Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Support candidate of choice; don’t attack others

We appreciated Angelo Lynn’s sensible response to the Democratic establishment panic over Bernie Sanders’ front-runner status in the nomination race.
For anyone who cares about the future of our country, the prime objective must be defeating Donald Trump in November. But choosing a Democratic candidate solely on speculation as to who can beat him is folly. No one has that kind of crystal ball. Who thought Hillary Clinton could lose or Trump could win in 2016? And, alas, who knows how such factors as voter suppression, ballot box fraud and foreign intervention (solicited or not) will influence the 2020 election outcome?
It is beyond distressing to watch the Democratic Party insiders, editors and pundits of The New York Times, CNN and other media proclaiming that Bernie can’t beat Trump, perhaps creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They did all they could to undermine Bernie’s candidacy four years ago and their efforts contributed heavily to Trump’s election. They seem determined to repeat their destructive tactics.
We wish Bernie would avoid words like “revolution” and “socialism” that unnecessarily scare some voters and provide free ammunition to his opponents. His goals themselves, such as universal healthcare, a livable minimum wage, decent housing, better education, and action against climate change and environmental catastrophe are not radical. They are urgent national priorities, and Bernie’s supporters are the millions of voters who consider him the best candidate to advance them. But none can be achieved overnight or singlehandedly without congressional cooperation.
National polls show Bernie, along with the other major Democratic candidates, beating Donald Trump — the true “radical” — who is attacking the foundations of our democracy in every possible way.
Trump can certainly be defeated, but only if everyone who understands the danger he represents is committed to making it happen. The primaries are the time for each of us to support the candidate we would most like to see as president without tearing down the others. Then we must work to elect the Democratic nominee as if he or she had always been our first choice.
Judy and Michael Olinick
Middlebury

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