Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bernie's diehard supporters need to take a deep breath

Bernie Sanders' supporters fall into a couple of categories: they will reluctantly support Hillary Clinton, since he endorsed her and so many of his issues were incorporated into the Demicratic platform. A minority say they will vote for Donald Trump.  And a few say they will "vote FOR someone instead of against someone", not buying Sander's criticism of Trump as a motivation for voting for Clinton. And some may consider voting libertarian or for the Green Party.  Some will opt to skip that part of the ballot or stay home on election day.

Here are my thoughts:  Because of the overwhelming numbers of dedicated supporters to either Trump or Clinton, voting for someone who has not chance of winning, such as a lLbertarian or a Green,  may be a vote on priciple but it is an evasion of decision making. . it is as good as throwing away your chance to influence the  outcome that will be either Trump or Clinton.  If you were a possible Clinton vote, but you opt to vote third party or not vote for president at all, consider your actions as a vote for Trump because it takes away from the potential vote for Clinton (The reverse is true for any possible Republican vote for Trump, including those who sit on their hands or vote Libertarian. That only helps Clinton. )

If you are serious about voting Libertarian and you were a Sanders supporter, then find out what they stand for first.  If your reasons for supporting Sanders' were the issues  he prioritized them and proposed solutions to problems he espoused, brace yourself. You may like the Libertarian approach on social issues, but the core of Sanders' platform was a more active government, from single payer to college financing.  Libertarians want only a skeleton of government and more government programs are an anathema to them.  They would not happen and you are at that point be in effect  undermining the possibility of  enacting most of Sanders' positions.

If you are acting out of sheer anger at being left behind in the economy or resentment of the wealthy, then you may be  the victim of unintended consequences of public policies that arre not in your iinterests in some other way. For example some of Donald Trump's policies contain  continuation of greater income disparity and lack of enforcement of environmental or consumer protection laws, or removing the minimum in wages paid,  or lower taxes on the rich.  It is not unlike those in Britain who voted for Brexit because they didi not like EU regulations and disliked immigration, but awoke the next morning to find their pound had lost value and corporations were considering moving headquarters to Ireland, and foreign investment in the UK was dead in the water.   That was not the intention of those who voted for Brexit.  The lesson: voting because of anger only may have unintended consequences.   Look before you leap.


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