“Sanders Fans, I Get Your Pain…”: A Response to The New York Times

The New York Times published an opinion piece this week addressed to Bernie Sanders fans and supporters everywhere. Its message was clear: a steadfast and divided America is not going to lead to a prosperous one. Titled “Sanders Fans, I Get Your Pain. But Let’s Unite Against Trump,” the piece is preaching for the democrats of the country to stop dividing America for a candidate who is numerically and inevitably going to lose. Despite coming from a biased perspective – Jay Carson was Hillary Clinton’s press secretary during her 2008 campaign– the theme of the article is speaking an undeniable truth. We need to get behind our probably nominee before it is too late; before the Republican one destroys everything.

In the piece, Carson discusses the difficulty he had giving up the fight for Clinton when she ran against Obama in 2008 and how he eventually had to accept the fact that Obama was going to be the Democratic nominee. Granted, this doesn’t mean he was jumping sides and begging for votes for POTUS, but he says that she didn’t “do or say anything that would harm his chances” either. Through this anecdote, Carson is trying to help Sanders supporters avoid feeling what he felt: failure all around. Instead, he believes we should all focus on a common enemy: Donald Trump (who, at this point, really is looking like a possibility). However, Carson’s message, like many others coming from Clinton supporters, sounds more like a call to give up votes, then to rally for the greater good.

The piece does speak a truth, as I mentioned before. America is not going to go anywhere but down if our parties, supporters, and voters continue to be as divided as they have become today. The political parties are more divided in Senate, today, than ever before in history. This sad election is evidence of what this polarization has led to. Carson’s article also opens the eyes of many liberals who may not have ever bothered to hold the idea of another President Clinton in their perspectives. Ever.

Being ignorant of every other candidate than one’s own is a sad use of our democratic society – no candidate is going to share every stance nor fight for every policy that may be desired or expected by every voter. To make oneself aware is to be a fair voter and, in my opinion, a productive citizen. However, that is not what Carson is preaching for here. He’s calling for an end all – when the end hasn’t even come, yet. Yes, there is a strength in equally fighting AGAINST a hurtful outcome, but since when did that require fighting FOR the same person? Democracy is about freedom of choice and independent thought. No matter how bleak this election may look, there is an even bleaker future for an America whose voters stand behind not who they believe in, but who they don’t completely hate. That is not democracy; that is a popularity contest.

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