I am a lifelong progressive. I'm proud to say I am not a registered Democrat. My views are too far left, therefore, the Democratic Party is too far to the right for me.
New Hampshire has relatively good voting laws compared to states like Arizona and New York. Luckily, one does not need to be a registered Republican or Democrat to vote in either primary. Live Free Or Die.
As a lifelong progressive, registering as a Republican was never an option for me because I do not associate with conservative views. But I did not want to register as a Democrat either because the Democratic Party has drifted towards the right over the past couple decades and no longer represents the progressive base.
While the GOP attempts to appeal to their conservative ideals, the Democratic Party establishment lacks vision and dismisses progressive ideas as "pie-in-the-sky" when the progressive ideals are exactly what the Democratic Party should embody. Instead, candidates like Hillary Clinton dismiss the progressive voters by implying that our views are uninformed and unrealistic.
The truth is, progressive voters are probably the most informed group of voters. We don't trust CNN. We do our own research, compare voting records, and use a little bit of common sense. How can someone who is getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to give a Wall Street speech not be influenced by Wall Street? How can someone who was an avid supporter of toxic trade deals say that they no longer support them? How can someone say they want to combat climate change take millions from the fossil fuel industry? The answer is - they can't.
As an avid Bernie supporter, I've heard too many times the notion of Bernie - the "single issue candidate". While it's not a true statement, Bernie does put the corrupt campaign finance system at the forefront of other issues. It might require some thinking beyond CNN, but it does not take a PhD degree to realize that the corrupt campaign finance system affects so many other issues. If politicians take money from special interests, they will answer to those special interests and pass legislation to benefit them, rather than the general public. Be it the environment, civil rights, the economy, foreign police, whatever.
I won't contemplate on the future of the Bernie Sanders campaign over the next couple months. I don't know if Hillary will in fact clinch the nomination, or if Bernie will manage to pull off some historic upset. What I do know is that come November, I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.
Don't call me foolish. I do realize that not voting or writing in Bernie in November might be a vote for Trump. I'm ok with that. Hillary Clinton, with her endless war mongering, corrupt financial ties, ongoing email investigations, secret Wall Street speeches, support of fracking, and a slew of other skeletons in her closet isn't a better alternative to Trump. She's an alternative to Trump, just not a better one. Hillary might be better on human rights than Trump, but Trump trumps her any day on foreign policy and defending American jobs.
Bernie Sanders is my candidate. Bernie Sanders has consistently received 80% of the youth/millennial vote in most primary contests. Bernie Sanders is the future of the progressive movement. For many voters in my generation, ideals come before practicality. We want to think big. We aren't afraid to fail trying to change the world. What we won't do is just "unite" with the rest of the corrupt Democratic Party and vote for Hillary. Not happening.
It is time to stop voting for the lesser evil. It is time to stop voting for candidates that were chosen by the establishment. It is time to be heard. It is time to stand up to the establishment and demand real change.
It is just too late for more of the same old establishment politics that have divided and weakened this country and its most vulnerable citizens and have shrunk the middle class. If we do not start voting for candidates that we believe in, we will forever slip into oligarchy.