Encourage people not to vote is nonsense
Image: Peter Stevens / CC BY 2.0

My husband and I recently spent a week visiting the Grand Canyon (North and South Rims), Bryce, and Zion National Parks. As I was going through the many brochures and newspapers we had collected, deciding which to keep and which to recycle, I ran across the disturbing and naive article, “Bernie or Bust: Why you should vote for Sanders or not at all” by Alex Ellis.

In the first place, I think Alex should do a little more diligent research on Hillary Clinton’s record. She has been a stalwart defender of labor, education, black and women’s rights and an advocate for lower income people. Certainly she has made mistakes, and she has admitted that, but to fault someone because they have become more open-minded is to discourage progress.

I have been around a bit longer than you, Mr. Ellis. In fact, I may be a couple years older than Bernie, and I do like many of his progressive ideas. The difference is my illusions of perfection have been salted with a healthy dose of reality. Bernie is a good talker, but he is a little lacking on the implementation side. He is still preaching pious platitudes without any idea of what it would take to implement those ideas; Hillary, on the other hand, has better skills in accomplishing tasks (women can be and often are more result oriented). Many progressives, conservatives, Tea Partiers, and all those other groupies have something in common: They think their way is the only way, and compromise is death warmed over.

The idea that you would encourage people not to vote unless Bernie is the candidate is pure unadulterated nonsense. If a Republican becomes president, the chances are they will have the opportunity to appoint one or two conservatives to the Supreme Court, tilting the court in an even more non-progressive direction. Then we may see a conservative court, presidency, House, and Senate. It could take decades to undo the damage the laws they would pass and the rulings they could make.

Mr. Ellis, you might do more for your cause trying to elect Democratic Senators and Representatives from your area who are almost always in favor of campaign finance reform, as is Hillary Clinton. Besides, if you want to do something really revolutionary, vote for the first woman for president, Hillary, not just another white guy.


Connie Fliegel

Quincy, Wash.



  1. What a fabulous letter. (How I wish Connie lived here — I’d elect her Mayor, Congresswoman, Senetor — certainly Speaker of the House in a heartbeat). She does not waste time on perspicacious hindsight, but offers suggestions for the future. Even as a big fan of Bernie, I’m glad she picked up The Independent and cared enough to write.

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