Why I Endorsed Bernie

Endorse_Bernie_kenclark.jpgI want to tell you why I have decided to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in his race for the White House.

First, it is not because I believe that Secretary Clinton would not stand for our values as president. Let’s be direct.  This next election is about the Supreme Court —a supreme court that has eroded our trust in our electoral system, the health of our environment and which would further undermined a woman’s right to choose if a Republican becomes president. 

I believe that our party has two candidates for president who will do the right thing when it comes to the Supreme Court. In that way, we are very fortunate. We should not allow small differences between our candidates to sour our unprecedented opportunity in the general election.

Further, despite the relentless media focus on the xenophobic, racist and myopic views of the leading GOP candidates, I do believe that the majority of Americans are compassionate, innovative and tolerant.  

They are calling out to eradicate the virus of dark money, to fight global warming, to teach every one of our nation’s children, to help the poor move up rather than further down and to rebuild our country’s infrastructure with the ingenuity that I know we possess.

In Bernie Sanders I see a willingness to speak truth to power and to change those things which our current leaders tell us cannot be changed.

For our country to grown and evolve, we Democrats must shake off the rusted leg irons that we have worn for so long, which have restricted our ability to fight for what we believe. We must be able to explain to our fellow Americans that the solution to poorly-run government is not the chaos and insecurity of no government, rather it is through responsive and well-designed government. 

We must not fear asking those who have found unimaginable levels of wealth through an economic system designed to make the rich only richer to look beyond their own self interest toward the enlightenment of a country that is educated, healthy and safe. 

We must stand by our values of tolerance, community and family and be willing to explain our views to a public that is constantly bombarded with the language of intolerance, selfishness and division.

It seems that long ago, Americans forgot the true power of international diplomacy, backed by a strong defense. Instead, we have endured the deaths of our fellow Americans and the loss of our treasure, which has come from the opposite:  the use of force followed by diplomacy only as an after-thought.

I hear you say, “But Sanders can’t speak to middle America in order to beat the GOP candidates. And if he does, Congress will not budge to enact his vision.”

The prospect of losing the election this year or the potential of impotence before the power of Congress next year has definitely crossed my mind. To be honest, it has been the one factor that kept me from endorsing Sen. Sanders until now. 

But as the campaign has progressed, I’ve seen and heard of so many Americans who are crossing party lines for Sen. Sanders. They see that the march toward government, a la Ayn Rand has failed and we need to think again as a community. 

Further, I am certain that a recalcitrant Congress in 2017 will resist a President Clinton no less than they would a President Sanders or that they have President Obama. The intolerance and misinformation of the extreme wing of the Republican party, while weakening every year, will resist anybody short of Ronald Reagan, reincarnate.

So, it comes down to belief. Which candidate do I believe most willing to shake off convention and establishment politics to seek the reforms we sorely need? When I saw Sen. Sanders’ speech to Georgetown University late last year, I came to understand better the philosophical bases that drives him, but I also reflected on why I am a Democrat. That was the seed that grew in me the desire to see Sen. Sanders take on the fight for our cause.

After the primary election, I will happily fight for either candidate because I believe that they are both good people and I know what is at stake. 

As such, I am happy to endorse Sen. Sanders and I look forward to a positive and respectful primary election, which will strengthen our party and our democracy.