It pains me to say it, but I’m voting for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

There is a significant chance that the nomination was stolen from Bernie Sanders and from us, and if so, then Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party deserve to be punished for it. I also think the best chance we have to take back our government is to elect Hillary Clinton, so we can avoid Donald Trump and continue the fight.

I don’t think she is going to be a good president. I expect she will continue selling much of her power to the highest bidder, and not do much at all about climate change or many other issues vital to progressives. But it will not be as bad as a Trump presidency: legitimized hate, fantastically bad Supreme Court justices, and a snake oil salesman in the White House.

One important caveat is if she allows the Trans-Pacific Partnership to pass, because that would bring consequences far worse than a Trump presidency (and dramatically lessen the impact of bad Supreme Court nominees), and these consequences will linger for decades. Regardless of her words, there is a distinct possibility she may let this terrible so-called trade deal pass. She never said “I will do everything in my power to kill this bill.” What she said was the very weasely-worded, “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it”.

This is not the time for a protest vote, in terms of a presidential campaign. I ran as a third-party candidate. I’m the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress. And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.

— Bernie Sanders, from a Facebook post on 9/17/2016

I disagree that voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson is a protest vote. If you vote third party in order to punish Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party–or don’t vote, or write in Bernie Sanders, who is no longer a candidate–then yes, I disagree with you. If you honestly think a third-party candidate would be the best president for the country, then you are voting your conscience and I support you.

(See my article on Bernie or Bust.)

I must admit: I do believe voting third party does make it more likely that Trump will become president. However, if he indeed becomes president, this is the fault of no one except Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Beyond being “not as bad as Trump,” and the couple of concessions Bernie Sanders pushed her for (the healthcare public option and college affordability), they have not done much of anything to earn our vote.

It pains me to say it, but I’m voting for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

Update 9/23: This article sparked a lot of discussion











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