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An Arab American's Solution to Voter Frustration

posted on: Jun 9, 2016

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BY: Sam Husseini/Contributing Writer

The dissent within the Democratic Party that Sen. Bernie Sanders has sparked needs somewhere to go.

It should go in a direction that doesn’t back Clinton — and doesn’t help Trump.

That seems like you can’t do both those things, but you can if you parse it through and do some real work.

That energy should not go to backing Hillary Clinton: America has been down this road before. Gov. Howard Dean was the ostensible “anti war” candidate in 2004, until he got folded into the campaign of Secretary John Kerry, who was “for the war before he was against it.” Dean promised a movement in “Democracy for America,” similar to Clinton’s campaign, but failed to do so. It is difficult to believe that Sanders, after his likely endorsement of Clinton, will be in much of a position to meaningfully change policy in a Clinton administration. Millions of Sanders supporters falling behind Clinton now will result in a hollowness of policy confidence.

That energy should not go toward helping Donald Trump: Some of Sanders’ backers have been rallying around “Bernie or Bust.” The growing sentiment that of voters who will only vote for Trump does not seem to be changing, despite Clinton’s presumptive nomination. Many progressives and other supporters of Sanders correctly note that giving up on the electoral system, or voting third party when someone has a preference for Clinton over Trump, can be self defeating. Of course, if someone has equal distaste for Trump and Clinton, then one can simply vote for any independent candidate of their choice, but the reality is that many will feel compelled to vote for Clinton because they so fear and loath Trump — just as many will feel drawn to voting for Trump because of hatred toward Clinton.

How to resolve this?

Sanders supporters are urged to reach out to Republicans in your life and make a pact: The Sanders supporter votes for an independent party candidate, such as the Green Party with Jill Stein. Meanwhile, your Republican friend, relative, co-worker, or neighbor, will also vote for an independent candidate. They can vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or the Constitution party.

This way, both voter get your maintain political freedom and practice democracy outside the bi-partisan system that fuels often corrupt, untrustworthy, and insensitive candidates.

People throughout history have risked their lives and fortunes for just a measure of political freedom. It should not be beyond the capacities of Sanders supporters and “Never Trump” Republicans to team up and vote against the abuses of Clinton and Trump.

The U.S. public is now trapped by two incredibly distasteful figures. They can continue to fuel the hatred between each other, which mostly benefits Clinton and Trump, or they can have honest dialogues with people in their own life, virtually ensuring perpetual servitude to the worst elements of each of the establishment political parties.

It should not be #BernieOrBust. It should be #BernieAndBoom. The dissent that he has begun to articulate on the national stage against a system rigged to benefit the one percent need not choose between two figures of that “one percent.”

Sanders say he wants a revolution. This is a revolution. It can take place in every living room, in every car pool, in every chat room, in every pool room. People who know and trust and love each other can come together and reject the billionaire system, the perpetual wars, and the racism.

Instead of people cancelling out each others votes – one voting for Clinton because they fear Trump and another voting for Trump because they hate Clinton – voters can revitalize U.S. democracy in an unprecedented way by putting faith outside of establishment parties.

It will take effort and maturity. People will have do have an honest conversation with others they disagree with. People will have to not dismiss a friend’s political views, but at least they’ll be people authentically articulating their beliefs, not endless talking points by political hacks. It could be a revolution of the heart far beyond what Sanders has spoken of so far: #BernieAndBoom!