Before I explain why the Democratic National Committee needs to be taught a constructive lesson by responsible voters, let me dispel some myths. These conspiracy theories revolve around the view that I'm a closet libertarian, or Republican, based upon one article written solely from an anti-perpetual war vantage point. For the record, I'm a lifelong Democrat who feels that perpetual American wars are the biggest moral dilemma our country currently faces.
President Obama sent troops back to Iraq in late 2014, so I grudgingly wrote the article because I didn't want another American to be sent off to never-ending counterinsurgency wars. Since half to two-thirds of all the Americans killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were the victims of IED blasts, I felt a need to write something provocative. Writing it was bizarre, and I even stated within the piece that, "If Rand Paul picks Mike Huckabee as his running mate, I'll 'evolve' towards Hillary."
It's amusing to me that I was more willing to vote for Hillary Clinton back then than I am today, especially considering that certain detractors have accused me of being an ardent Paul supporter, even when the title of the piece used to disparage me reads, "I'm a Liberal Democrat." For the one millionth time, I certainly am not a supporter of Rand Paul and believe he's on the wrong side of history on almost every issue. I've never voted for a Republican in my life and won't because of one headline.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have written the article, but at least I never voted for the Iraq War, opposed gay marriage until 2013, supported an environmental disaster in the waiting named Keystone XL, opposed the decriminalization of marijuana, or had the FBI investigate my emails. Imagine somebody doing all those things and expecting to win the Democratic nomination? At least I hope the FBI isn't investigating my emails, but if they are, I'd have no need to plead the Fifth like some people.
To further dispel certain ad hominem attacks, please follow me on a trip down memory lane. My first piece in Salon was published last year and titled "Paul Ryan's Much-Needed History Lesson: What He Really Needs to Learn About Urban Poverty." I've written articles in the Hill titled "Illegal Immigrants Benefit the U.S. Economy" and "The Confederate Flag Is 'America's Swastika.'" Many months back, before I realized Bernie Sanders was needed at this point in U.S. history, I was published in the Baltimore Sun advocating "O'Malley Is Better Than Hillary Clinton. Here's Why." As for my view of female presidents, I wrote, "Elizabeth Warren, Not Hillary Clinton, Should Be the Next President of the United States."
Before writing primarily about Bernie, my Huffington Post blog posts ranged from titles like "Tea Party Hatred of Obama Has Always Been About Race" to one piece titled "America Will Be a Stronger Nation When Gay Marriage and Marijuana Are Legalized Nationally." I've also had the honor of being on HuffPost Live to discuss race in America. I'm a regular on Ring of Fire and "The Benjamin Dixon Show" and once debated Jesse Lee Peterson on illegal immigration.
Am I liberal enough for you?
If not, just watch my March 2, 2015, appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell," discussing the "SNL" skit on ISIS and why America shouldn't listen to the war hawks (like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Fox News) about sending more Americans to fight in the Middle East.
Just by glancing at my state-of-the-art website, one can tell that I'm far to the left of the average Clinton voter, and my 60-second YouTube segment offers enough reasons to vote only for Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Also, there's not a soul on this planet who'd say that George Orwell would vote for Hillary Clinton, and I explain why Orwell would only vote for Bernie Sanders in this YouTube segment. If you're certain that Clinton is the pragmatic choice in 2016, I also highlight here why the former secretary of state is unelectable due to negative favorability and why only Bernie can win.
As for why I'm voting for Bernie Sanders, and could never vote for Hillary Clinton, the future of the Democratic Party and progressive politics is at stake in 2016.
On war and foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is a Republican. It's doubtful that with neoconservative influences and a "neocon" foreign policy that Hillary Clinton would refrain from sending Americans back to Middle Eastern quagmires. If you disagree with me, just remember that she evoked 9/11 when asked about Wall Street donors.
I do not trust Hillary Clinton to continually veto Keystone legislation like President Obama, and I do not believe Clinton will refrain from supporting the TPP once in office.
Hillary Clinton accepts money from prison lobbyists. Sorry, I can't have my Democratic nominee accept money from prison lobbyists. Too many lives have been ruined from mass incarceration, and from Bill Clinton's 1994 crime bill.
The Supreme Court nominee argument stating that any Democrat is better than Trump can be used to keep people in line forever; Supreme Court justices are always up there in age. With that logic, the DNC can usher in a person to the right of Hillary Clinton next election cycle, and Democrats would be expected to vote for this person without reservation.
If Hillary Clinton's favorite book is the Bible and she was opposed to gay marriage until 2013, then it's not certain her nominees will be liberal icons. She's evolved on enough social issues, from marijuana to gay marriage, to warrant skepticism.
Also, she's utilized race when convenient, as highlighted by this 2008 Guardian article titled "Clinton Aides Claim Obama Photo Wasn't Intended as a Smear":
Barack Obama's campaign team today accused Hillary Clinton's beleaguered staff of mounting a desperate dirty tricks operation by circulating a picture of him in African dress, feeding into false claims on US websites that he is a Muslim.
Clinton mentioned the AUMF during the debate, and I don't trust her with the power to unilaterally send troops anywhere, and bomb anywhere, without congressional approval.
I don't trust Hillary Clinton's decision-making or judgment. If a person can't type an email without the FBI investigating these emails, I don't think the presidency is the next logical step. Also, voting for Iraq should disqualify any Democrat from the White House, and Lincoln Chafee agrees.
As for how the DNC has treated Bernie Sanders thus far, compared to Hillary Clinton, I'll leave that assessment up to readers. In terms of why I'll only vote for Bernie, there are numerous reasons, but his reaction to the Paris attacks is how our next president should react to a horrific tragedy:
"Yes, a worldwide coalition must defeat ISIS," Sanders said. "But no, the United States must not be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East."
I'm voting for Bernie Sanders because only he would say something like this, and mean what he says.
I'm tired of compromising my beliefs because others are apathetic and unwilling to stand up to the DNC. Pertaining to the powers of a president (war, foreign policy and vetoes), a Trump and Clinton presidency won't be that different. Congress will decide gun laws and Planned Parenthood debates, not the president. I will not vote for Hillary Clinton because my vote means something, and I won't allow anyone to intimidate me into choosing the lesser of two evils. Democracy isn't about the lesser of two evils; if you believe it is, then you should try to change this paradigm. I've been given a once in a lifetime chance to vote for Bernie Sanders, and I'm not wasting this opportunity, or voting for his antithesis, Democrat or Republican.