OPINION

Letter: ‘Bernie or Bust’ is self-defeating

Many had high hopes that Sen. Bernie Sanders would earn the Democratic nomination, but it’s become evident that Sanders may be voting for someone else this November.

If you’re a true supporter of Sanders, then realize that this fight doesn’t end with his campaign. Sanders hasn’t validated the “Bernie or Bust” movement and his wife has spoken out against it.

The limited choices of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton might be nauseating, but one candidate is quite different than the other, and each candidate would pull us in a completely different direction.

Perhaps instead of trying to convince that your vote matters, let’s look at the refusal to participate instead. As upset as some may be with how the Democratic Party (and Washington, D.C.) has nearly muted your voice, what is the significance in not voting

Silence and inaction is self-defeating. Defiance will send no immediate message and the reluctance to engage will only worsen the situation. Nothing will change because of disengagement. If we all gave in to this pessimism (realistic or not) then the Sanders campaign would have been short-lived and insignificant.

If some want to protest, then protest. If others want to express dissatisfaction with politics, that’s fine too. But also vote.

Instead of refusing to vote to express anger with the election process, cast a ballot to express opposition to bigotry and fear-mongering in the White House. Just because our government has failed to live up to our democratic standards, doesn’t mean that we are allowed to do the same.

Russell Hartley, Grand Rapids