This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Edwin Thomas. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Dear Bernie Sanders Supporters, Give It Up And Vote Clinton

More from Edwin Thomas

By Edwin Thomas:

Last night, the US saw Hillary Clinton formally accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, making her the first woman to do so from a major political party in the history of that nation. No one knows better than Hillary that her ride, so far, has been a bumpy one at that, and that the road to the White House is not going to be a coronation, but a dirty street fight with an old-school bully.

In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, she rightly attacked the demagogue that goes by the name of Donald Trump, not only for his dangerous ideas but also for his lack of a plan for anything that awaits America. But in the first half of her speech was a loud ‘thank you’ to a certain someone that she had to spar with in a surprisingly gruelling primary.

“I want to thank Bernie Sanders. Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary. You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong. And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.”

While history was being made, the tension, that had seemed to die down, simmered once again among Bernie supporters, thanks to an email leak which suggested that officials at the Democratic National Committee wanted to derail the Bernie campaign. Amidst the booing and the protesting on the first two days of the convention, there emerged to me, a strong, yet disturbing sign of the flawed logic that many passionate Bernie supporters seemed to use.

Whatever the result of the convention, it is time to look at the bigger picture, therefore, I am going to use this opportunity to address the Berners.

Dear Bernie Sanders’ supporters:

1) Bernie lost.
For purposes of emphasising, it is worth repeating that to yourself, over and over again. He lost, he didn’t make it, and therefore, he is not the Democratic nominee. Not only was there a gap of more than 3 million votes between Clinton and Sanders but there was a gap of more than 400 delegates between them. She defeated him on both measures and it wasn’t even close. In 2008, the delegate gap was way too close between then-senators Obama and Clinton and she was ahead of him by a tiny margin in terms of popular vote.

Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton on July 12. Source: Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton on July 12. Source: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

2) It’s politics after all.
An extension of the previous point, it’s time to acknowledge and come to terms with reality. But I understand why you may have held out hope. Back in 2008, Clinton got the point, stepped up, rather stepped aside and gave Obama a full-throated endorsement in June, despite the race being so close. In comparison, Sanders gave a half-hearted endorsement in mid-July. Waiting this long, despite numbers being against his favour, kindled false hopes about Bernie somehow getting into the picture, once again. Well now, it’s time to wake up and smell the icing.

3) The political revolution is bigger than Bernie.
By all means, the economic issues that have taken centre stage is of utmost importance. Income inequality, wage inequality, Wall Street greed and corporate evasion from the law has rightly occupied enough attention to change the Democratic Party for the better. This was the goal of Bernie, apart from winning the nomination, and a respectable one at that. But during the final stages of his primary campaign, Bernie positioned himself as the sole person who was able to deal with these issues, casting out everybody else as ‘establishment’ politicians. He switched rhetoric when he realised that he had no realistic chance of winning, and said that, “This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip. It’s not about polls. It’s not about campaign strategy.” Believe him. A revolution can’t have only one leader and torchbearer. A revolution means raising the right issues and then turning that into practical policy. Hillary is capable of the latter.

4) Hillary is willing to listen.
Regardless of what she calls herself, Hillary was not a progressive until prior to this election. She can be considered a moderate or a centrist. Because of Bernie, she has changed almost her entire platform, from supporting a public option for Obamacare and proposing to make college debt-free and even free for many Americans; to opposing the Trans-Pacific partnership and embracing the call for a $15 minimum wage. This means she is willing to listen and even after the primaries got over, she could’ve returned to her centrist rhetoric, but she hasn’t and that means a lot.

5) She can get results.
Hillary may not be able to give inspiring speeches or rile up an audience like Bernie, Obama or former President Bill Clinton. But she has a proven track record of being a workhorse and getting things done, her Senate record being a good example. She is known for crossing the partisan aisle and getting things done with Republicans (despite being hated) by finding common ground, negotiating and compromising. These are qualities that Bernie seems to not give too much importance. For him, ideological purity is all that matters, but with a possibly Republican Congress and Senate, a Democratic President has to do a lot of deal making that only Hillary is capable of.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Bernie Sanders supporters gather near City Hall on day three of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The convention officially began on Monday and has attracted thousands of protesters, members of the media and Democratic delegates to the City of Brotherly Love. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Source: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

6) Trump should not be an option. Ever.
Listen to Bernie and then listen to Trump. Is the latter anywhere close to the ideals and dreams envisioned by Bernie? Doesn’t it make you feel a little terrible that some of you are willing to vote for a narcissistic and dangerous demagogue as a protest vote against Clinton? Your arrogance could actually lead to a looney toon appointing at least three Supreme Court justices, overturning many landmark judgments, undoing the Affordable Care Act, undoing protection of LGBTQ people under the law, sending 11 million undocumented immigrants home and not doing anything about systemic racism plaguing the country. If you’re a white, rich person (like Susan Sarandon) screaming “Bernie or Bust“, you will never know what your vote means for an undocumented Latina child who is afraid that her parents may soon be deported. Check your privilege.

7) Jill Stein can’t win.
Voting for a third party candidate, if that person had a legitimate chance to win, is a great option. But if not, you could ruin the chances of a candidate that is actually close to your ideals and is better for the nation overall and lend victory to Trumpism. Split voting happens this way. Read up on Ralph Nader because the last time a similar situation happened, America and the world got Bush, which meant, wars and a disastrous economy.

It’s a no-brainer. Really. So spit it out, and go vote for Hillary. Because, we are “Stronger Together”!

You must be to comment.
  1. A.M.Udith Dhruv

    Hillary and Trump are both candidates with negative favourability ratings,which means that Americans are only voting for the lesser of two evils.The Democratic party made sure that Clinton won the primaries which was allegedly rigged. Clinton’s track record is less than satisfactory.She has done U-turns on her policies and opinions her entire life.Who is to say she won’t do the same when she is in office?And her vice-presidential pick is not progressive either.Jill Stein is a viable option because the vast majority of American people do not want either Clinton or Trump.The vast majority are independents who largely voted for Bernie as opposed to Democrats who voted for Clinton.If these Intependents vote for Jill Stein victory is possible.The U.S. cannot and does not have the time for another 4 years of stagnation and corruption and war mongering while the world collapses around it.

More from Edwin Thomas

Similar Posts

By Raj Iyre

By Yash Johri

By Abhinandan Kaul

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below