CAGOPHi! There aren’t many of you, but you do exist. I’m sure you were looking forward to finally getting to vote in a presidential primary that wasn’t already decided. As citizens of the most populous and most important state in the country, we really don’t get much respect from the political establishment. Our votes are typically taken for granted, and national politicians usually only pay attention to us when asking for money to fund their campaigns in other states.

That being said, there *is* a presidential primary in a few weeks, and your votes can actually help shape a race. First, the facts we can all agree on:

  1. The Republican race has been decided- whether you are happy about it or not, Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican party.
  2. Votes in the Republican presidential primary from this point forward don’t mean anything.
  3. The Democrats are likely to nominate Clinton, but it’s not a done deal.
  4. California has a huge number of delegates at stake in June, and this state could help make the decision about the Democratic nominee much closer.
  5. It’s possible that Bernie Sanders could match Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates if he wins 60%+ of the vote in California.
  6. California has a semi-open primary, where voters that are registered Democrats or registered with no party preference can vote.

I figure that most of my Republican friends in California fall into one of five categories:

  1. #NeverTrump- I wanted to vote for Cruz, Kasich, or some other candidate, as long as it wasn’t going to make Trump the standard bearer for my party.
  2. Meh- whatever, I’ll support the party’s nominee no matter who it is.
  3. Make America Great Again! Woohoo! Trump has huge hands and will be great as president!
  4. Fuck everything- politicians all suck, so let’s get someone that’s not a politician in there.
  5. I don’t care who wins, as long as it’s not Hillary Clinton.

There may be other views out there, but I think those are the main ones. I have a proposition for those of you who fall into these categories:

Change your registration by May 23rd to either “No Party Preference” or “Democrat” and vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary. The day after the primary, you can switch back if you’d like.

Here’s why it makes sense if you’re in one of those 5 categories:

  1. #NeverTrump- Bernie is certainly not Trump, and he probably more closely aligns with your conservative views on personal freedom, electoral reform, rights of responsible gun owners, and limiting police overreach than Clinton or Trump. You could also go vote for a 3rd party candidate like a libertarian, though most of those parties have also already decided on who their nominee will be, so your vote in the primary won’t matter.
  2. Meh- You want to stick it to the Democrats, don’t you? You want to see them have a tougher process of figuring out who their candidate will be? A vote for Bernie in the primary will make that decision more difficult for them.
  3. Make America Great Again! I suspect much of what you like about Trump is his willingness to say what he thinks, regardless of consequences. Bernie Sanders has done that for 40 years, losing elections early on because the people of Vermont weren’t on board with his ideas…yet. Since Trump has things wrapped up, he doesn’t need your vote in June, but Bernie could really use the help. Also, chaos in elections is fun, right?
  4. Fuck everything- what’s better than one anti-establishment candidate on the ballot in November? Two anti-establishment candidates! Both Trump and Bernie are far more likely to push for change to the way the entire system is structured than Clinton is. A vote for Bernie in June can help make that possible.
  5. NOT Clinton- You should be easy to convince- there’s a viable alternative to Clinton. You may not like Bernie much more than her, but he’s not Hillary. You can vote against her now, hopefully making it so you don’t have to vote against her in November.

So, to recap:

  1. Change your registration now. Do it *now* while you can- the deadline is May 23rd.
  2. Vote for Bernie Sanders in June.
  3. Change back and vote your conscience in November.

Thanks for reading this, and share it with your Republican friends if you think my arguments make sense.