Culver City Observer -

My Surprising Decision to Vote for Bernie Sanders


I'm writing this from my heart. I believe California may get to choose who'll be our next President.

It's the first time in 30 years when the California primary will actually count; usually it's just a rubber stamp.

I've followed Hillary Clinton closely since 2007; organized for her; supported her. It surprises me that I've decided to vote for Bernie Sanders. Here's why:

*But first* here's something important: If you registered to vote without stating a political party, you registered as NPP (No Party Preference). You MUST ASK FOR A CROSSOVER BALLOT if you want to vote as a Democrat. Just ask the clerk where you vote. If they say they ran out of ballots, DO NOT ACCEPT A PROVISIONAL BALLOT; INSIST THEY GET MORE, or call a voting hotline. You're entitled to vote in the Democratic Party, but only if you ask.

Bernie Sanders can win: If he gets a lot of California votes, Bernie can come close, and even get more, total votes by people voting, than Hillary. Then superdelegates decide.

Superdelegates explained:

Democrats didn't want bad candidates (sort of what happened to Republicans with Trump). They created a fail-safe, superdelegates to ignore how people vote, and vote the way the party wants. That's why superdelegates are called "super" - people vote for a candidate in a primary, say, and if the party wants a different candidate, the "super" delegate can override how people voted. Superdelegates do not vote until July. They can change their vote anytime; they don't have to listen to what voters want.

This system's inherently unfair - your vote doesn't count to determine the candidate. Because there are lots of super-delegates, they were designed to always be able to pick the candidate the party wants, not who people voted for.

This year, a few states voted to require superdelegates to vote as the people voted. It's brave, and it's fair.

How did Hillary Clinton get so many superdelegate votes?

"The Hillary Victory Fund". After Hillary quit as Secretary of State, she spent two years giving speeches and lining up superdelegates. It's reported that she offered to raise money for states, and promised to give it back to local candidates and the DNC, keeping a small percentage for her own campaign, in return for commitments by superdelegates. The fund raised a lot of money, and now, it's reported that very little went to candidates or the DNC; most went to Hillary's own campaign. These superdelegates made commitments before Bernie Sanders even entered the race.

It's hardly fair for people to commit to a candidate before other candidates were announced. A superdelegate is not glued to that commitment.

How do you feel knowing that your own vote is treated as less important than the vote of someone who committed before any candidate's views on the issues were even heard?

In 2008, even Hillary thought superdelegates were unfair. She wrote to beg them to vote how people voted.

Now that she's the one with superdelegates lined up early, she wants them to ignore how people voted.

It's unusual, you know, that a little bird landed right on Bernie's speaker podium. It feels silly to consider it's nature casting a vote, yet that little bird stayed perched right next to Bernie...

Why I'm voting for Bernie:

*Integrity: In 2008, Hillary didn't pay vendors who supplied the campaign. She blamed a lot of things, but never accepted responsibility. Barack Obama eventually paid her 2008 campaign bills. The Clinton Foundation took giant donations from foreign countries, while Hillary approved arms deals for them.

*It smells fishy: Bernie's held office for 30 years; he's vetted. He has no scandals. Hillary leaves a trail that reeks, then and now. The email problem isn't only about breaking the law, it's about lying - according to the State Department. When facts point to Hillary's complicity in unsavory situations, she never accepts responsibility.

Our President has lots of power; I fear Hillary would take advantages we'd never even know about. That means we must be able to trust her. You know in your heart that something is just not right.

*War: Enough American blood, and treasure. Who wants more wars? Bernie would jumpstart the economy by fixing roads, bridges, tunnels, infrastructure. He'd rather spend money to create jobs than wars. Hillary's a hawk. I've had enough of wars. It's time to take care of problems at home.

*Income, work, education: Single working moms should have adequate funds to provide for their children; Bernie wants a $15/hour minimum wage. Hillary thinks $12 is enough. Bernie says if you work 40 hours/week, you shouldn't live in poverty.

*Women: Bernie believes it's sexism that women make 79% of what men make.

*Police/Prisons: We spend $80 billion a year to lock up 2.2 million Americans; Bernie wants prison reform, with local police reflecting local diversity.

*Health: People with mental health issues should be able to get help when they need it; the U.S. can have better health care.

*Seniors/disabled vets: Bernie wants to continue Social Security and get help for disabled vets.

*Climate change: Hillary supports coal mining and the TPP, another jobs issue.

*Education: Bernie would fix our education system to help Americans compete (we rank with the lowest of all countries in education), with concrete proposals to stop the great income inequality we see.

*"Paid for by Bernie 2016 (not the billionaires)". The campaign finance system is corrupt, and undermines democracy. Hillary's money's from Superpacs, unlimited money and no accounting. Bernie's the only candidate with no Superpac, will reform Wall Street, and wants money out of politics.

*Judgment: Bernie voted against war in Iraq; Hillary voted for war. Joy Behar said, "I'm tired of hearing that." Tell that to parents who lost children fighting in Iraq. I believe it's crucial our President has good judgment before committing the U.S. to war.

How will Bernie pay for all this? Mainly, it's closing tax loopholes; stopping taxpayer-funded giveaways to oil, gas, coal companies; taxing Wall St. companies on super-sized profits. See

"A great nation is remembered not by how many billionaires it has, and how many nuclear weapons it has. It is remembered by how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable people in society," believes Bernie.

*Bernie's overriding belief: "At the end of the day, love trumps hatred".

Beethoven wrote on a piece of music: "From the heart, to the heart", wanting people to not think first, just to go with their heart's feelings.

Next Tuesday, please vote with your heart. You know in your heart, and in your gut, which candidate you can trust. You know in your gut that the U.S. President must be honest. You stomach knows our President must have integrity.

Your vote will count in California's primary, finally. Whatever you do, please do go vote. Don't waste your vote. Make this primary count.

My heart is speaking to your heart. Go with your gut. Use your heart to make this decision.

Please vote for Bernie Sanders, a man with indisputable integrity; I will.


©Carole Bell 2016 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything.

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