An open letter to Hillary Clinton:
Dear Mrs. Clinton,
It is May 22nd as I draft this letter—a few short weeks before the nomination process for the 2016 election is complete. A few months before the Convention where you will almost certainly be declared the democratic nominee for President of the United States. And in just five and a half months time (and barring some dramatic turn of events) We the People will decide whether to elect you or (as much as it pains me to say it) Donald Trump as president.
For many millions of us, the choice is obvious. Perhaps only the devil himself would be a more disastrous choice than Donald Trump to run our country. For those of us who understand what is at stake for America, you are, by far, the better candidate. You have a wealth of experience—perhaps no candidate in history is more qualified or prepared to lead us. You know intimately how the political game is played and how the system works. You have the unwavering support of the bulk of your party’s leaders and a large representative portion (indeed, an apparent majority) of democratic voters. And as a woman, you represent the possibility of yet another paradigm shift toward equality and electoral maturity in American politics. A Hillary Clinton win would be historic.
Given such a stellar resume and having forged a seemingly inevitable path to the White House, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you to not be winning this nomination by a landslide. It must have been disheartening to watch the “political revolution” gather beneath a virtually unknown senator, lifting him up to a near equal footing among democratic voters in just a year’s time—all while your own legacy spans nearly three decades. By now, after all, it should be painfully apparent to the American people who their next president should be.
And yet it’s not. That upstart senator, despite a number of disadvantages, has been nipping at your heels for the past few months and making a compelling case for his own nomination. We can debate the merits of the reasons for that, but they’re largely irrelevant—in the simplest of terms, if you lose to Donald Trump in November, not one bit of your experience, patriotism, know-how, qualifications, or political clout will matter in the slightest. America will descend into its lowest possible form. We can expect to subsist under a fascist psychopath, who—in his first few days—will assure with his Supreme Court vote that virtually all of the strides we’ve made together over the past sixty years are reversed. Our standing in the world will be tarnished irreparably, our allies will become our enemies, and our enemies will find justification for their hatred. There is a hell awaiting us under Donald Trump that is far, far worse than I think many of us can even imagine.
It is with those concerns in mind that I write to you today. It should be said that I will vote for you, Mrs. Clinton, if it comes down to it. Though I don’t necessarily agree with all (or even many) of your policy platforms, the alternative is far too terrifying for me to justify anything else. That said, I’ve watched your continued decline in the polls with a growing sense of unease. I’ve watched your unfavorability ratings rise sharply over the past year to a dismal 55%, while Mr. Trump’s have (improbably) dropped to 57%. I’ve watched Senator Sanders continually outperform you against Mr. Trump in poll, after poll, after poll. (This very morning, a new ABC poll has you losing to Donald Trump by two points). And I’ve watched with interest as Bernie Sanders has racked up 21 wins against you in the state primaries—at this time, it is entirely possible that he will actually win more total contests than you (though admittedly not in the states he needed most).
It is painfully clear that the DNC (and the bulk of superdelegates) fully intend to continue supporting you regardless of these recent developments and will do so right off the proverbial cliff, if it comes down to it. The DNC, (and true: even most democrats) obviously want you to be the next President of the United States. And that would be fine if it was representative of all voters. But, as you know, it is not. I’ve seen much antipathy lately for those “Bernie or Bust” voters out there, but they’re not the ones I’m worried about, Mrs. Clinton. When it comes right down to it, most of them will do whatever is necessary to prevent Donald Trump from taking office. Most Bernie supporters know full well what is at stake in this election, and while some do claim they’ll never vote for you, I suspect that may change when the grim reality sets in. So who does worry me? The independents—many of whom have been (for one reason or another) unable to vote in these primaries, and a fair few republican #neverTrump folks out there.
You see; while some independents will make the leap for you, many, unfortunately, will not. And there are even a number of republicans (my parents among them) who actually would vote for Bernie, but would not vote for you even under pain of torture and death (their words, not mine). Those are the voters that keep me up at night. They are the invisible votes that make up the difference between your electability numbers and Bernie’s. Millions and millions of voters who, when faced with a Trump presidency, will choose the democratic socialist, but not the establishment democrat—no matter (or maybe because of) the wealth of experience you bring to the table.
I believe you to be a patriot Mrs. Clinton; you’ve dedicated a significant portion of your life to serving America in one way or another. I believe that you believe you are the best and most qualified candidate to lead this country, and you may even be right. But I also believe you—in your heart of hearts—know how dangerous and damaging a Trump presidency would be for this country. And I also think you know, deep down, that Bernie Sanders is the best chance America has of preventing that eventuality. Bernie Sanders will have most, if not all of your votes from democrats. He will have a large majority of independents. And he will steal some of the republicans right out from under Trump’s nose. There is little chance that Bernie, as our Democratic nominee, will lose to Trump. On the other hand, I fear that you will. Those votes are not automatically yours, Mrs. Clinton, and I’m not convinced that you will be able to earn them in the next five months.
It is for these reasons that I’m asking you to do something that goes against every fiber of the political animal you’ve become—against every instinct you have. I’m asking you to drop out and back Bernie Sanders. Not because I think he is the best candidate (though I do); not because of any belief that you are incapable (on the contrary, I think you are exceptionally capable); nor due to any inherent dislike of you. I am asking you to drop out because I don’t think you will win come November. I think Donald Trump will further tap into the latent misogyny and racism out there while continuing to disparage you for your gender and for the mistakes (real or imagined) that have happened during President Obama’s terms.
True, Bernie Sanders has yet to face much in the way of scrutiny or attacks up to this point. His numbers may falter a bit if he suddenly becomes the nominee. But the fact that you, and Trump, and the media have essentially ignored him, works to his considerable advantage. Instead of fighting back against (or wasting time with) attacks, people have been hearing about what he stands for—and by and large, they like it. He has demonstrated his integrity and ideals and consistency over the years, and voters like that too. It’s why he’s surging late in this race—because the more people know, the more they support him. At this stage, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to hurt Bernie’s character in a meaningful way. And though Bernie can withstand a little dip in the polls, the same cannot be said for you. At this stage, even a few points would be disastrous for you, and thus America.
The DNC obviously has the power to force you into the nomination, Mrs. Clinton. You may well even “win” the nomination with the most votes in the primaries. You may well be assured of all of those superdelegates that have pledged their votes to you, in many cases, going against the will of their own constituencies. You will almost certainly be given the nomination. But you will not have earned it. You will not have enough delegates to win without those superdelegates voting counter to what the people want. The convention will be “contested” (albeit a foregone conclusion). That upstart senator that few had heard of just a year ago will have come very close to having beaten the Democratic Party at their own game. And most importantly, he has millions upon millions of votes that you will never get. Sadly, (and perhaps unfairly) I believe you will lose the general election to Donald Trump—narcissist, psychopath, misogynist, xenophobe, racist, fascist, and village idiot though he is.
Unless you step aside before the convention, the DNC will make you their standard bearer, Mrs. Clinton. Even if doing so means handing the country over to a madman come November. Because I know you to be a patriot, I know that is not what you want for America. The best (and maybe the only) chance to prevent the destruction that Donald Trump will wreak on our democracy, our moral character, and our people is Bernie Sanders.
I, and millions of others, are begging you to save us from what a Trump presidency means to our nation.
Drop out, Mrs. Clinton.