Months ago, a lot of Bernie-or-Busters were a bunch of hot air. We were mad. We were mad at Hillary Clinton’s rampant flip-flops. We were mad at the mainstream media’s blatant favoritism. We were mad at the voter suppression and machinations of state-level Democratic parties. Angrily, we railed against closed primaries, super PACs, and self-serving endorsements by politicians and union leaders who ignored their own constituents. Mostly, we were venting.
And we Berners took a lot of heat for being angry: The mainstream media criticized Bernie-or-Busters as privileged bigots who were either too sexist to accept Hillary Clinton or too privileged to accept that only she could save America from the ravages of Donald Trump. Time and again, we die-hard Berners were portrayed as unrealistic haters. Our embrace of ethics and principles was mocked as childish and outdated.
In today’s world, the punditry insinuated, everything is shades of grey. Hillary Clinton’s flip-flops and panderings were not dishonest, but merely good politicking. We were urged to compromise, to be “realistic.” Simultaneously, we were mocked and courted. With sneering arrogance, the establishment insisted that we would eventually line up dutifully behind Hillary Clinton. After our tempers cooled, we would realize that the only thing that mattered was stopping Donald Trump.
And they were right, you know. The sneering pundits and the arrogant media moguls were essentially correct: Most of us Bernie-or-Busters would cool off. We would realize that Hillary Clinton’s milquetoast continuation of Barack Obama’s policies is far preferable to years of gut-wrenching anxiety under Donald Trump.
But then the State Department Inspector General revealed, unequivocally, that Hillary Clinton lied. Virtually her entire explanation of her private e-mail system, which she used for the entirety of her Secretary of State work, was false. She did not seek anyone’s approval. She ignored IT warnings that private e-mail servers were unsafe. She made zero effort to turn in her work e-mails as required. At this point, in late May, Hillary Clinton’s unsuitability for higher office was confirmed.
Just days ago, the FBI concurred dramatically. Although FBI director James Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, he doubled down on revealing her dishonesty and lambasted the former First Lady for being “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information. He revealed that Clinton had lied about never sending or receiving information labeled as classified. He also asserted that, had Clinton been an employee of the State Department, her actions would have cost her her career.
Read that again: Had Hillary Clinton been an employee of the State Department, her actions would have been the end of her career.
Also, James Comey did not absolve Clinton of lawbreaking. Instead, he merely posited that no “reasonable” prosecutor would take the case, implying that it would be too costly to prosecute a wealthy, well-connected politico like Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to disagree that taxpayers shouldn’t have to shell out millions of dollars to allow Uncle Sam to grapple with Clinton’s elite legal beagles for a year-long trial that would result, at most, with a fine and probation. Read that again: Hillary Clinton is not innocent, but is merely “too big to prosecute.”
Though I am tired, I cannot stop standing firm. The findings of the State Department and the FBI mean that I can never vote for Hillary Clinton. And there’s still more dirt out there: Controversial dealings of the Clinton Foundation, the mysterious Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, and pretty much everything in that infamous 13-minute video.
I saw this morning that Bernie Sanders might be willing to endorse Hillary Clinton. He should not do so. He should never do so. The price we pay to stop Donald Trump should never be to accept blatant dishonesty, corruption, and profiteering. After the revelations of the State Department and the FBI, it can hardly be argued that Hillary Clinton is at all preferable to the presumptive Republican nominee. We need Bernie Sanders to stand strong and seek superdelegate votes in Philadelphia, not tacitly condone Clinton’s actions by providing an endorsement.
Bernie Sanders, I know you are under tremendous pressure. I know you have fought the good fight longer and harder than anyone could have predicted or expected. You have done more good for populism and progressivism than anyone else in our modern era. America owes you a debt of gratitude. But please, please do not endorse Hillary Clinton. It will destroy everything.