to do so when you declared your candidacy as a Democrat.  If that be the case, it only serves to confirm that you are the man of integrity whom I believe you to be.  But I do not know your motivation(s) for this choice.  I can therefore not judge you for it.  In spite of this choice on your part, in response to your Facebook post of yesterday, yes, Sir, I respect you, immensely.

That said, I will not be supporting or voting for Hillary Clinton as you have asked.  To do so would be to violate everything both you and I stand for.  I will instead vote for the greater good, not the "lesser" evil (and there is room for doubt as to which of the two main parties' candidates is the lesser evil anyway).  The little DNC has cried "Wolf!" far too many times in an effort to prop up the limited and limiting, simplistic and harmful bifurcation fallacy on which the two-party system is based.  This monopolistic dualism has been a plague on Western societies for some 1500 years with its eternal false dilemma which offers two and only two choices, ignoring the reality that more than two options exist.  We've seen the bifurcation fallacy expressed in religion (Jesus or Satan and no other options), in economics (Unbridled Capitalism or Collectivist Dictatorship and no other options), and in partisan politics (Democrat or Republican and no other options), as well as in other situations (Coke vs Pepsi?).  It is time for an end to the two-party system.  It is time to vote for what we want, and stop voting against what we are afraid of.

I have listened to and read your various speeches and comments about Donald Trump, and your view that we must stop him from becoming President.  While I certainly do not want him to win, I'm not afraid of the big bad Trump and I refuse to submit my intellect to the fallacy of Argumentum ad Metum.  I will not be terrorized into voting for a corrupt, lying, incompetent, neoconservative masquerading as a liberal.  I will not cooperate in the efforts to prostitute me to the Neoliberalism to which the Democratic candidate wishes to pimp us all out.

I will remind you, Sir, that you stated, at an MSNBC "town hall," on 25 April 2016, the following:
"I think it is, you know, we are not a movement where I can snap my fingers and say to you or anybody else what you should do, because you won't listen to me. You shouldn't. You'll make these decisions yourself."

I will remind you also, Sir, of your rejection of messiah-ship during one of your rallies, when you exclaimed:
"No!  No, no! ... The truth is you, not me. If there is any person here, any person here that thinks I’m coming to you as some kind of savior, that I’m going to do it all — all myself, you’re wrong. No president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can do it alone. We don’t need a savior. We need a political movement."

Senator, you are a man of honor, worthy of honor and respect, but you are indeed not our savior.  We must save ourselves.  You told us this movement was not about you, but about us.  Sir, WE are the revolution;  WE are "The Bern."  Dr Stein says "It's in OUR hands."  She is correct.  The time has come to end the two-party system, to deflate the ego of Donald Trump, and to dash the narcissistic ambitions of Hillary Clinton.  She cannot win in November, barring some completely idiotic act or statement by Trump (not that I would put it past him, but I simply don't believe that those who plan to vote for him will ever shift their support to Mrs Clinton;  she is a widely despised and deeply flawed candidate, and the Democratic Party, which could have ensured a win by nominating you, has instead shot themselves in the foot and screwed the pooch by nominating her).

I am no novice in political activism or partisan politics, Senator.  I do not imagine for one second that it will be easy, but I am also aware of the numbers;  if we were to add all the registered Republicans and all the registered Democrats together, they would still be less than half of all registered voters.  While that does not mean that the majority are Greens, it does mean that the majority are potential Green voters (because, even in a state like this which does not require party registration, the most decidedly partisan will insist on it).  I will be working against Trump, but also against Hillary.  I will be working for Jill.  I am by no means alone in this.  More of your supporters share this perspective than the mainstream media are admitting.  Hillary was already an unlikely winner before the rigged elections, voter suppression, and collusion of the DNC with her campaign, and the insults and disrespect to you and us who have been your supporters.  Now she has no chance.  You are backing a losing horse, Sir.  It is, perhaps, too late now that Dr Stein has named her VP running mate for you to give ear to her overtures and become her running mate, and indeed, it would be a shit move on her part to replace the running mate she has already selected with you.  But I do hope you will stop pleading so heartily with us to come back and support the very system which we can no longer stomach, the system which made it plain that it has no use for us other than to rubber stamp its chosen candidate no matter what we would prefer.  The Democratic Party is too far gone to be reformed.  It must (if you will excuse me for using this spelling) Bern, Sir, and be replaced with a party which does stand for progressive and leftist ideals.  I am sure you know this, but cannot admit it publicly, for whatever reason(s).

My Heroes have always fought for the Republic, and against empire.  Proud of you?  Yes, Sir, I am.  However, I will be voting for Jill Stein for President, and I will urge all progressive leftists, and all thinking people, to free themselves from the fallacies upon which the two-party system relies.  My voice does not reach as far as yours, Senator, but I do have my own audience.  Many of them will hear my call.  Most of them have already made up their minds without my influence.  We Bern Green.

With great respect, Sir, I am

Yours sincerely,
[Name Redacted]

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