I love Bernie Sanders. I do not hate Hillary – I just do not trust her to do the right thing about certain issues at this point in time. My lack of trust based on her donor list is not a personal attack – it’s a political reality. Anyone’s donor list is fair game when running for office.

What I am hating is the sudden Bernie fan hate. Yes, some of his supporters are sexist jerks. I do not support THEM, I support my candidate. And that is NOT a condemnation of my intellect or my relationship with reality. Have we already forgotten that Obama’s rallying cry was “HOPE?” Yeah, he didn’t get everything done he wanted to do, but he made progress. And I don’t think we should have gone with the “safer” choice of Hillary back then either. (Although I think I did vote for her in the primaries. As I had voted for her as my Senator.) Can Bernie do EVERYTHING he wants to get done? Doubtful. Does that mean I’m naive for choosing not to settle for the Corporate Democrat? Please. It’s insulting. Cut it out.

When MLK said, “I have a dream,” people certainly told him that he was naive, that it could never happen, that he shouldn’t even try. He didn’t accept that. Obama didn’t accept that. We won’t either.

Oh, and I got my first death threat last night for tweeting about Bernie’s MLK Day rally in Birmingham. Someone tweeted at me to tell me Bernie hates women. I replied simply with: No, he doesn’t. I was then barraged with tweets that ranged from misogynist to pornographic before finally getting one that said simply: you dead. Reported and blocked, but all because I was tweeting inspirational quotes from Bernie’s rally.

And please stop yelling about sexism if you’ve jumped on the ageism train. Two wrongs do not make a right. Yes, it would suck for Bernie to win and then die in the White House in a few years. But that’s why we have Vice Presidents. And there are rumblings that Sen. Nina Turner could be a smart VP choice for Bernie. A black woman in the White House would be phenomenal.

Let me be clear, the misogynist attacks on Hillary Clinton are not okay, by any stretch of the imagination. But criticism of her platform, her donor loyalties, and her voting record are not sexist attacks – they’re political analysis. It would be sexist not to take these things into account the way we do for all of the other candidates.

I’ve donated $3 to Bernie’s campaign. His average donor gives less than $30. Those are individual voters who have a token financial interest in his success without breaking the bank. His responsibility is to individual voters. People getting tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from big corporations do not have to make individual voters happy with what they do in office. If they want to be re-elected, they need to make those big ticket donors happy so they can get more money to fund their next campaign…paying for flashy campaign ads that don’t necessarily even tell the truth. But slick marketing sways uneducated voters who, let’s face it, make up most of the electorate. It’s a terrible system, and why we need public campaign financing.

Voting records show how this plays out on both sides of the aisle. Like how people I voted for have sold out public education in favor of for-profit charter schools. I’m not thrilled with Bernie’s voting record on gun control, but he voted the way he did because it’s what his constituents wanted, and his stance made sense for Vermont, if not for the rest of the country. When his constituents are the whole country, he will do what he can for the good of the whole country.

About voting records…

I had to look up the Brady Bill business concerning Bernie Sanders. I wanted to know WHY, since gun safety is a big deal to me. I always want to know why, because there are often “poison pills” added to legislation people would otherwise support. I found this.

At least one version of the bill had a poison pill.

“He wasn’t opposed to states having (waiting periods) if they wanted to. The Republicans wanted to repeal waiting periods in states that had them, and Bernie voted that down,” Weaver said.

The other part is something I’m not really HAPPY about, but he was keeping a promise to his Vermont constituents.

“He said he would be against waiting periods, and he kept his word to the people of Vermont.” … “Bernie’s response is that he doesn’t just represent liberals and progressives. He was sent to Washington to represent all of Vermont,” Pollina said. “The Green Mountain State, though left-leaning, has a high gun ownership rate and lax gun control laws (as well as a low homicide rate).”

Changing his tune now is appropriate now that he wants the job of being beholden to the entire country, not just his home state. It’s still not comfortable for me, but I can understand.

And with that, I am acknowledging one of my candidate’s flaws, his former position on gun control measures. Anyone who brings up the Brady Bill votes is not personally attacking him, and I know that. But I also think the context is important. He didn’t take NRA money to vote against the bill; he was representing Vermonters. This time around, he’s going to be representing ALL OF US. And as such, his position had to change. Because of his history of keeping his promises to his constituents, I trust him to follow through.

Let’s not forget that Bernie was the odd man out when it came to voting on the Iraq War and the PATRIOT Act. Bernie was on the right side of history there, while Hillary was not. We could only know that in hindsight, but it’s part of Bernie’s track record that he’s been way ahead of his time on many issues – from civil rights to same-sex marriage to universal health care. He’s not perfect, but no one is. Can you acknowledge Hillary’s flaws without viewing them as personal attacks, possibly sexist, and probably meant to split the party? We have primaries for the very reason that we don’t always agree on who should represent our party. That’s not splitting the party, that’s putting it up to a vote. As far as I know, neither Bernie nor Hillary intends to run on a third-party ticket if they lose the nomination. THAT would be splitting the party.

So can we play nice? The Democratic party cannot behave like the cannibalistic GOP. There are things I like in Bernie that Hillary doesn’t have. There are things you like in Hillary that Bernie doesn’t have. But honestly? I’ll vote for Hillary in the general election if she wins the nomination. Let’s not alienate each other, because only one of them can win the nomination, and we’ll need all of us to support our nominee in the general election against the GOP nominee.