Don’t bully Bernie-or-Busters into voting for Clinton

Graham Liddell

After Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination, some liberals have called down shame on those who say they will vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton.

A vote for Stein is a vote for Donald Trump, they say.

Public shaming of the “Bernie or Bust” movement was on full display during the Democratic National Convention, after some Sanders delegates spent much of the first day booing at almost every mention of Clinton’s name.

Comedian Sarah Silverman, speaking at the convention on Monday, reacted to the boos by saying: “To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people, you’re being ridiculous.”

A Trump presidency would be disastrous for American minorities, but suggesting support for Stein is “ridiculous” will only repel people who are on the fence about whether to vote third party or bite the bullet and vote Clinton.

Clinton would certainly be better for U.S. minorities than a demagogue like Trump. But what about non-Americans?

Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy record goes beyond her vote for the war in Iraq or that she was a key architect of the 2011 Libya intervention that led to the rise of the Islamic State group in the country.

As secretary of state, Clinton all but supported the 2009 military coup in Honduras, which removed president Manuel Zelaya. Clinton called the ouster “legal” in principle, and condemned any attempt by Zelaya to return to power. And when, amid the increased violence and crime in the wake of the coup, thousands of Honduran refugee children fled to the U.S. in 2014, Clinton said: “They should be sent back.”

She has also been among the most vocal supporters of recent Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip, adding that ultimately Hamas was responsible for Palestinian deaths.

A Clinton presidency would be negative for many of the least empowered in global society, just as Trump would be terrible for American minorities.

If the logic is that Green Party voters would be morally culpable for the negative impact of a Trump presidency, then Clinton voters would be culpable for the impact her presidency might have on disenfranchised populations outside the country.

Still, it is entirely reasonable to choose to vote for Clinton in order to stop Trump. But those who make that choice should refrain from shaming third-party voters

Graham Liddell is an editor and writer for Middle East Eyes America’s Bureau.