Last night, Bernie made it very clear that the only way the political revolution his campaign ignited can actually succeed in this election cycle is for Hillary to be elected president and to have the many gains of the campaign have a fighting chance of becoming law.
I know that has been a hard pill to swallow and that many of you are grieving.
I know some of you are considering voting for a third party or not all. Some of you have strong feelings of antipathy against Hillary.
We could see the tears on your faces in the stadium and feel the loss in your hearts.
I am simply writing to ask you to listen now. Deeply. Not just to Bernie, although, as the founder and leader of the political revolution you’ve so passionately served, it is important for you to take him seriously. He has earned your trust.
Bernie’s been in the business of aiming for audacious change for a lifetime and he knows that all is never won or lost in a single election cycle. It’s a long game that he is playing and he is inviting you to join him in making the maximum amount of positive change at this time.
But I know that may not be enough to fire up your passions and stoke the idealism in your heart, which I very much honor and share. You know America is capable of something breathtakingly better and you want it in every cell in your body.
You’ve already displayed the fiery courage that can move our nation in the right direction. You know that you have what it takes to make the sacrifices and dedicate yourself to a cause.
So what I am asking you to do now is to take the time to really listen and to let go of the stories that have been ricocheting around the internet. Not to protest and vent on Facebook, repeating the frustrations you feel and the judgments you may still harbor.
But to dare to be open and receptive to new information, first of all from other amazing leaders who understand, appreciate, and honor a whole different side of Hillary than you have been experiencing.
People like Cory Booker, who has literally lived on the street with homeless people and survived on food stamps to understand the plight of the poor. And Michelle Obama, who has demonstrated the most amazing grace, heart, and courage as our nation’s first African-American First Lady. And Elizabeth Warren, such a fierce champion of real economic change.
They are some of our brightest lights as a country, the kind of people that make us proud to be an American.
They know Hillary in a far more intimate way that you and I do. And they deeply respect her. They are not endorsing her in a half-hearted way. They see her as a noble leader who really works for the underdog and who will represent, champion, and help ALL Americans.
There’s a reason that Hillary’s colleagues, staff, and allies deeply admire her and that is because she works courageously and cares deeply, not just for issues but for everyday people like you and me. She listens more deeply and sincerely than perhaps any major political figure in recent years.
I strongly encourage you to read a Vox article by Ezra Klein about this very thing today and take it seriously. His article is the most important I have read, especially because it shows a kind of leadership that is sorely lacking in our politics.
After you do that, I encourage you to take a long exhale. Allow yourself to thaw out from the battle mode where Hillary was seen through the eyes of being an enemy and where you might have subconsciously sought more information that better prepared you for battle.
Be brave enough to open to a new possibility and a new reality.
That reality is this: Hillary is actually now your greatest ally, for the simple reason that she is now better able to make more of the changes you care so deeply about than any single person.
That is why Bernie came out with such a powerful endorsement last night and such a fierce call that she “must” win.
She is now the revolution’s most important ally.
But to embrace that whole-heartedly and genuinely means letting go of the stories that have created a negative caricature of her. It means taking the time now to discover what others see in her that you might have missed.
It means taking seriously that your beliefs and views of her might be just a bit skewed by thirty years of an attack machine the likes of which none of us have ever faced.
The truth is that our political culture has become truly violent and toxic. Hillary, partially because she is the first woman to break through multiple barriers as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State and now the first major party nominee, has had an unprecedented amount of ideological violence, lies, and hatred directed at her.
That has sometimes made her tougher and less accessible than we may want. It can be hard, I know, to feel her authenticity and her humanness.
But put yourself in her shoes and imagine not just an occasional arrow but a literal barrage of politically-motivated rage coming at you for decades and ask yourself how easy it would be to display your most vulnerable self.
We all need to have compassion for what she has been through in the crosshairs of Republican attacks for decades.
I trust she will, in the days and months ahead, really let us see and feel her heart. And from what I hear from those who do know her personally, it is a beautiful one. In addition to being smart, tough, and hardworking, she is warm, generous, and loving, they tell me.
You may still have resistance come up when you read that. The fierceness of your devotion to the cause may have made that idea abhorrent.
However, for the good of our planet, for the good of future generations, for the good of your own passionate dedication to the political revolution, you owe it to yourself to question the sea of negativity that you have been swimming in regarding Hillary.
Listen to the people who have worked closely with Hillary and found her truly remarkable and honorable. They will share their deepest truth this week and beyond.
Take the time to listen to them without preconceptions, even if you only do so as a practice to create more love in the world.
If we learned one thing from Gandhi or King or Jesus, it’s that we have to love everyone in order to lift humanity to a new level.
Opening to the possibility that you might eventually respect and even love Hillary is not just important for you as a change agent.
It’s really important for our world to learn that real political change CAN come from seeing each other with the eyes of love and that we can turn adversaries into allies. America depends on this, as do all the war-torn countries of the world.
That is humanity’s great redemption. Where would we be if Germany were still our enemy? We have to be open to our relationships evolving.
I’m not asking you to do an about face in a single day. Take the time you need to shift. I’m not asking you to do something that is not genuine.
Take the time to read the stories of former Obama staffers who transformed their opinions after the 2008 election and came to deeply respect Hillary. Listen to the strong testimonials from those she worked with in the Senate. Read about what her allies see in her.
Dare to open to the possibility that there is far more to the story with Hillary and that she is now positioned to help you create the America that desperately want.
If you can connect with her in a different way, the revolution CAN succeed now.
It’s time to go beyond the bust to a true breakthrough, powered by love.
Bernie is calling for it. America needs it.
On the deepest level, you know that we cannot wait any longer. We cannot be forced to undo four or even eight years of real damage from a Trump presidency. President Obama had a very, very deep hole to dig out of. Do we give a future Democratic leader a Trump-sized hole to dig out of, which could easily dwarf Bush’s?
Can we truly afford that?
The clock is ticking for humanity and if you’re honest with yourself, I think you’ll agree that we simply cannot go backwards, even for four years.
It’s time for America to manifest a higher destiny and express our mission on still another level. It’s time to lead the way on peace, sustainability and prosperity for all.
And we need you in order to do it.
All it will really take is for you to dare to open to loving someone you once saw as the enemy.
That is the most radical and revolutionary act you can now do and if you do, all of your passion for change will not fester but will contribute to real success.
Gandhi, King, and Jesus would be proud of you (and so will Bernie).