Why I will vote for Bernie Sanders

A vote for Hillary Clinton is not a vote against Republicans.

US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders [EPA]
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders [EPA]

In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, the eminent US dissident and world-renowned linguist Noam Chomsky comes out in support of the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whom he considers to have the “best policies of the Democratic presidential contenders in this election year”.

But since he does not believe Sanders has much of a chance of winning, he concludes by resorting to a conventional position that “he would absolutely vote for Clinton over any Republican”, for the Republicans are, as he puts it, a danger to the world.

In a remarkably similar move, the liberal Zionist outlet The Nation has also announced wholeheartedly that it endorses Bernie Sanders, and yet tJoan Walsh, he magazine’s national affairs correspondent, has come out of the closet and declared – Glory Hallelujah “bourgeois feminists of the world unite!” choir in her background – “Why I’m Supporting Hillary Clinton, With Joy and Without Apologies”.

Socialism, Bernie Sanders style

Liberal Zionists have a nicely located corner store in the political shopping mall of the United States – one corner from which they dish out what passes for “progressive politics” in domestic affairs, while from the other, they sell monstrous, warmonger corporate lackey Wall Street errand boys and girls, Israel-firsters with a Janus double-face like no one is watching. 

Enemy of my enemy is not my friend 

A vote for Hillary Clinton, however, is first and foremost a vote for Hillary Clinton before it is a vote against Republicans.

A vote for Clinton may indeed be soothed by the lullaby of a vote against climate change-denying Republicans who want to destroy the world and evidently fly to another planet, but a vote for Clinton is a vote for an unrepentant warmonger carpetbagger corporate lackey who will flood the Israelis and the Egyptians with even more massive shipments of arms to destroy the poorest and most vulnerable parts and peoples of the world, while letting Afghanistan, Iraq, and, unavoidably, Syria rot to pieces with no sense of moral responsibility for having wreaked havoc on sovereign nations.

READ MORE: The media and their masochistic love of Donald Trump 

I would happily vote for Sanders in the primaries and hope he will beat Hillary Clinton and all her Republican cohorts and become the next US president. But even if he does not, there is no snowball chance in hell I would vote for Hillary “Margaret Thatcher” Clinton, who I, in fact, consider an infinitely more dangerous warmonger than all those hot-air crackpot Republicans put together.

Hillary Clinton and her husband are master practitioners of that statecraft. They will sail through any legislation that will facilitate dropping more bombs on brown and black people around the world ...


The lunatic Republicans are political non-entities and have no clue how to navigate legislations through Congress. Hillary Clinton and her husband are master practitioners of that statecraft. They will sail through any legislation that will facilitate dropping more bombs on brown and black people around the world and could not care less if their liberal domestic agenda is stonewalled in the Congress.

It is a point of astonishing liberal hypocrisy to ignore that fact and vote for Clinton – because she is against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and an ardent Zionist – on the pretence that a vote for her is a vote against Republicans.  

The US is first and foremost an empire built on the fragile illusion of a republic. Billions of human beings around the globe have every reason to be scared witless of a vicious imperialist presidency of Hillary Clinton.

If liberal Zionists who, with identical logic, oppose the BDS and vote for Hillary Clinton, want to sustain the illusions of that republic over the deadly fact of that empire, it is, of course, their choice. But the tired old cliche of voting for Clinton by way of voting against the Republicans, fortunately, does not wash any more.  

Democratic limits of an empire

Sanders, to be sure, is not going to be the Salvador Allende, Hugo Chavez, or even Jeremy Corbyn or Alexis Tsipras of the US. This fact has nothing to do with him, but with the empire in which he wants to become president.

There are structural limitations that would make such a possibility entirely improbable. This fact extends not just to his chance of winning this presidential election, but even more seriously to what he can do as the president of a belligerent, warmongering empire.

Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton [AP]
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton [AP]

Be that as it may, a vote for Sanders is a vote for the historic unfolding of a noble struggle within the US as a fragile republic that has appeared in the civil rights and anti-war movement in the 1960s; in the anti-Iraq war rallies in 2000s; in the Occupy movement in the 2010s; and now, in rallying behind Sanders in the 2016 presidential election – as it has historically been around Ralph Nader in many other such elections.  

This movement is weak, and has never achieved a critical mass, and the presidential campaign and eight-year presidency of Obama have done everything to destroy it.

But it is a streak of hope that has a modest catalytic effect on the rest of US politics.

READ MORE: Noam Chomsky – Bernie Sanders has the best policies 

The liberal Zionist opponents of the BDS who are jumping on the bandwagon of Hillary Clinton with the poor excuse of an argument that Sanders is not electable, or that voting for Clinton is a vote against Republicans, is a fundamental betrayal of the very thrust of that defiance.


Sanders is as real as it gets. Clinton is as fake and phony and corrupt as can be. Sanders is the last surviving antithesis of the dominant US politics. Clinton is the embodiment of its deepest layers of corporate corruption.  

Voting for Sanders, in the end, is also a matter of profound personal choice for me. This is the first and the last time in my life and in any presidential election that I can actually vote for an unabashedly Jewish socialist New Yorker, the last of an endangered species, who bravely flaunts his Brooklyn accent, who looks like a retired university professor, who, like my four children, is the first-generation offspring of an emigre, and yet, he is actually older than me!

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.