The Berning

Since last week’s 5-state sweep by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday 3, supporters of Bernie Sanders have reacted on social media in such a way that suggests we may need a stronger word than hyperbole in the national lexicon to describe it.

Bernie Bros

Credit: Huffington Post

In addition to conspiracy theories of Trump and Clinton working together, I’ve seen multiple posts on my own social media news feeds from Sanders’ supporters proudly declaring to not vote in the upcoming election if their candidate does not receive the nomination in July.

Earlier this month, vlogger TJ Kirk, aka The Amazing Atheist, told his subscribers:

“Just know, the Bernie supporters, a lot of them, are not going to be on your side. I know for a fact, a lot of us, if it comes down to Hillary versus Trump, we’re going to abstain. Or worse yet, we’ll vote for fuck’n Trump!”

This is some serious Mickey Mouse shit.

Like a majority of Sanders’ base, Kirk is a straight, white male. This is the one group that has the least to lose if Trump (or Cruz) were to win the presidency.

While voters like Kirk will do whatever it takes to prevent scraping off a “Feel the Bern” bumper sticker, it’s the Hispanic, African American and LGBTQ communities that will be hardest hit by the policies of a Republican administration.

In 2012, the Obama administration implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The program allows undocumented immigrants to apply for renewable two-year work permits and deferment from deportation. To be considered eligible, an individual had to have entered the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday and before June 2007. Among other provisions, they could not have been convicted of a felony or pose a risk to public safety.

Using the power of executive action in 2014, the administration expanded the policy and introduced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. Under DAPA, immigrants who had a child who is a U.S. legal resident or citizen could apply for deferment. 

According to a 2014 Pew piece, of the 702,000 undocumented immigrants under review 87% were approved.

Obama’s 2014 executive action allowed an additional 330,000 people to apply for deferment.

77% of undocumented immigrants who have benefited from DACA are Mexican.

Cruz and Trump have declared they would repeal Obama’s immigration actions.

Although Obama supported the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has previously said he would appoint future justices to reverse that ruling.

Ted Cruz has an even more extreme plan, which he discussed in an op-ed for the National Review:

“I am proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution that would subject the justices of the Supreme Court to periodic judicial-retention elections.”

Every eight years, Cruz proposes to hold these elections. In his piece, the Texas Senator specifically points to the social issues of same-sex marriage and abortion as areas of concern.

Essentially, Cruz will punish justices that rule outside of his religious views.

000 Cruz

Credit: Gizmodo

This may sound familiar to the great people of Iowa. In 2010, the FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats led a successful campaign during a retention election to unseat three Iowa Supreme Court justices who previously ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

All of the remaining GOP candidates have called for the repeal of Obamacare, even the (not a) moderate John Kasich.

Obama’s landmark legislation has had a powerful impact on the African American community.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

  • 6 out of 10 uninsured African Americans qualified for Medicaid, CHIP or lower monthly premium costs on the marketplace.

7 in 10 found coverage for less than $100.

Over 500,000 African Americans between the ages of 19 and 26 qualified for coverage under their parent’s plans.
  • 2.3 million African Americans ages 18-64 gained health insurance coverage, lowering the uninsured rate in the minority group by 6.8 points.

If you are considering not voting in 2016, this is just a sampling of the progressive policies you are failing to defend.

I was anticipating a Joe Biden 2016 run for the White House. However, not for a second did I humor the idea of not voting simply because my preferred candidate wasn’t on the ticket.

In addition to “not voting”, another Carter Burke-worthy idea are calls for Sanders to declare an independent candidacy run.

Sanders responded to a hypothetical last year if he owed his supporters a run as an independent if he were to not receive the Democratic nomination:

“No, I made the promise that I would not and I will keep that promise. And the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States.”

The Vermont Senator is saving his supporters from themselves.

The last time the Democratic vote was split was in the 2000 election, giving us the George W. Bush presidency… which worked out great for Halliburton.

Vote with your heart in the primary, vote with your head in the general.

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