I'm proud of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander for supporting Sanders based on principle. It's not easy to go against conventional wisdom, particularly for two brilliant intellectuals who are well-known for their reasonable, ironclad logic.
We all have our roles to play. Coates and Alexander are applying pressure to change how racism and the various other hyper-capitalist, patriarchal strands are addressed in our society. They don't need anyone's approval, but I think it's right of them to do this.
My far, far, less significant role, as I see it, is multilayered, the most important parts being to ensure that 1) a Democrat takes the White House in 2016; and 2) the Democrat in that seat is best primed to get things done. My worst fear is that a Republican -- but especially anyone in this field -- wins in November. That's very much a real threat.
I realize folks will disagree with my support of Hillary on those two points: electability and effectiveness in office, but everything in my bones, every instinct I've developed about a political culture with which I've been obsessed since I was kid, tells me Hillary is our best chance for long-term change and that Bernie is our best chance for moving the cultural needle.
Strictly on paper and on record (to say nothing of the candidates' private thoughts or strategy), I agree with Bernie Sanders more than I agree with Hillary Clinton. This was also the case in 2008 when I supported then-Sen. Obama over Hillary, only to see President Obama come back to the middle when he quietly realized the realities of the office he held.
I am also aware that Sen. Sanders has had the luxury of supporting "far-left" positions (and I say that with no derision as I agree with them) that would be supported by a much more progressive constituency while quietly "evolving" himself on a number of issues over the years, notably LGBTQ rights and crime.
I can't accept that Hillary Clinton supports certain positions that she does because she truly believes in them as it is obvious to me she views policy at this level as a negotiation between public support and private discussions on policy. She has been, up to this point, a master of that game.
Yes, she's made concessions that make me wince, but she's also helped make progress in areas that are crucial. She is an imperfect champion by necessity.
I'm not saying this to belittle folks who support Sanders. I get it. I do. If you have to follow your heart on this one, I respect that.
But I can't take the chance with what's at stake: 2-3 Supreme Court justices, repro rights, voting rights, etc., etc., etc.
I can't take the chance on someone who I know, without a doubt, will get chewed up by the Republican attack machine and spit out.
I would rather have someone who knows how to play the game than no one at all.