An Open Letter to Bernie Supporters


Cruz and Kasich have dropped out. Trump is now the nominee. I suggest that once Hillary is coronated, any Bernie supporters jump ship over to Trump in November. On issues of war and economy, Trump is clearly the preferable candidate to Hillary. Trump has been consistently critical of our trade policy since the 1980s; Hillary as recently as last year called the Trans Pacific Partnership the "gold standard" of trade deals. Trump stands four-square behind Social Security; Hillary refuses to rule out cuts.

Trump opposed the War in Iraq; Hillary voted for it. Trump opposed the escalation in Afghanistan, the bombing of Libya, and the intervention in Syria; Hillary supported all of them. Trump wants to come to terms with Russia; Hillary wants more confrontation. As Secretary of State, she was the one of the leaders of the hawk faction in the Obama administration. In the past decade, there has not been a war that Hillary hasn't wanted us to get into, or increase our involvement in. Whether you like Trump or not, you at least cannot deny that his foreign policy offers a real break from the failed interventionism of the past (at least) two decades.

Now what about Bernie’s record? Well, on the economic issues, there is a lot of common ground between him and Trump. Take NAFTA, for example. As a Congressman in 1993, Bernie spoke out forcefully against NAFTA on the House floor. That same year, Trump also spoke out against NAFTA, at a conference that included three former US presidents who all spoke in favor of it! Trade is one of Trump’s biggest priorities, an issue he has been consistent on stretching from the 1980’s to his concern about currency manipulation from China (or "CHYNAH", as Trump would say) today.

Where are the three major differences Trump has with Bernie? The three differences likely to give you pause are his stance on The Wall, Israel, and the Iran nuclear deal. Out of all of Trump’s policies (which, separate from his rhetoric, are for the most part quite moderate and popular), the Wall™ is probably Trump’s most provocative campaign theme.

To be honest though (fam), when it comes to border walls, Trump isn’t calling for something many countries don’t already have. As for his immigration stance more broadly, Trump and Bernie are actually quite close in attitude. Both wish to preserve the nation-state against the rich, rootless cosmopolitan oligarchs who would like to do away with borders in order to have free movement of cheap labor. In an interview with Vox last summer, Bernie characterized the notion of vastly increasing immigration levels as “a Koch brothers proposal” and said that it would mean “doing away with the concept of a nation-state.” Likewise, Trump has said in a recent speech that “the nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony”. It is worth noting here that, unlike Bernie, who had to walk back this position under pressure from open-borders activists, Trump has done almost nothing to appease the GOP orthodoxy.

One exception to that may be Israel. Trump is indeed more vocally pro-Israel than Bernie. But Trump has also said that “Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country.” And in a phrase that could not have been better chosen to raise some oy-veying from Zionists and neoconservatives, Trump has repeatedly used the phrase “America first” as a driving theme of his campaign. If we could square these two seemingly contradictory elements, Trump probably sees Israel as an asset, rather than an end in itself (in contrast to Ted Cruz, who can probably see Tel Aviv from his house). To further buttress the view that Trump will not be the dog wagged by Israel’s tail, Trump has said he will be neutral on the Israel-Palestine conflict. And of course, one need only look at Trump’s critics and see that Trump is getting hate from all the right people.

Finally, regarding the Iran deal, that goes back to Trump’s disdain for any “bad deal”. Trump likely views the Iran deal as little different from NAFTA or TPP in that the U.S. ends up giving away a lot and gaining very little. Iran is probably going to get a nuclear weapon anyways, making this a moot issue.

A vote for Trump is a vote for economic justice at home and peace abroad. It is a vote for doing right by the working class and giving them a fair shot at a good standard of living. That means protecting their jobs from outsourcing and cheap labor. It also means not throwing them into more wars.

A vote for Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is a vote for the same old warmed-over corporatism at home and more wars abroad.

Bernie may have lost, but at least some of his policies have a far greater chance of seeing the light of day under Trump than under Hillary. But more than any policy position in particular, Bernie supporters should consider Trump for this reason alone: it’s a way to fuck the over the establishment. Bernie did not bow to the Democratic establishment; Trump is actively flipping the bird to the GOP's. If Bernie’s supporters were to defect, it would strike a blow against the two-party system as a whole.

Don't waste your vote on a warmongering empty suit like Hillary. Trump, agree with him or not, offers a clean break from the current system. Vote for Change.

Vote for Trump.