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Why Many Sanders Voters Will Vote Trump If Bernie Is Denied the Nomination

Ralph Lopez majored in economics and political science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.


The NYC Board of Elections has just announced that it will not count over 90,000 provisional ballots from Brooklyn in the critical New York primary, after city and state officials said that hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats were stripped from the voter roles in Brooklyn alone. Two NYC officials have already been suspended without pay, and both state and city government investigations are in progress.

The classic voter suppression move was clearly aimed against Sanders. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the rolls were purged of "entire buildings and blocks of voters," which may not make sense until one realizes, as one Brooklyn voter noted on a Sanders Facebook page, that some parts of Brooklyn are practically "Millennials City," with entire high-rises occupied by students and young professionals. "If there were anyplace to strip entire blocks and buildings full of likely Sanders voters from the roles, Brooklyn would be the place to do it."

And so the grotesquely corrupt, thoroughly undemocratic Democratic establishment continues with its string of cheating victories for Clinton at key junctures in the calendar of primaries, including Massachusetts, Arizona, Illinois, and New York, but astoundingly still expects Sanders voters will fall into line when they find they have no place to go, and the object is to "stop Trump."

According to Reuters, one-half of all Americans now think the primary process is "rigged."

What the Democratic establishment does not understand is that, as repulsive as Trump is, he represents a wild card, whereas Hillary represents 100% more of the same, status quo, business as usual. Trump is as much of an outsider on the right as Sanders is on the left. But he's an outsider, and Sanders voters include many independents who vote for either party.

Some of the most popular social media groups are unequivocal, with names like "Bernie or Bust" and "Stop Hillary."

More war, more welfare for the rich, more cheating more lying more throwing workers under the bus. This is business as usual. What does not escape many is that Trump came across his victory in the primaries in an honest way. He may be wrong, but he won his nomination in a democratic fashion compared to Hillary.

Democracy can survive a process in which people with different points of view take sides, argue, and abide by results which all sides see as mostly fair. If you lose, you are motivated to work harder, argue more persuasively, do better next time.

What democracy cannot survive is a total loss of faith in the process itself, a belief that it doesn't matter who works harder, the fix is in.

John F. Kennedy said "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

We have seen cheating before, but in the past it resembled islands of corruption, perhaps important ones, in a sea of more or less fair vote-counting. This season, Hillary and her forces have raised election-stealing to a new level. According to mathematical analysis, it is impossible that exit polls have not just erred, but break in the same manner in the last 20 out of 22 Democratic primaries, which suggest Sanders actually won many of them.

Eyewitnesses at audits seem to confirm what the numbers suggest. In Chicago, eyewitnesses described what amounts to felony vote tampering at a Chicago hand-count audit. So far no criminal charges have been filed.

For all his bellicose talk, Trump has never actually, in real life, helped start wars, like Hillary with her Iraq war vote, and with her bellicose speeches before that vote on the floor of the Senate. Trump has never helped run guns and money to people who turned out to be hostile to America, as Hillary did in Syria while Secretary of State.

Jeffrey Sachs, the Harvard economist, now a special advisor to the UN, wrote of Clinton's claim that she had helped "negotiate" a Syrian ceasefire:

"This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close."

Trump says stupid, obnoxious, offensive things. But Hillary has blood on her hands. Which is worse?

Hillary just rattled sabres with iran, undermining Obama's nuke deal and saying at the Brookings Institution “I don’t believe Iran is our partner in this agreement. Iran is the subject of the agreement,” and “I will not hesitate to take military action if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon."

In the same speech, Clinton said she would dramatically escalate efforts to arm the Syrian opposition against Assad, and suggested deploying additional U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf region

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None other than Trump recently called Clinton "trigger-happy."

If Hillary is ever president, we can assume we will soon be at war with Iran, which would bring us to the brink of World War III. How much worse than that could Trump be?

Hillary never met a job-killing trade deal she didn't like, like NAFTA or TPP, never met an oil industry or shady Wall Street practice she wouldn't support, like fracking or the bank bail-outs. All that we know about Trump is that we don't know much. He will say anything to please the crowd, to pander to the audience. Good thing Hillary never does that.

Trump is not a racist, but he has said things which smack of religious bigotry ("Islam hates America.") The trouble with Trump is you don't know how much of what he says he really believes, or is gauging for reaction. He is at bottom a cosmopolitan New Yorker used to working with and living near all kinds of people.

Trump may be the devil we don't know, but Hillary is the one we definitely do.

It took the disastrous presidency of Herbert Hoover to pave the way for FDR. History has precedents for bad presidents who came before good ones. If Trump is a terrible president, in four years the rotten core of this Democratic party will be carved out, as people lay the blame squarely where it belongs.

As a man without a party, nor with deep tentacles into the world of Washington, the Pentagon, nor any other power center, Trump would be ill-equipped to do much damage. Clinton has all these things, and is well-positioned to carry out a disastrous corporate, crypto-Neocon agenda.

Trump will be he most vulnerable president to impeachment in decades, and if elected, his reign could well be one of the shortest in history. The Republican establishment already hates him.

Of course all this could be avoided were the DNC to renounce the corrupted primaries, split those delegates 50-50, and let the rest of the primaries proceed with no more cheating.

Otherwise, Trump will at least shake things up in unpredictable ways, then when the corrupt and amoral Democratic establishment is buried and no more, it will be left to a new generation to pick up the pieces and rebuild true democracy.


Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on July 30, 2016:

The world is in NEED of radical changes..... and Bernie has some ideals that please me to no end. I wrote a letter to Bernie as a hub... and it explains further my views.

Change for the good is still more than possible.

Keep spreading the word.

Pat Delzell on July 06, 2016:


Roxanne on June 11, 2016:

Trump could start WWIII as quickly, or quicker than Clinton. The US, and unfortunately, the rest of the world, will have to live with one or the other of them as president. UNLESS, the voter fraud is investigated and Bernie is announced as winner, which is unlikely to happen now.

I am deeply troubled by the vitriol by both Trump and Clinton against Iran. It was US interference in Iran decades ago that has caused so much friction, and the US support of Iraq in bombing Iran and imposing draconian sanctions which caused starvation and death for many Iranian civilians, including children. Iran has a deeply spiritual and artistic, musical and poetic history...much more refined than anything the US has ever had. It is shameful and dangerous that the US continues to villify this ancient culture. There will be a regime change there, and the west should be building bridges, not creating rifts.

munkle on June 06, 2016:

Unfortunately there is an element of harsh realism here. Any vote which does not help Trump helps Hillary, since, if Cheating Hillary is the nominee, either she or Trump will be president, and no one else. Therefore from a strategic standpoint, as much as I admire her, voting for Stein is throwing away your vote, unless you have no preference between Trump or Cheating Hillary. It is a harsh choice, and Hillary is the more dangerous of the two. She knows Washington and she knows the players and she can be the death of democracy and the start of World War III after attacking Iran, which she will do because she is a lapdog of Israel. Trump is not an insider and is not smart enough to consolidate power. People compare him to Hitler but he is not nearly as smart as Hitler. He is a B-team demagogue.

rosiegirl on June 05, 2016:

Will not under any circumstances vote for Hillary. But there is an alternative to Trump - he would be terrible for our country. Would vote for Jill Stein of Green Party.

munkle on June 05, 2016:

VelvetBlue: LOL rules like "Your voter registration will be dropped or altered without you knowing it," like in Arizona and New York. Corrupt, amoral Shillery supporters, your day is coming to an end.

VelvetBlue17 on June 05, 2016:

Go ahead and vote for Drumpf you stupid jackasses.

Extreme hogwash article is right. There's no vote stealing or suppression, just a lot of whining about it being rigged and not being fair because you don't bother to learn the rules, get your supporters to register properly and delegates don't show up.

sherree harvan on June 05, 2016:

100%..if she is candidate I will spite vote for trump..the dnc will hurt more than anyone with a trump presidence,not us...we warned them..dont let them scare u with a trump presidency..droves will b leaving the dem party, the independents will b the most populous at this time...

KronicZombie on May 21, 2016:

I know a lot of women who won't vote for hillary LOL

Just becuz they share the same private parts doesn't guarantee her their votes.

People vote with their conscience, not the genitals

At least 30-40% maybe more would jump to trump, myself included. I feel safer with 4 yrs of trump than I do 8 yrs of Hildamort

Marie Churchman on May 17, 2016:

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm old fashioned left, a devout Bernie supporter, but if it came down to a choice between Trump (who will never get that stupid wall built, thank goodness) and war monger Hillary (who I also believe will probably start WW3), and if the race was very close, I'd vote Trump. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit... but I'm dead serious. The election stealing DNC has much to answer for.

better than this writer on May 17, 2016:

hogwash article beyond truth to the exteame

Barbara lewis on May 16, 2016:

Bernie or bust, never Hillary!

Maggie on May 16, 2016:

Please don't slander us Berniebro women. We will NOT go with Hillary, sorry.

Pam Nichols on May 15, 2016:

I think a lot of sanders people will vote trump.

munkle on May 09, 2016:

I'd say way more than 1%. I'd say 30%. Anyone is better than Hillary. Anyone.

CJ Kelly from the PNW on May 09, 2016:

I know some Bernie supporters and they don't like Trump (that's putting mildly). I'd be shocked if more than 1% go with Trump. Certainly all the female Sanders supporters will go with HRC. A lot of the "Bros" might stay home which only helps Hillary.

You're right about HRC. Her resume is slim. But I would disregard anything she has said on foreign policy. Every more she makes will be calculated to play to polls.

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