For some people, is it still Bernie or Bust?


(Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Eva Hoch

With recent developments involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails and Republican candidate Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood video, many Americans, especially young voters, have begun to wonder whether a write-in vote for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is still worth it?

After Sanders lost the Democratic Party’s nomination to Clinton in June, his backers decided to name themselves “Bernie or Bust” to show unconditional support for the senator despite his loss.

Another way that Sanders’ supporters are choosing to show their solidarity is to not vote at all on Nov. 8 —an action that Sanders has publicly condemned. Instead, Sanders has continued to call for party unity to prevent Trump from taking control of the Oval Office.

Former Sanders supporter Osvaldo Jaramillo, a junior communication studies major, said that he’ll be one of the many who will not vote for either of the two major parties’ candidates.

“I support (the Bernie or Bust people) 100 percent.” Jaramillo said. “I chose not to participate in this year’s election because I am against Trump and against Hillary (Clinton). Trump is a racist, rich bigot, (while) Hillary is a liar and cannot be trusted. She changed her position on many things throughout the years, including gay rights.”

Jaramillo also said that what drew him to Sanders since the beginning was how progressive and upstanding the Vermont senator has always been —two factors that Jaramillo can’t see in the other candidates.

“(Sanders) was arrested for protesting for civil rights in the ‘60s,” Jaramillo said. “He has been fighting for the same significant rights for over 50 years. He does not flip flop on his political views like Clinton and Trump. Bernie is the solution for this country.”

Cynthia West, a senior computer science major, said she doesn’t consider herself part of the Bernie or Bust movement and thought that the name was charming during the primary, but is now just getting old.

“Bernie was the first candidate I’ve ever felt genuinely passionate about,” West said. “I went to his Sacramento rally, participated in local campaigning meetings and even donated. After he lost the (Democratic) nomination to Hillary, I was pretty upset —especially after hearing about all the uncounted ballots and other voting scandals.”

West said she will not write in Sanders’ name on the ballot because Clinton, despite all her flaws, is still seemingly qualified to be the commander-in-chief.

“I understand the disappointment and anger a lot of the Bernie or Bust people are feeling – believe me, I’ve been there, but it’s time for the tizzy fit to end,” West said. “I’m voting for Hillary because I’m not ready for the beginning of the fourth Reich. Trump is a monster and Hillary has her faults but what political figure doesn’t?”

For recent alum Marcus Wolf, he said people should focus more on defeating Trump come Nov. 8.

“Bernie or Bust is stupid when Bernie (already said he) supports Hillary,” Wolf said. “She needs the votes because if Donald Trump wins, it could be a calamity for the country —precipice of destruction kind of stuff. (Also,) it’s more important people remain diligent in holding Hillary accountable for the promises she has made. She needs to be the people’s president and not for the special interests.”

Sophomore government major Margot Rinaldo said that instead of not participating in the election and write in a different name, she hopes people would reconsider their decision and cast their ballot for at least a legitimate candidate.

“I can completely understand the sentiments behind those who are very in favor of (Sanders), however, when it comes to politics I really think the name of the game is compromise,” Rinaldo said. “Considering we are in an election year where the stakes are high, I think it is even more detrimental to base a political movement on the unwillingness to compromise.”

Rinaldo said she encourages voters to think about which candidate most aligns with their values before heading to the polling station.

“For me, practicality and competency in the political system are something I value in a candidate,” Rinaldo said. “For that reason, I would not vote for a third party candidate in this election, because it would not be as significant to me, when (for obvious reasons) a third party candidate will not win this election.”