elgreco seventh sealLet’s call this an open letter to Bernie Sanders fans. It’s my response to a young man who felt the Democratic Party was not listening to him and that those of us who plan to vote for Hillary were Hillbots acting unthinkingly.

Dear Bob,

I like Bernie. I think he is a good man. I don’t think he is extreme left-wing — in fact on most issues he is comfortably moderate (I’m a centrist, so that means something to me). I don’t have quite the problem you have with Hillary, but that’s me.

I think I understand where you are coming from. I understand that you are worried about a seeming lack of progressive ideals and a questionable character in Hillary. Trump is far more questionable in my mind on both counts. And I understand that you feel a sense of urgency on a number of issues, many of which I also feel are badly in need of attention.

Most people today are a little frustrated with politics. Why can’t the politicians simply do exactly what we tell them to do? Why won’t they listen to us? The right believed this so strongly they set up groups that trolled politicians and forced them out of office if they did not tow the line. They have few moderate politicians left and those that are moderates have become afraid that they will be next and so don’t vote their conscience.

I know you want to be heard, and I think you probably have been heard more than you realize. And political parties do tend to have terribly shallow, PR ways of showing that. But take a close look at what happens when direct democracy (populism) takes over in a representative democracy. The Republicans have Trump because voters didn’t trust the GOP. The Brits voted themselves out of the EU because they didn’t trust the government.

It’s hard, but sometimes you have to let the system work. Please don’t destroy the Democratic Party the way right wing populism has destroyed the GOP, or the way the Brits have destroyed their economy.

But thanks all the same for your passion, and I hope I have said nothing insulting or unpleasant or disrespectful.

Yours, Mark

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