It has come to my attention that you, Barbara Boxer, as a Senator from California, have voiced your support for Hillary Clinton as a superdelegate. However, the California primary will not be held until June 7. I urge you to reconsider and wait until after the primary at the very least to promise your vote to Secretary Clinton. There are a great many of us in this state who feel that the way forward is with the more committed progressive policies of Senator Bernie Sanders and will be voting for him. I am aware that Hillary Clinton continues to lead California polls, but they are close, much closer than they used to be, and I feel that Bernie Sanders has a very good chance of winning California. Millions of us feel that Hillary Clinton represents the way of the past, while Bernie Sanders represents the way forward. I realize that you have family ties to Hillary Clinton, but this is beside the point. I also realize that many people want a "woman president," but that is also irrelevant in my view. In fact, although a male, I have already voted for a woman as president as well as for many other women such as you and Diane Feinstein. (I am a longtime California resident and community college psychology instructor.) But elections should be about issues, not how somebody looks or sounds, or what kind of loyalty we might feel for someone based on personal history. (On a side note, much of the voting public, including myself, is upset with the superdelegate system in the first place and wish to replace it.)
Personally, I have been listening to Bernie Sanders on the Thom Hartmann show, and wishing he were our president since 2008. I never thought he would run for this office, however. Now that he is, I want to do what I can to help him win as well as have a good outcome for progressive political voices in this year's election. Having Bernie be our president would be a dream come true for me. I took a couple of political positions quizzes in the past few months, and scored 100% or nearly so with Bernie's positions. I did not score as high in terms of agreement with Hillary Clinton or any other candidate, although I was much more in agreement with Democrats than Republicans in general (with whom I overwhelmingly disagreed). But my affinity with Bernie goes far beyond the issues covered in these quizzes. It is Bernie Sanders' sense of integrity, looking out for the greater good, being beholden only to the public -- not big monied interests -- and his emphasis on political reforms which are long past due in the United States, which makes me hold Bernie Sanders in such high esteem.
I have been active in the political blogosphere since 2008 as well. I run a large and growing community on Facebook which advocates progressive politics and allows people to present their blogs, opinions and other creative products -- The Thom Hartmann Bloggers Group. Although it is not a Bernie Sanders group explicitly, it is quite obvious that Bernie Sanders is the favored candidate of the great majority of group members. Probably 90% of people who ask to join the group are Bernie Sanders supporters. All of this is in spite of my attempts to maintain relative objectivity and neutrality. I have never seen anything like this, and I pray for Bernie Sanders to win as much of a battle against formidable forces as it may be. The last thing we need is our representatives siding with Hillary Clinton as well. We are acutely cognizant of the fact that with her name recognition and public familiarity, as well as political connections, Clinton has had a huge advantage over Sanders from the beginning.
Please do not underestimate the strength of Bernie Sanders' supporters. The movement that Bernie Sanders is leading will continue, I believe, whatever the outcome of this election. That is because, in case you haven't noticed, the public has been growing more liberal -- and politically independent -- over the past few decades, even as Republicans have been moving farther and farther to the right and Democrats have been following them. This leaves a large percentage of Americans, if not most, feeling that we lack any sort of representation in government, especially when it comes to economic issues and foreign policy. This is why there are so many progressives who are thoroughly frustrated with the current condition of our government. Social issues are the only ones where we have seen even incremental progress as our nation has digressed into an oligarchic world bully whose emphasis is on military might rather than investing in and helping people and the future, and whose military eats up massive amounts of money creating an unfathomably large deficit -- while the rich pay lobbyists to write laws to deregulate themselves and lower their taxes. The rich keep getting richer and the poor, poorer. Even recent studies show this to be true, and that government has come to serve basically the interests of the wealthy and not the rest of us. Hillary Clinton does not appear to offer any shift in this toxic agenda in the view of Sanders' supporters. We need to turn this trend around before what is left of our democracy is but a memory. In order to do that, we need people such as Bernie Sanders to run our government and determine its agenda, not big business, banks and war profiteers.
To reiterate, please reconsider your support of the Clinton campaign, at least until after the California Primary has been conducted. I can tell you that an increasing number of Californians are Feeling the Bern and support Bernie's candidacy. Bernie Sanders consistently polls the better than Hillary Clinton against Republican candidates (now Trump only), has the highest approval ratings in the Senate, and has high favorability ratings. Why? Because people love his agenda once they know about it. Unfortunately, most of the voting public has been far more familiar with Hillary Clinton over the years. I believe that Bernie Sanders' agenda is what the United States needs, and represents much of the best of what other modernized nations already have, and more. Compare this to the unprecedentedly low ratings of Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Clinton's aren't as bad as Trump's, but they are predominantly negative in the general electorate, too. She is popular with loyal democrats and older women, but not other groups. A great many of us see her as "Billary," just an extension of the Clinton presidency, and a demonstration of the power of family connections and fame. Otherwise, she would never be running for president in the first place. I am very much in favor of having a woman president, but one who is a true progressive who shares my values and vision of the future. I do not find that in Hillary Clinton but do in Bernie Sanders. For me, he is the candidate of a lifetime -- certainly, the best candidate I have seen. I do not want this opportunity to go to waste.
Thank you for your consideration. Yours, M. Robert Warden, Jr.