Voting Is Not A Valentine

Consequences of the 2016 election continue to grow more disturbing. Not only have we had to survive four years of Trump, but his SCOTUS appointments also run amok gutting rights after lying in confirmation hearings about their stances. But who brought us to this point?

While Trump and the GOP certainly deserve credit, they were honest about their intentions in 2015 and 2016. The GOP plank was explicit in overturning Roe and coming after LGBT rights. The GOP was honest about what they intended to do. How did we end up here then if Hillary told us exactly what would happen?

Enter Bernie Sanders and his leadership.

Bernie decided that screaming the DNC rigged the election was the way to go. Begrudgingly, he did end up endorsing Clinton and had to chastise his followers to get on board. However, that train left the station and fueled by two of his leaders: Nina Turner and Briahna Joy Gray.

In a tweet, since deleted, Briahna scolded Dems for saying supporting Clinton was important due to SCOTUS appointments. She even continued to support her opinion post Trump inauguration. As Sanders press secretary, her voice rang through Bernie’s followers.

Bernie, in 2015, laid the foundation for that by stating abortion and gay rights needed to be secondary talking points arguing that these two rights under attack by the GOP shouldn’t be worried about despite the GOP insistence both were going to be attacked.

Co-chair of the Sanders campaign, Nina Turner, joined in with Bernie and became a vocal opponent of the Democrat party using her bully pulpit to demean the party however she could, painting them as the enemy of America.

Bernie lost the primary and begrudgingly endorsed Clinton after going salt the earth on Clinton. They had done such a good job of salt the earth tactics, at the convention, where Clinton was to accept the nomination, Bernie supporters showed up to cause chaos. Briahna and Nina would not follow Bernie to endorsement and went a different direction. The duo decided Jill Stein would have their voice and their power.

Jill Stein had made a little trip to Russia to have dinner with Vladimir Putin and now disgraced Lt. General Mike Flynn. She said the dinner was a “great opportunity” to share her policy positions, even though she had no path to victory as a candidate. She was only on the ballot in 37 States. An odd invitation from the leader of Russia to someone who couldn’t win the presidency.

Credit from Mother Jones

The importance of Stein would not be lost on Putin however. Stein had an oddly intense focus on Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. As it would turn out, Trump would win those states by less of a margin than Stein votes.

Turner was offered the Vice President role of a Stein administration, which she refused. This was smart on the part of Turner as she knew that would be the death knell to receiving any Democrat support, or access to resources. She also knew that Stein had no path to victory, so why give up the golden goose entirely, hedging her bets for future runs with the mantle of Democrat, even though she hates the DNC. Nina and Briahna were going to teach the DNC a lesson to not cross them.

Trump during his tenor as president installed three SCOTUS justices, just as promised. It appeared Joy Gray was wrong, electing Trump did have the consequence of losing SCOTUS seats. It also appeared Bernie was wrong in the importance of Roe and soon, LGBT rights.

All of this would be a side note of history and a cautionary tale, however, Bernie and his cohorts are back to business as usual by not supporting Democrats and trying to get voters to believe them again. They’re trying to repeat the 2016 strategy of voter suppression while taking no responsibility for their 2016 actions.

“Democrats should have run a better candidate,” is the child’s retort to 2016. Voting is not a valentine. It is strategic. Sanders, Turner, and Love Joy have made it clear that their political aspirations are more important than American democracy and the rights and freedoms of people with uteruses and LGBT rights. Do not believe their “outrage” or their need to burn the country down.

To Sanders, Turner, and Love Joy, we invite you to be honest about what you did. We will welcome you into the tent to fight for Democrats to win in November. But until you’re honest, don’t expect forgiveness.

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Tyler Davis

Author of New America: Awakenings now avialble at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Googleplay, Kobo