As an anti-war and human rights activist, as someone who has battled the far right in the online trenches for 15 years, I used to admire Bernie Sanders. He has spoken out about issues that are important to me, principles I’ve fought for my entire adult life.
As the father of a young daughter, nothing matters more to me than the future my little girl faces as a female in a world where women and girls endure pervasive oppression and injustice.
To see Bernie’s campaign go from revolution to rage-a-thon, with one woman as the chief target and feminist icons as collateral damage, is to see something that all true progressives should reject. And reject in the most forceful terms.
Bernie’s movement has gone from being about something to being against someone.
No matter what platitudes Bernie delivers about “Hillary being his friend for 25 years,” this is now more about taking down Hillary than inspiring the nation with a positive, uplifting progressive message.
This is about slyly and methodically manipulating public opinion to paint Hillary as a liar — without a shred of evidence. It’s the worst kind of underhanded politics. That the Sanders campaign has joined the national media and the GOP in an epic mission to destroy one woman’s reputation is reprehensible.
And it’s my daughter’s future that suffers.
When Hillary Clinton is being subjected to a daily avalanche of smears, to a verbal assault that makes the Karl Roves of this world snicker and smile, I’m going to stand up and say no. When her integrity is called into question every day and her honesty unfairly impugned, I’m going to speak out in her defense.
I never imagined that the 2016 campaign would come to this, that Bernie would break his promise to stay positive, that he would be flipped by his advisers. I never imagined that the far right, whose vicious vendetta against Hillary has lasted for decades, would finally discover eager partners on the left.
I’ve been fighting for progressive causes longer than many young Bernie supporters have been walking and if this ‘movement’ is going to leave the detritus of feminist heroes in its wake, COUNT ME OUT.
Tonight is a high point for Bernie Sanders. But mark my words – his reputation is already being degraded by those who engage in verbal assaults against women in his name.
His regrettable decision to traffic in innuendo against one of the most admired women on the planet will eventually come back to haunt him. His too smart by half praise of Hillary while using terms like “establishment” to insinuate that she is corrupt will ultimately undermine his carefully crafted image.
True progressives know that women’s rights are at the core of their mission. Trying to knock down feminist icons like bowling pins is not a movement I can believe in.
UPDATE: Bernie Sanders has won New Hampshire. Congratulations to Bernie and to his true progressive supporters, who I consider my brothers and sisters in the cause. I hope and pray that he uses this moment to return to his core message and to disavow any aspect of his movement or his campaign that would set back women’s rights.