Dear U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
You have been an inspiration to me. When I first heard about you and your presidential platform last spring, the first words that came to my mind were “balls! Brass balls!” This line, from the popular animated series The Venture Bros., flashed in response to your assertion that America needed universal health care, tuition-free public higher education for qualified students, and a modern New Deal for infrastructure development and financial reform. You were the first presidential candidate to be so bold, so idealistic. Alone among the herds of sycophants and flip-floppers in Washington, you had brass balls.
Your campaign has lit a fire within me. Before you, I cared little for politics. Finally, at the age of 31, I have something to believe in, to root for. I was never a sports fan, but your campaign has become my team. You have become my all-star MVP. Today, I know how die-hard sports fans feel. For months, I have read every article, checked every stat, and marveled at every action shot. I have bought the gear, argued and debated, and both cheered and wept.
I rooted for you and cheered every time you overcame the bias of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party establishment to win a primary or caucus. The playing field was so unlevel, but you exceeded everyone’s expectations anyway. There is not a rational American of decent intelligence who does not know that you would have swept the Democratic primaries if the playing field was fair. At every opportunity, the establishment tried to push you down, freeze you out, cow you into submission…but you held strong.
You have fought a better fight than any other politician in our modern era.
But, sadly, the final Super Tuesday took away your last real shot at clinching the Democratic nomination. It was unfair – the media unethically publicized a Clinton “nomination victory” a day in advance to try and suppress your supporters – but it happened. Now, with the California dream dead and gone, it is time for you to do the right thing.
Bernie Sanders, it breaks my heart to say this, but…
I need you to break a promise. I need you to break the promise you made to not run as an independent candidate. I need you to break the promise you made to support the Democratic nominee. America needs you to run in the general election, either as an independent candidate or as a third-party candidate.
When you made your promise to not run an independent bid, you assumed that the mainstream media and the Democratic National Committee would treat you fairly. You did not assume that there would be voter suppression in Arizona, New York, and California. Your promise was made on the presumption of fair play. There was no fair play, which absolves you of your “verbal contract” with the Democratic establishment. It is crystal clear that they never intended to treat you fairly, which frees you from any obligation to them.
Bernie Sanders, you must feel free to continue your fight for what is right. You are right. Right. You have a duty, an obligation, to continue your campaign and push your platform. Millions of Americans need you, even if some do not recognize it right now. Millions of Americans want democratic socialism and desperately, desperately want an alternative to either Hillary Clinton (D) or Donald Trump (R). You must be that alternative.
Millions cannot stand Trump’s racism, sexism, xenophobia, and political amateurism. Millions cannot stand Clinton’s flip-flopping, lying, profiteering, and political complacency. Your independent candidacy is viable and can actually win the White House. Moderate Republicans and libertarians will flock to you to avoid both Trump and Clinton. Progressives and independents will flock to you to avoid both Clinton and Trump.
After the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, you need to do the right thing. You need to continue your presidential campaign. I know you must be tired. You have fought so hard for so long, and you have forever won the respect of this nation. But we still need you. I still need you. Bernie Sanders, keep running. Please, keep running.
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