• Casper Karuna, MCYD memeber

Its Bernie OR Hillary, not Bernie VS. Hillary

After Clinton won the Iowa caucus by such a thin margin it's arguable that traffic and weather were the deciding forces, it’s clear the Democrats have a full blown rivalry on their hands. This isn't necessarily Clinton’s fault, who have seen as the presumptive nominee since November 2012. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it gives other segments of the party a chance to air their concerns.

I am actually quite glad it turned out this way, if only because it has gotten my generation enthused about the political process. With Obama leaving I doubted Clinton's ability to communicate with my generation. It’s not that she hasn’t fought for issues that affect us, it's simply that she generally had not relied on 18-24 demographic in her long political career. But thanks to Bernie, who despite his years in the Senate and House is perceived as an outsider. I’ve seen people who haven’t voted in their lives, who begin to talk about politics in a way other than the “ They’re all crooks” diatribe. If the party leadership is smart they will do their best to harness this.

But while my generation is listening, while they are campaigning, while they are knocking on doors to rally support for an old man from Vermont, I kindly ask that they do one thing: don’t spite the country if you don’t get the candidate you support.

If Sanders loses the nomination, much will depend on what the party and Sanders do to keep youth participation high. But more depends on my generation’s pride and understanding of the political process.

So to those who are putting their hearts and souls into the Sanders campaign, bravo. Your work is making waves across the country.

But please please please, if Sander’s loses do not lose your enthusiasm, your sense of urgency, and for the love of God, VOTE.

Even if you're not that happy about Hillary: VOTE.

Even if you think she shook the hands of bad people, VOTE.

Even if you think she won’t bring about the political revolution you think this country needs. VOTE.

Why? Because not voting will NOT be interpreted in the political process as a sign of protest.

The Government does not care who votes.

It’s not going to see you didn’t vote and show up begging for you to take it back.

It’s not going to write you every day for a year.

Now that doesn’t mean that protest by abstention does not work in other instances. It works great for compelling companies to do the right thing. Not buying their products or even threatening not to buy them can scare the biggest corporations into changing their ways. It’s a great way to use the free-market to achieve social change.

But, though it’s heavily influenced by them, the government is not a company, it’s a game. A game that anybody of sound mind and proper age can play. And this game only cares about who participates, it could not care less about those who don’t.

So please if you don’t get the candidate you wanted, don't condemn the entire country to Cruz, Trump, or Rubio, because in that case a lot of people who had nothing to do with your candidate losing, who are just trying to raise their families and live their lives, are going to suffer, badly. Don’t harm immigrant’s who have lived here most of their lives, and who love this country because you didn’t get the candidate you wanted, don’t harm low-income Americans trying to climb the ladder because you feel the wrong name is on your party’s ticket, don’t let Islamophobia and bigotry get elected to the Oval Office because the person you fought for didn’t make it to the final round.

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Photo by Eli Beckman