I Strongly Supported Bernie; Now We Need 100% of Bernie Supporters to...

I Strongly Supported Bernie; Now We Need 100% of Bernie Supporters to Vote for Secretary Clinton This November!

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by Atif Qarni

I am a very vocal and early Bernie supporter. When the DNC convention rolled around, I made a promise to myself that I will observe the convention with an open heart and as objectively as possible.

The convention had emotional speeches and amazing videos. What struck me the most was how the Clinton campaign and how Hillary herself embraced Bernie Sanders and his supporters. She allowed them to vent and go through a healing process. This willingness to listen and to compromise is a sign of a great leader. That is why I’m with her.

In 2008, the Monday night before the election, Barack Obama spoke in my hometown of Manassas. I was not as politically aware back then. I did not realize how important Virginia, Prince William County and the area of Manassas would become over the years. Virginia, like before, will again be a battleground state in 2016, and Prince William County and the area of Manassas will need to deliver for HRC like they did for Obama.

2008 was a historical election. President Obama is the greatest leader of our time. As historic as his presidency has been, this election of 2016 is the most significant election ever. The President said this election will define what we Americans are as a people. As the saying goes, love must trump hate.

Last week, the RNC convention was chaotic. Donald Trump and most other speakers portrayed a pessimistic, dark, divisive, doom-and-gloom world. This is not the America I know, nor is it the America I want my kids to grow up in. In stark contrast, this week’s DNC convention was the polar opposite – optimistic, upbeat, positive, unifying, looking to the future. I was moved by speeches from Michelle Obama to Joe Biden to Tim Kaine to President Obama and to Hillary Clinton herself. Additionally, the convention focused on important things like mental health issues, veterans, immigrants, etc.

Last night, when Charlottesville’s Khizr Khan, father of a fallen U.S. soldier of Muslim background, spoke, that was an emotional moment for me. I particularly loved it when Mr. Khan called out Donald Trump on his patriotism (“You have sacrificed nothing and no one”). As a Muslim and a veteran myself, I was proud of my fellow military brother in his sacrifice, and I was so proud of his father having the courage to speak.

Some of my fellow Bernie supporters say that this is exactly what conventions are designed to do. They are designed to tap into peoples’ emotions to persuade them to change their minds. For me, it worked; I was emotionally moved. In addition, Hillary Clinton clearly stated in front of the world last night that the Democratic Party has adopted a platform that will focus on fixing our rigged economy and helping those in need. A lot of what Bernie Sanders was advocating for was put in the Democratic Party’s platform. After watching this past four days, I am now very confident that Hillary Clinton will fight for the things Bernie was pushing for.

I have noticed a few Hillary supporters are frustrated and have been overtly critical of Sanders supporters. I want to say to these folks that they should look at Hillary Clinton and follow her lead. Try to be understanding. A lot of the younger folks who were energized this election cycle are the future of the party. We need to embrace them like Hillary Clinton has.

Over the next three months, I will be working on making sure people vote and vote only for HRC. Democrats are hoping that we get most of Bernie supports and majority of independents etc. Well, “most” is not acceptable. We cannot settle for majority or for 90% or for 95%; we need 100% of Bernie supporters to vote for Secretary Clinton this November.

Some of my friends who are unconventional voters have said they might not vote, or if they do vote they will write in someone like Bernie or vote for a third-party candidate. That must not happen. A no vote, or a vote for a third-party candidate, is de facto a vote for Donald Trump. We have to have faith in our leaders. I realize Hillary Clinton may not have inspired people like Barack Obama or her husband Bill Clinton. But if the past few days are any indication, she is a great leader just like them.
We witnessed testimony after testimony of how she has positively impacted so many people. That is why I cannot wait until November 8, when I will proudly and enthusiastically cast my vote for the first female President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton. I urge all my fellow Bernie supporters to do the same. Thank you.
  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    This is what we’re up against. We need to unite.

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8013/28640427315_a8574dc23f_o.png

  • Arthur

    Where can we get some of those buttons/signs? W.hen I saw it I thought it was classic. Kudos to the person who thought it up.

  • kathleen

    Your now-preferred candidate has made it pretty clear she thinks she can win Bernie supporters and is going after the mythical moderate Republican. After stealing the nomination and making sure her supporters kept TPP out of the platform…to name just a few of her works…I have every incentive to let her try. And I intend to.
    Our party doesn’t respect it’s left wing because they think we will always fall in line no matter what since “(Insert name of Republican candidate) is worse.” I am tired of voting for lesser evils. They are still evil.
    Hillary is a proven liar. How can you let anything she says move you? Tomorrow she will probably say something different and move somebody else.

    • pa2vadem

      Trump troll. How much is Donald paying you? Oh, that’s right, Donald doesn’t pay his lackeys. He stiffs them.

      • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

        Hahaha, good point!

      • kathleen

        Try to imagine a world where people don’t support either Clinton or Trump. It’s not so hard…apparently, if you look at favorability ratings, a good chunk of Americans live there.

        • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

          In the real world we live in, we’ve got a binary choice: either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump WILL be our next president, end of story. So…make your choice, either support Hillary Clinton or you’re de facto supporting the neo-fascist (Trump). That’s really all there is to it, given our non-parliamentary system of government.

  • Sheila Deborah Koester

    In 2008, I was an HRC supporter. When Barack Obama won the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, Hillary encouraged us to transfer our support from her to Barack Obama.

    I don’t understand why some of Bernie Sanders supporters are now having trouble transferring their support for him over to Hillary Clinton who is now the 2016 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States.

    • Owl

      First of all, most of us are transferring our support or will very soon. Please also don’t forget that Bernie overwhelmingly won the under-45 vote in almost every state, across all demographics. Many of Bernie’s supporters are new to politics and for a fair number this is the first race into which they’ve poured their hearts and souls. Give them some space.

      Secondly, I remember a LOT of HRC supporters who also took their time coming around to Barack Obama. Don’t you remember the PUMAs? (Party Unity My Ass). A whole lot of people did not transfer their support right away. And some never came back to the Party.

  • Sheila Deborah Koester

    As a baby boomer, I remember a time when I was a college Republican and volunteered for President Ford’s reelection campaign. Now I consider myself to be an independent.

    It seems to me that the younger generation has much to learn about the way this country’s political system works. I think it is great that Senator Sanders was able to mobilize so many young people to get out and campaign for him. However, what these young people have to learn is that political candidates don’t always win.

    When you support a candidate with all your heart and soul that is great. However, there comes a time when you have to let go of your enthusiasm for that one candidate.

    Although I am now a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, I would have had no qualms at all about supporting Senator Sanders as the 2016 Presidential Democratic nominee.

    This is primarily why I didn’t volunteer to work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the primary season. I didn’t want to be disappointed again if she didn’t win the 2016 Presidential nomination. That and I really don’t like making phone calls and knocking on stranger’s doors voicing my support for a candidate that they may not wish to support.

    • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

      Well said, thanks for the comment!

      • Sheila Deborah Koester

        You’re welcome, lowkell. I hope the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine ticket wins in November. I think we might be turning back the clock if the alternative wins. If that happens, Senator Sanders’ supporters really won’t be happy.