By Larry Levine –

Elections have consequences. If you doubt that, consider these:

If 269 people in Florida had voted for Al Gore in 2000 instead of Ralph Nader –
• John Roberts would not be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
• Samuel Alito would not be a Supreme Court Justice
• Citizens United would have been decided the opposite way
• The U.S. would not have invaded Iraq
• The Voting Rights Act would still be in force
• The President of the United States would have addressed global warming in a major way 20 years ago

If 4,429 people in Illinois and 11,046 in New Jersey had voted for Richard Nixon instead of John Kennedy –
• There would not have been a Civil Rights Act
• There would not have been a Voting Rights Act
• We would not have the Peace Corps
• There would not have been the Alliance for Progress to aid Latin America
• The U.S. would not have landed on the moon in 1969

If 38,500 people spread over Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin had voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump –
• Neil Gorsuch would not be a Supreme Court Justice
• Brett Kavanaugh would not be a Supreme Court Justice
• The National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense would not have been eliminated
• Children would not have been taken from their parents’ arms and locked in cages at the U.S. – Mexico border
• The U.S. would not have pulled out of the Paris Agreement on climate change
• Hundreds of small farms would not be going bankrupt because of a trade war with China

All this came to mind in the days after Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for President only to see a flood of Bernie zealots proclaim on Facebook that they won’t support Biden. Of question, of course, is how many really are “Bernie people”, how many are Republican Party dirty tricksters, and how many are agents of Russia, China, or Iran?

To those who actually are disappointed Sanders backers, I feel your pain. I’ve been on the losing side of some tough campaigns. Now, get over it. Who do you want in the White House when Ruth Bader Ginsberg and/or Stephen Beyer leave the Supreme court? And who do you want in control of the U.S. Senate when the day comes to confirm their successors?

Are we not better off building upon the Affordable Care Act as a possible bridge to universal health care than we are with the Trump administration asking the courts to invalidate the Act?

Would you not rather see the justice department defending the rights of women to make their own decisions on reproductive healthcare and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people?

Would you not like to see a federal administration acknowledge the reality of climate change and lead the world community in a united front to do something about it instead of an administration that denies the existence of climate change?

Would you not like to have a President who condemns racism and anti-Semitism rather than one who calls racists and anti-Semites good people?

Would you not like to have a federal administration that stands up for public education and teachers rather than one that seeks to divert funding from public schools to for-profit charter schools?

Would you not like to see Dreamers have a true path forward and those seeking asylum once again be able to look to America with hope?

I think you get the idea. The choices in this election could not be more clear and the choice between the two parties at this moment in history could not be more clear or of greater consequence.

So, knock it off with the “both parties are the same” and “any Democrat who is not Bernie is a Republican” crap. This is, in fact, a fight for the soul of the nation and the protection of the rule of law.