A dear friend of mine who is "running for office" in Pennsylvania asked me if I thought Bernie Sanders supporters would vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination. Here is my answer to him. Yes it's long but he asked.
Well, you asked for it Jack, I'm no political pundit. As you know, I'm just an old, retired, disabled, veteran. But I do have an opinion. I believe that REAL Bernie Sanders supporters won't stay home and most won't vote for Hillary, but I don't believe they'll vote for Trump either. Yes, there may be some outliers, but I believe they will be the exception not the norm. I think what may happen will be historic in that the President may be determined by an unprecedented landslide of write in votes.
There are 43 states that allow write ins. The population of those 43 states dwarfs the population of the 7 that do not permit write ins. The big take away may shake many Republicans and Democrats, this 2 party system at it's core. This may be the year that parties become irrelevant, and frankly, IMO, none too soon.
Why do I believe that you might ask? Because data shows 43% of voters are "independents" that claim no party affiliation. That leaves a split demographic of 57% of the voters as either Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party, etc. As has been shown in the 2016 primaries, both the Democratic and Republican parties marginalize Independent voters, the biggest single voting block.
Let say for the purpose of this discussion that the ratio of Dems to Reps is split evenly. That means, without independents, neither Dems nor Reps can win. To be clear, there are in my opinion, two candidates running as Democrats who are not really Democrats. Bernie Sanders is an Independent running on a Democratic ticket, and Hillary Clinton for all intents and purposes a "Republican light" candidate running as a Democrat, or perhaps better stated "in sheep's clothing".
I've been a democrat for most of my life, but I abandoned the Dem party because it abandoned me. The current Dem party no longer represents my ideals, and their election process in my opinion, has become an abomination of democracy and I don't believe I'm alone in this thought. The cry of the establishment; "Remember what happened with Nader" is rubbish. Bernie Sanders is no Ralph Nader, and his support dwarfs the support Nader had. There will be those who will never be swayed, but more understand that this election may well determine the survival of this country as a democracy. I have never been more sure of that and I believe in the disclaimer of: "Past performance does not necessarily guarantee future performance.
The disdain for both the Dem and Rep party candidates by "the people" has reached epic proportions and crosses party lines. To be a "good party member" means hold your nose and vote. Seriously? "hold your nose and vote" is the answer?...uhhh no... I don't expect you to let your true feelings out being that you're running for office as a Republican. It would probably be the same if you were running as a Democrat. It would be detrimental to your quest for office. But frankly, it is exactly what democracy requires. The voice of the people must heard and not be ignored or marginalized, and last I looked, even those running for office make up the demographic of "we the people".
I believe what we're witnessing in this election is the uncovering of the modus operandi of an insidious "shadow democracy" in which the powerful retain the power and are loathe to allow any outsider in. For that reason, I keep a copy of the ACLU's Pocket edition of the Constitution on me at all times (believe it or not), and I read portions almost daily to try to understand the intent of the founding fathers. Unfortunately, what I've come to understand is that the very processes that were used in the creation of America were carefully obfuscated by words and deeds, so that drastic changes in governance, the change the forefathers were required to make, would be difficult if not impossible to ever achieve again.
So, relative to parties, delegates and super delegates? I believe delegates ensure inherent party control and/or manipulation of an election's outcome. This I believe is a corruption of the Constitution and is not democracy. In a democracy, the people's vote determines the outcome and not the "delegate" or "super delegate". In a democracy, all votes must carry the same weight, or the scales of truth and justice will become unbalanced, and the word of the people will be unheard if not completely vanquished.
Additionally, I implore everyone to read the Constitution. Contrary to what existing political parties would have you believe, there is NO requirement ANYWHERE in the Constitution mandating political party affiliation for the purpose of voting PERIOD!. The primary and general elections are not mutually exclusive, therefore the Constitutional right to vote in Federal, State, or Presidential elections, primary or otherwise, may not be infringed. Constitution before party.
It is my hope that this may in fact be the year of that epiphany. Very soon, this country will mark it's 240th year since it decided "enough is enough". "Lunctus Populorum" is America's greatest strength. Not it's industry, it's wealth, or it's military might. Our country's greatest strength is unity. Political parties work very hard to divide, not unite the populous. In our current two party system it's "us against them" rather than "we together".
So my advice to anyone claiming party affiliation who wants to unite America? Throw your party under the bus this election. If you can't stand Donald Trump because he represents the hate, ignorance, and division that continues to tear this country apart, and you can't stand Hillary Clinton for those same reasons or others, your choice is clear. You can either give up, vote party line, and watch as the country continues it's downward spiral into lunacy, irrelevance, and division, or you can listen to your conscience to hear if it's telling you to choose country over party. Yes, there are other candidates that you may have to write in once you're in the seclusion of the election booth, or may already be on the ballot (3rd party). Don't worry if you're a democrat or republican, do you civic duty and vote for the best person for the job, EVEN if it means "crossing party lines".
Well, there it is Jack, My no party, non partisan answer. I may in fact be alone in this, but judging from what little facts the media actually reports, I don't think I am. It may not be pretty, or what you wanted to hear, but it's definitely what I think.