Anyone who thinks Donald Trump cannot defeat Hillary Clinton to become president of the United States needs to wake the fuck up. This is not to suggest that he will defeat her — it’s far too early in the general election cycle to predict the ultimate outcome of a six-month battle for the hearts and minds of the American electorate.
For two of those six months, the Democratic primary will rage on.
The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at the end of July is guaranteed to look more like the Nevada state Democratic convention than the 2008 lovefest that nominated Obama because the conflict between Sanders and Clinton at bottom is a class struggle that has pit the party’s future against the party’s past. Clinton can certainly win that fight but only at the cost of destroying the party’s future. She will emerge from a historically ugly and divided convention fatally damaged and lacks both the skill and the inclinations needed to pull Sanders supporters and their enthusiasm behind her and simultaneously confront a united Republican steamroller headed by Trump.
Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee is the surest, safest bet against a Trump administration. The stakes in this election are too high to make a risky bet on Hillary Clinton.
There is a vicious ugliness and overt dishonesty in the manner in which the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, their paid Internet trolls, and their paid media supporters are treating Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and his supporters. The recent events at the Nevada convention are nauseating. They seem to think that no one notices this behavior because they currently hold the majority of the wealth and power. There will be a shift, I believe, as younger and more progressive voters become the majority of the left and as older, wealthier, and more rigid voters (who think Hillary is pragmatic and Bernie “pie in the sky”) die off. It appears that younger voters are more in touch with alternative media and news sources that report events more thoroughly and honestly, while older white and minority voters are less likely to seek out independent news sources and social media. And yes, Donald Trump could very likely win this election. Hillary Clinton has absolutely no guarantee that Sanders supporters and independents will vote for her. I know I won’t. I do wish that Bernie Sanders would support Jill Stein and help more Americans to become familiar with her name and platform, as she and the Green Party share so much in common with Bernie’s values and view points on key issues. Independents need to be allowed to vote in all primaries. So many of our primary election practices are undemocratic.
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I agree that things look a lot closer than they should be, but I would also caution against drawing conclusions from any one individual poll. HuffPost Pollster’s aggregation still shows Hillary with a modest (albeit highly tenuous) lead. Much can change between now and the general election, and my fear is it will change for the worse.
The more important point is that there is no justifiable reason any half-reasonable candidate should be running neck and neck with Trump. Outside of his base, he is very strongly reviled. Not being as awful as Donald Trump is not a particularly inspiring reason to vote for Hillary, especially when she has so much baggage and consistently holds multiple views.
I, for one, will not be settling for Hillary should she get the nomination. If you are interested, here is a more detailed reasoning: http://rallytorestoresanityandfear.blogspot.com/2016/03/why-i-will-not-be-settling-for-hillary.html