On Tuesday, much to the dismay of many of his supporters, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee - but it will not sway those of us have already decided we will now be voting for Donald Trump.
According to a recent Bloomberg poll, 22 percent of Sanders voters stated that they will be voting for Trump, and I believe that percentage will now be going up following Clinton’s official nomination.
As an Independent, I have no party loyalty and will not be “voting blue no matter who,” which I have already learned sends liberals everywhere busting out their torches and sharpening their pitchforks as they come for my head. From attempts to get me fired to physical threats, you would think I had killed a litter of kittens by stating my candidate preference. I have been inundated by those who demand that I vote for a “lesser evil.”
What these DNC diehards fail to realize is that I believe by voting for anyone other than Clinton, I will be doing just that.
Their logic on why Clinton is better than the presumed Republican nominee varies slightly, but is generally based on a small set of talking points parroting the former first lady herself - and many of them are based more in fear mongering than reality.
“Voting for a Republican is voting for war,” the Democrats have been shouting, but from Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, Clinton has consistently lobbied for needless hawkish aggression and force. Her push to intervene in Libya resulted in disastrous and far reaching effects, but one doesn't even need to mention (or be talking about) Benghazi for stubborn Democrats to put on earmuffs and do the “those are GOP conspiracy theories, I’m not listening” dance.
In an article by Jay Parini for CNN, whining about why the left shouldn’t hate Clinton, he mentioned her penchant for meddling in other country’s affairs before quickly asserting that we should not hate her for it. He “hopes she learned her lesson,” but is still urging his readers to gamble with the lives of our troops and people in other nations for the sole purpose of defeating the GOP in the general.
“I myself would fault her for pushing President Obama to intervene in Libya: That hawkishness worries me. Regime change is not our business, and I would hope she has learned this lesson. Yet it makes no sense for people to hate her,” Parini bizarrely wrote.
Unlike Clinton, who has exhibited poor judgement by consistently rolling the dice with the lives of our military as well as civilians in other nations, Trump acknowledges that there could be unintended consequences of shipping our families off to fight. If you take a look at his foreign policy plans, they are far more logical than he is given credit for - despite his sometimes kooky and often offensive delivery methods.
I myself am guilty of picking through his speeches to find clickbait headlines while ignoring any substance in his message, something that I began to regret once I started paying more attention.
Trump has outlined a platform that as a nation, instead of worrying about the rest of the world, we need to focus our resources right here at home. While isolationism is not necessarily a great model, it appears far less frightening when the alternative is Clinton’s fondness of nation building and acting as the world’s police.
"I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’re blown up. We build another one, we get blown up. We rebuild it three times and yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn. We have no money for education because we can’t build in our own country. At what point do you say, 'Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?' So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities,” Trump told the Washington Post in a statement that would seemed more fitting to be coming from the left.
Another popular point against Trump is that only people who are “privileged” could vote for him - this was also used to attack Sanders supporters throughout the primaries. On the flipside, some may argue that your American privilege allows you to vote for a woman who destroyed countless lives in Honduras, Libya, Iraq, and on. When I have brought this issue up, Clinton supporters have repeatedly denounced the valid concerns for those outside of our nation as “cherry picking.” I guess only some lives matter after all.
The “any blue will do” crowd has also consistently rallied against the border wall - what they almost always fail to mention, is that before there was Trump wanting one, there was Hillary Clinton.
“I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,” Clinton has previously said, “and I do think that you have to control your borders.”
She also described shipping children back to their devastated and dangerous home countries to send a “political message,” yet some how gets a pass from leftists on these stances as thousands of people rally against Trump for wanting tighter immigration.
As I watched one of these protests unfold in person, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them would be voting for the same values that they were outraged over, but in a different packaging, come November.
Trump detractors also continuously focus on sexist statements he has made over the course of his life, yet every day, GOP and Sanders supporters have been targeted with ironically sexist vitriol for not voting for a fellow woman. “Poor, oppressed, Hillary Clinton, in her US$14,000 jackets,” I always think to myself.
Women who dare to support Clinton’s competitors have been condescendingly shamed to the point of saying there is “a special place in hell” for us, and that we are just supporting Sanders because “it’s where the boys are,” yet Trump is the sexist in this race?
In reality, I believe that if she had a penis, the baggage and trail of disturbing scandals following her would have long ago unravelled her campaign. One might argue that her gender has been the only thing that kept her campaign afloat.
One of the most logical arguments I have heard against Trump is his climate change denial - but will the environment actually be safer under a woman who acknowledges it, but sells fracking and the Trans Pacific Partnership to the world?
Thanks to Clinton’s delegates, there will be no effort to stop the TPP being written into the non-binding Democratic Party platform - they are not even willing to try. Trump has strongly opposed the agreement, and has made it a major part of his platform - much to the dismay of many republicans.
By voting “blue no matter who,” what you are telling the Democratic Party is that no matter what they do, how terrible and corrupt they behave, they have your support out of fear. For this reason, I will be withholding my vote, and voting for who I believe will be less likely to engage us in needless wars.
I support and respect my fellow former-Berners who will be switching to 3rd party candidates such as Jill Stein or Gary Johnson -- but my personal vote will be going to the person who actually has a chance at preventing the female Dick Cheney from seizing power over the White House. If she could not even protect national security as the Secretary of State, imagine the damage she could do with the power that comes from the presidency.
Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been covering the election for a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, and Bipartisan Report.