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Defense is over

watkins

Since the Democratic convention, I’ve been defending Bernie Sanders supporters from the characterization as entitled, spoiled brats. I too was very unhappy with the way the DNC & the media handled Sanders’ campaign, and I too believe that had they approached it without bias we’d have seen a very different result.

But life being what it is, the result is that Hillary Clinton got the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie conceded – with a great deal of class and humility I have to say – and life goes on. As Sanders has said, our job now is to ensure that Donald Trump does not become our next president. And while I’m not Clinton’s biggest fan, reason dictates that I support her in this election because there is simply no other good option.

And that’s what I’ve tried to convey to the Bernie supporters that I have contact with. To support either of the minor party candidates, or to withhold your vote completely is a step toward nuclear war…because if Trump becomes president I have no doubt we’re going to see one.

I believed, and hoped, that the vast majority of the Sanders supporters would eventually suck it up and come to the party.

But the lackluster support being given to Our Revolution (the framwork organization that will continue to support and promote Sanders’ progressive agenda) – both by the media and by Sanders supporters has given me some real cause for concern.

Apparently Bernie’s best line out of the entire campaign failed to sink in: “Real change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up. Our Revolution is our chance to begin the groundwork for change. But it appears that many of the folks who were so excited about Bernie Sanders weren’t looking for real change – they were looking for someone to make the changes for them. From Baby Boomers to Millenials – a portion of every age group that supported Sanders seems to have seen him as their grandpa who would come in, give “mom and dad,” (aka: the current elected government) Hell, and straighten things out.

Unfortunately, that’s not how life works and that’s especially not how government works. And now, those folks who wanted everything handed to them on a silver platter are pouting because they didn’t get it. So instead they’re turning to people like the Green Party’s Jill Stein (whose sincerity about making changes has been proven by participating in the vandalization of construction company equipment at the Dakota Pipeline site) and the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson – who at least has some governing experience, but…have they really read the Libertarian platform??

Why? Because both Stein and Johnson are promising change without work. Like Trump, they promise to change everything if they get elected…but they don’t bother to mention how that’s going to happen.

One of the (I believe) significant reasons Sanders didn’t win the primary was because many of his supporters simply didn’t understand the voting process in their states. They didn’t understand that every state is slightly different, that caucuses are an esoteric, complicated process, and that you can’t just walk in there en mass and expect everyone to hand you the keys to the White House. They weren’t willing to educate themselves or do the work in order to get the results they wanted.

So, I’ve reached the point where I’m done defending – or attempting to persuade – those holdouts. And I am sad to admit that yes, there appears to be a significant portion who are feeling entitled; who think that the system that they couldn’t be bothered to understand has failed them. All of those kids whose parents’ cars were plastered with “MY KID WAS STUDENT OF THE MONTH” bumper stickers are learning a hard lesson: In real life, “student of the month” doesn’t count for much. You have to actually know how the system works.

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