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Sanders delegate reluctantly supports Clinton

Sept. 13, 2015, is a day recent N.C. State grad Nida Allam will remember. Speaking in front of 6,000 Bernie Sanders supporters in Greensboro, she introduced the former Democratic presidential candidate.

“Voting has always been about just vote for the lesser of two evils,” Allam said during her speech. “Once I got to college, though, I grew kind of tired of that concept. Why can’t we have a candidate who actually stands for something good?”

Ten months later, Allam finds herself preparing for a trip to the Democratic National Convention as a Sanders delegate, with Hillary Clinton as the party’s presumptive nominee. Once again, she finds herself supporting a candidate she views as the lesser of two evils.

Allam is disappointed Clinton didn’t adopt more of Sanders’ progressive ideas. Even so, she plans to work to make sure Republican Party nominee Donald Trump isn’t elected.

As a Muslim, Allam said she is deeply concerned about Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. She compared his rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler, who “wanted to get rid of Jewish people, and he wanted to label them so people could identify them and be prejudiced against them. The U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect us from that. For a presidential candidate to be proposing something that’s completely unconstitutional is ridiculous.”

Allam said she decided to attend the convention so Sanders’ platform doesn’t get lost in the discussion about Clinton’s nomination. Since launching a GoFundMe page to help offset convention expenses, she has nearly received her entire $2,000 goal.

“The Democrats need to be unified,” she said. “I will always support Sen. Sanders, and I think that Secretary Clinton needs to be adopting more of Sanders’ platforms so that we can defeat Trump together. I am not Bernie or bust, but I know a lot of people who I worked with who are. It’s going to take a lot for them to come over to Hillary’s side.”

Bryan Anderson: 919-829-8934, @BryanRAnderson