What do we Berners do now?

To my fellow Berners:

Most of you don’t know me personally, but we are family nonetheless. I have stood with you and with Bernie these past grueling months of soul-soaring highs and hope-crushing lows. I have waited in the freezing rain for hours just to hear him speak. I have felt the electricity of a room crack the moment he stepped inside. I have cried and cheered and argued online. I have been called a traitor to my country, a hopeless dreamer, a Nazi, and a child. I have endured just as you have endured, but hope kept us going. Hope not only in a better tomorrow, but in a politician who actually cared about us. One who listened and actually did what we needed him to do.

But yesterday, all that hope crashed and burned into dust.

I felt outraged, angry, and betrayed as our beloved Bernie just… gave away his votes. Months and MONTHS of hard work. Blood, sweat, tears, and hope… wasted. He gave away everything. And now we’re left with… what?


I’ve never been a fan of Hillary Clinton. The whole argument that you had to be for Clinton OR for Trump made me scream.


But it has happened nonetheless. Hillary is the nominee who will go head-to-head with Donald Trump this November. So what do we, as Bernie supporters, do in the aftermath of the DNC hurricane? Is there anything left we can do short of showing solidarity in boycotting the whole thing with our fellows via a third party vote, writing in Bernie’s name, or not voting at all?

I am answering that question — the questions we are all asking ourselves individually — with an emphatic YES.

I got home from work last night to see my husband near tears. He, too, has supported Bernie passionately, and while I dislike Hillary, he might actually hate her. We sat together in silence, staring at the TV, for what seemed like hours. I don’t know who said it first, but it doesn’t matter. The moment the words were said, we knew it was true.

“We have to vote for Hillary.”


You’re wanting to X this out, I know. You’re thinking me a traitor (I’m used to that by now), and a turncoat. You’re thinking I swallowed the Tang that the DNC sold at the convention. Nothing could be further from the truth. All I ask is that you read a little further. You can even rally against me in the comments if you want. Just, please read what I have to say first.

Thank you.

Let me first state that I hate this. I hate that I have to vote for her, and I hate that my Hillary-supporting friends are being condescending assholes about it. I hate that Bernie won’t be the president. I hate that nothing I feel about the DNC, Debbie W-S, or Hillary herself has changed, yet I still have to do this anyway.

Because Bernie was right before, and he’s still right now.

Bernie is not, and never has been, a stupid man. Nor has he EVER stepped down from what he believes in. I don’t believe either of those assessments of his means or his character are correct, not before, and not in this case. He cares more about the future of our country than he does his own image. He always has. It’s never been about him or you or me, but about us.

So, let’s talk about us.

I’ve heard and read many arguments against voting for Hillary. I even agree with many of them. These arguments tackle Hillary’s past decisions, the DNC’s betrayal, and playing the game of politics as usual. Here are a few of the most repeated ones, with rebuttal from yours truly (feel free to skip to your number one if you wish):

“Hillary Clinton stole the election! Why would we ever vote for her now?”

This was my own argument against her as well, so I’ll start here. At first I said that I would wait until the conference to decide whether I’d vote for Hillary if she won the nod. I was willing to set aside my dislike of her for the good of the country; if for no other reason than to stop Trump.

Then this happened.


I was angry, but the vindication I felt was much more powerful than even my anger. I knew the primaries had been rigged. I KNEW our votes had been stolen. I was livid and frustrated and ready to clean house right then and there! Nobody takes our votes! Nobody. Fear over Trump didn’t matter in the aftermath of such theft. After all, didn’t that make them pretty much the same evil?

But here’s the fact: we really don’t know what happened. Only the insiders really know. We have speculation, and there are certainly signs that point to voter fraud, but we also have this:

As Bernie’s Press Secretary, Symone Sanders WAS there. She was in the heat of the campaign trail. She sent these Tweets during the convention, in a torrent of passionate begging for people to listen to her just as I’m asking you to listen to me. And she’s right — the emails don’t prove the election was stolen. I wanted them to SO BAD that I convinced myself they did, but the facts are the facts. I won’t assume anything for you.  That’s your right. But you can read the emails for yourself here and draw your own educated conclusion.

Exhibit B in this argument is voter fraud during state caucuses. This one is harder to refute, and honestly I don’t know if I can. My own gut still says it happened — there’s just too much to prove it, from the personal experiences of thousands of Bernie voters to the fact that Bill Clinton campaigned for Hillary on-site in West Roxbury, Mass. This is an argument that will keep going, I’m sure, and one that makes voting for Hillary feel like swallowing lead for me. But in the end it still doesn’t weigh as heavily as the reasons why I must do it. I will get to those reasons very soon, but first I want to tackle a few more arguments against voting for her.

“Hillary Clinton is a crook, a Murderer and a liar!”

This one interests me because it spreads a very broad definition over a pretty multifaceted political career. Has Hillary always voted the way I feel is right? Nope, but neither has she always voted against it. You’ll say that makes her a flip-flopper. Most politicians are; it’s the nature of the beast because things come up to change minds all the time, even the minds of politicians. You’ll say “yeah, money changes their minds”. I’ll agree with that; it would take someone pretty naive to say otherwise. But it’s not always money. As for getting money out of politics… well… we’ll get to that later.

However, in the end there are really only two major points repeated by those who use this argument: Benghazi and the Email Scandal.

The former has been beaten like a dead horse, and honestly I only ever saw conservatives use it against her until she decided to run for president. Besides, If a Republican-led investigation couldn’t find evidence, I’m thinking there really isn’t any. I mean, they really wanted to find evidence. Using a conservative talking point is not who we are, and she has been cleared of all charges repeatedly, so I won’t continue in that vein.

As for the latter, Wikileaks has made it nice and easy to come to your own conclusion as to whether the emails were dangerous or not. However, we do know that F.B.I Director James B. Comey has recommended no criminal charges be brought against her. He did say she was “extremely careless” (NY Times, 2016) but if that was a criminal offence, I’d have been given many life sentences by now. You may say you don’t trust the F.B.I., and I don’t blame you one lick, but here’s the thing: the fact is that the whole point of this investigation was to see if she had put our National Security at risk. That means the security of the whole nation — even you and me. I’m pretty sure that everyone — including the F.B.I. — takes personal safety pretty seriously, so if for no other reason, they would have been thorough just to make sure nothing would lead to their own possible demise. When you can count on nothing else, you can count on the human capacity for self-preservation. And contrary to popular belief, the F.B.I. is made of humans.

So, is Hillary a crook, a murderer, and a liar? Probably about as much as you or I. Maybe a bit more (she is a politician after all), but in the end I can’t dispute the result of years of investigations conducted by many different agencies and groups, all of which have led… nowhere.

“Hillary Clinton is the establishment and doesn’t care about any of us!”

This was another issue I had myself, and you’re partly correct. She is part of the establishment. She’s a politician. That’s kind of the definition of “establishment”. However, the second claim can be debated.

When I decided to vote for her, I realized I didn’t really know many facts about her political history — just opinions and thoughts — so I looked it up. Here are some of the bills she has introduced, backed, and/or voted on in her career, from Congress.gov:

S.182 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Paycheck Fairness Act: “…to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages” (Congress.gov, 2016).

S.181 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: “…declare[s] that an unlawful employment practice occurs when: (1) a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted; (2) an individual becomes subject to the decision or practice; or (3) an individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid. Allows liability to accrue, and allows an aggrieved person to obtain relief, including recovery of back pay, for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge, where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to practices that occurred outside the time for filing a charge” (Congress.gov, 2016).

S.211 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Calling for 2-1-1 Act of 2009: “Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award a grant to each state to carry out a program for making available throughout that state the 2-1-1 telephone service for information and referral on human services” (Congress.gov, 2016).

S.7 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Education Opportunity Act of 2009: “Expresses the sense of Congress that it should pass, and the President should sign into law, legislation that expands educational opportunities for all Americans by enhancing: (1) access to high-quality early childhood education, child care, and after school and extended learning services; (2) secondary and post-secondary graduation rates; (3) educational innovation, standards, and assessments; (4) the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers by high-need schools; (5) mathematics and science instruction; and (6) federal grant aid and tax incentives to make higher education more affordable” (Congress.gov, 2016).

S.5 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Cleaner, Greener, and Smarter Act of 2009: “Calls for the enactment of legislation to improve the economy and the security of the United States by reducing U.S. dependence on foreign and unsustainable energy sources and the risks of global warming…” (Congress.gov, 2016).

S.4 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Homeowner Protection and Wall Street Accountability Act of 2009: “…stabilize[es] the housing market and assist[s] homeowners by imposing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures, removing impediments to the modification of distressed mortgages, creating tax and other incentives to help prevent foreclosures and encourage refinancing into affordable and sustainable mortgage solutions… ” (Congress.gov, 2016)

S.2 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Middle Class Opportunity Act of 2009: “…legislation to improve the lives of middle class families and provide them with greater opportunity to achieve the American dream by: (1) providing middle class tax relief while making the tax laws simpler and more reliable; (2) promoting investments in the new economy and enacting policies that create good, well-paying domestic jobs, and promoting families by improving the access and affordability of child and elder care; (3) enhancing the incentives and protections to help middle class families adequately meet their needs in retirement; (4) improving programs to help families acquire the education and training to be productive participants in the modern economy; (5) restoring fairness, prosperity, and economic security for working families by ensuring workers can exercise their rights to freely choose to form a union without employer interference; and (7) removing barriers to fair pay for all workers” (Congress.gov, 2016).

I did not quote the full text in most of them, but you can read them by clicking on each title. There are pages and pages of bills like these right here, of which Hillary has been a part since she began her political career. Go ahead and check them out for yourself. If she doesn’t care about us, she’s doing a pretty crappy job of showing it.

“Hillary Clinton did ____ and I hate her for it!”

This one’s for my beloved husband, and anyone else out there who is angry at Clinton for specific cases not mentioned above. My husband’s issue is Hillary’s involvement in a case on music censorship with Tipper Gore in 1984. I have done some research into this, and found that the facts are a bit different than he remembers.

The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which created the “Parental Advisory” sticker, was founded by Tipper Gore and included Susan Baker (wife of then-Treasury Secretary James Baker), Pam Howar (wife of Realtor Raymond Howar) and Sally Nevius (wife of Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius) (Newsweek, 2015). Surprisingly to me, I have found no mentions of Hillary Clinton’s involvement in any reputable news source of the time.

I have, however, found some sources on Clinton’s interest in video game censorship in 2005. At the time, she introduced a bill to congress called the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA), which prohibited any business from selling, renting, or permitting the sale or rental of any video game with “mature” or “adult only” ratings from the entertainment software ratings board to children under 17 (Congress.gov, 2006). This bill was not passed.

All that is to say, if you’re angry with Hillary Clinton for a particular thing she did in the past other than the major issues listed above, please do your own research. You may be perfectly correct… but you may not be. And even if you are, chances are very good that none of it holds a candle to the reasons why we must elect her anyway.

So, I have gone through the major arguments against Hillary that I have heard. There are probably others of which I am not aware, so if you have one please leave it in the comments section. For now, let’s get on with the most important part of this whole blog post:

Why vote for Hillary Clinton to be the next president?

I’m sure you’ve heard the quick arguments. You know, the ones that are easy to fight over, but not debate in any meaningful way? “Trump is EVIL!” is the number one reason going around. Hell, the DNC Convention itself has focused so much on that ONE point that it’s almost making me ill. I won’t focus on that because fear isn’t a reason anyone should be choosing their leadership. That goes down a scary road that I’m not even wanting to look down, let alone follow. Instead, I will tell you the three reasons I personally have for voting for her.

If you have gotten this far, now is NOT the time to stop reading.

Reason #3: Bernie is backing her

Yeah, I know. We don’t just do what Bernie says. I totally agree. But see, we followed him for reasons, and those reasons were based on one thing: we believed he was right. Do we still believe that? Do we really think he’s abandoned us after fighting for us in government for the vast majority of his life? And why? Because he’s being bribed? (I’m sorry, but that’s just laughable for anyone who has followed him at all.) Because he was coerced? Have you ever seen Bernie back down for any reason? I honestly believe that man would gladly take a bullet for us. Didn’t you believe that once too? He hasn’t given up on us. Let’s not give up on him.

This isn’t the strongest reason to vote for Hillary (hence it being last in the list), but it’s certainly something to think long and hard about.

Reason #2: The DNC Platform

We followed Bernie because we believed in what he said. He wanted to take on the big banks, strengthen the middle class, give free college tuition, and so much more. Why are you abandoning that now? Do you realize that by the strength of his followers — us — Bernie got almost everything he wanted — almost everything WE wanted — onto the official DNC Platform? You know, the one they voted for on Monday and passed?

“But”, you ask, “what is a political platform anyway, other than empty words?”

According to The Constitutional Rights Foundation which focuses on the education of political matters in America, a political platform is, “… a set of principles, goals, and strategies designed to address pressing political issues. Each party’s platform is broken down into ‘planks,’ or declarations that speak to each specific issue” (crf-usa.org, 2016). A platform is what a political party uses to explain to everyone exactly what they stand for. It’s used mostly in elections, and is not legally binding to any individual within the party, but we — and Bernie — can still hold them to it if we work TOGETHER.

See, Bernie supporters scared the DNC this year. They really had no idea how many progressives were tired of their crap until Bernie started stirring us up. And in politics, numbers matter, so they really want us to like them right now.

“Well yeah”, you say, “so it’s all campaign talk to make us happy; they won’t do anything they say when Hillary is elected.”

You’re absolutely correct to worry about this, as politicians are not known for their honesty, but you also have to remember that the Democrats will at least consider their platform in every decision (hence, why there are committees needed to draw them up and a vote is required to make them official), whereas the Republicans will consider theirs.

Speaking of Republicans, there are currently 247 Republicans in the House and 54 in the Senate who will fight against anything the progressives throw at them (as we have see time and time again these past 8 years). Check that against 186 Democrats in the House and 44 in the Senate (clerk.house.gov, 2016), and you can see how important it will be to vote downticket. That means voting at your local and state level, as well as federal, so that the progressives have a majority to work with Hillary on making things better for all of us (and it wouldn’t be bad if Bernie were to become the Senate Budget Comitte leader, either). After all, there are many Bernie supporters running for local office. Plus, the Democrats know we’re watching them now; big local wins for Bernie supporters and other independent progressives will only clinch that understanding.

The Democrats will be very careful during Hillary’s first term, thanks to us crazy Berniebots. 😉

The new Democratic Platform can be found here in full, but I want to focus on a few key points so you can see what’s really at stake…

Wages and Unions:

Bernie has always backed a $15 an hour starting wage. At first, Hillary only agreed to $12. For unions, Bernie has championed them and Hillary has also been for them. In fact, the largest labor union in America endorsed her.

Here’s the official stance as of Monday afternoon when the new platform was voted in:

“Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union and will work in every way we can—in Congress and the federal government, in states and with the private sector—to reach this goal. We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour” (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).

Wall Street and Big Banks:

It’s always been a big part of Bernie’s platform that Wall Street needs stricter regulation and and big banks need to be broken up. Hillary, on the other hand, has had close dealings with both Wall Street and big banks for a long time. This is an issue that has divided us greatly. So what did the Democrats finally decide on?

“Democrats believe that no bank can be too big to fail and no executive too powerful to jail. Democrats will support stronger criminal laws and civil penalties for Wall Street criminals who prey on the public trust. We also support extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting major financial fraud, and providing the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more resources to prosecute wrongdoing… We will protect and defend the Federal Reserve’s independence to carry out the dual mandate assigned to it by Congress—for both full employment and low inflation—against threats from new legislation. We will also reform the Federal Reserve to make it more representative of America as a whole, and we will fight to enhance its independence by ensuring that executives of financial institutions are not allowed to serve on the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks or to select members of those boards” (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).

Education Reform:

Bernie wanted free college tuition. His stance on K-12 education has been less sure, however. His official website doesn’t tackle it, but according to feelthebern.org, he felt that No Child Left Behind should be seriously overhauled, and that we need high-quality, affordable early childhood education. Hillary’s stance on education has been varied. In the 1980’s, she championed the use of testing to improve standards. In the 90’s, she added charter schools to her list of “do’s” (The New Yorker, 2016). She has since pulled away from the strict education reforms she backed, which have mostly failed, but what do the Democrats say?

“Democrats are unified in their strong belief that every student should be
able to go to college debt-free, and working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to public colleges and universities… We are also deeply committed to ensuring that we strike a better balance on testing so that it informs, but does not drive, instruction. To that end, we encourage states to develop a multiple measures approach to assessment, and we believe that standardized tests must be reliable and valid. We oppose high-stakes standardized tests that falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners as failing; the use of standardized test scores as basis for refusing to fund schools or to close schools; and the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations, a practice which has been repeatedly rejected by researchers. We support enabling parents to opt their children out of standardized tests without penalty for either the student or their school… Democrats oppose for-profit charter schools focused on making a profit off of public resources. We believe that high-quality public charter schools should provide options for parents, but should not replace or destabilize traditional public schools  (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).


Bernie’s stance on immigration was loud and clear. He was for Immigration reform that helped undocumented immigrants and their families. Possibly surprisingly, Hillary has agreed with most of his ideas for a while now. So the new platform shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though it is pretty great:

“Democrats believe we need to urgently fix our broken immigration system—which tears families apart and keeps workers in the shadows—and create a path to citizenship for law-abiding families who are here, making a better life for their families and contributing to their communities and our country. We should repeal the 3-year, 10-year and permanent bars, which often force persons in mixed status families into the heartbreaking dilemma of either pursuing a green card by leaving the country and their loved ones behind, or remaining in the shadows. We will work with Congress to end the forced and prolonged expulsion from the country that these immigrants endure when trying to adjust their status” (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).

LGBTQ Rights:

Bernie has always been a proponent of LGBTQ rights. His platform was solidly for them, while Hillary’s history with the LGBTQ community has been spotty. So what do the Democrats officially say now?

“Democrats will fight for the continued development of sex discrimination law to cover LGBT people. We will also fight for comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT Americans, to guarantee equal rights in areas such as housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, jury service, education, and federal funding. We will oppose all state efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals, including legislation that restricts the right to access public spaces. We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate. We will combat LGBT youth homelessness and improve school climates. We will support LGBT elders, ensure access to necessary health care, and protect LGBT people from violence—including ending the crisis of violence against transgender Americans. We will also promote LGBT human rights and ensure America’s foreign policy is inclusive of LGBT people around the world” (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).

Money in Politics:

Bernie always said that we need to get money out of politics. This is why he didn’t have any super PACs in his campaign. What you may not know, is Hillary has said the same thing. The official platform says this:

“We will nominate and appoint regulators and officials who are not beholden to the industries they regulate—people with a track record of standing up to power and safeguarding the public trust. We will crack down on the revolving door between
the private sector—particularly Wall Street—and the federal government. We will ban golden parachutes for those taking government jobs. We will limit conflicts of interest by requiring bank and corporate regulators to recuse themselves from official work on particular matters that would directly benefit their former employers. And we will bar financial service regulators from lobbying their former colleagues for at least two years (Democratic Party Platform, 2016).

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Please read it for yourself and decide. While party platforms aren’t binding, with Hillary this platform will be heavily considered in every piece of legislation. With Trump, this one will.

And please be reasonable… despite your 3rd party bid, reality says it will be him or her. It doesn’t matter how you or I feel about that. It’s a fact either way.

Reason #1: The Supreme Court

Four Supreme Court seats are expected to be available to replace within the next presidential administration. Four. There are currently eight seats total on the Supreme Court. That’s half of the court that makes major decisions that directly effect our lives. 

And in case you didn’t already know, it’s the president alone who appoints supreme court justices.

Oh, and he or she will appoint them for life.

This means that whoever the next president is will have the power to control laws and policy far beyond his or her administration. Even if Trump was only there for one term, his appointment of these justices would live on… and on… and on… for the rest of the judge’s lives.

Let that sink in.

Just to slam home how vital this is, here’s the kind of power the Supreme Court holds:

  • Bush v. Gore, 2000 (5-4 decision) No recount of the 2000 presidential election was feasible in a reasonable time period.
  • District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008 (5-4 decision) Citizens have a right to possess firearms at home for self-defense.
  • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010 (5-4 decision) Corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts in elections.
  • United States v. Windsor, 2013 (5-4 decision) Federal government must provide benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015 (5-4 decision) Same-sex marriage is legalized across all 50 states.

So, there is my argument. Make of it what you will, but please step away from your emotions and outrage for just a moment, and ask yourself the hard question I had to ask too: “is my anger more important than the lives of millions?”

Thank you for reading.


11 Responses to “What do we Berners do now?”

  1. The one thing I have to take a bit of issue with here is when the FBI guy said HC shouldn’t be prosecuted, he only said it because (as he stated) she probably wouldn’t be convicted. However, when he said she was “extremely careless” it is actually something that others had been convicted for, even when they had not shown any intent (as was the FBI guy’s other part of the statement). So, there’s that.

    I have heard HC talk for as long as Bill’s been around. I’ve seen her speak, seen the way she acts on camera, and heard the disdain in her voice when she describes someone who doesn’t agree with her. She literally has very little actual “personality” to speak of and I personally can’t stomach her at all. I really wish all you Bernie supporters could get behind someone like Gary Johnson, who’s a lot closer than HC when it comes to caring about the people. But, to each their own.

    This was very well written though! Good job and great research!

  2. Debra Lentz Says:

    With her pick of a rather conservative running mate, I do not think that her SCOTUS picks are guaranteed to be anywhere close to liberal/progressive.

  3. My inner child is screaming NoNoNo Noooo! as she pounds on her highchair tray fork in one hand spoon in the other as her spilled juice forms a reluctant moat around scrambled eggs jiggling to the hollow rhythm of outraged toddler fists.. My adult self, gawd how I hate her, drags me by the whispy ponytail of rationality into the light of compassion for the disenfranchised for whom I advocate. Retching at the thought of her I must agree with you. We have to vote for her.

    • Thank you. It’s hard, but it’s the only way. Long-term gains take baby steps. Besides, I prefer to think of it as voting for the platform instead of Hillary. 😉

  4. Nicely done Jessica. One thing that is a major factor is that if the GOP had nominated a more stable and moderate candidate like Kasich, I would be tempted to risk it all and go third party since the difference between Hillary and Kasich is debatable. But that risk results in MUCH higher consequences with Drumpf as the GOP nominee.

    Bernie had a great run, but now we need to focus on electing politicians like Tulsi Gabbard and Elizabeth Warren to the senate and house.

  5. Here’s my perspective as one who liked both Bernie and Hillary. Actually, I still admire them both and look forward to the roles they will play.

    But I’m casting my mind back eight years, when Hillary was running hard but got beaten by a surprise outside candidate named Barack Obama. When the primaries were over and Obama had the majority, Hillary and her followers were in the position Bernie and his followers are in now. Hillary did the hard thing, but the right thing, when she swallowed her pride and endorsed Obama.

    Now Bernie has done the same. It saddens me to hear people say he rolled over, or caved in, or was sabotaged by evil campaign machinations. Saying these things dishonors his courage and humility in doing the hard thing, but the right thing.

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