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Hillary Clinton’s missteps, miscalculations and just plain mistakes still don’t stack to the ceiling like those of her Republican counterparts.

It’s amazing how in three short years at one university, the national political divide plays out in a tailor-made microcosm. Never in recent history has intra-party politics been so fragmented and dangerous as they are now. The Tea Party versus moderate debate seen on the Republican side is now being mirrored on the Democratic camp. This isn’t always bad — open discussion and disagreements are natural ways for party platforms to change and evolve — but we can see what happens when these disagreements turn irrational.

Saturday’s democratic convention in Nevada gave us a glimpse into a party that acted less intellectual and understanding and more brute and brash. According to several videos posted on Twitter, verbal fights broke out and credentials were stripped — scenes stolen right out of a Trump rally.

As Sarah Silverman astutely points out — and in a Sanders-sponsored ad nonetheless — politics is like a game. If all of the players take steroids, you also have to take steroids to stay competitive. The bad decisions Clinton has made, and the money she’s taken from less-than-trustworthy hands, can be attributed to a woman trying desperately to stay afloat in a corrupt man’s world.

Imagine that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton look and act the same, but their platforms are switched. Clinton is the underdog senator with less time in the public eye, and Sanders is the former Secretary of State with a political past. It would be difficult to believe that Sanders would be in the same predicament of hatred, distrust and attacks that Clinton has taken from both sides for decades.

It’s hard for many to see the criticisms aimed at Clinton as based on sexism and misogyny. But the sexism of today is a silent killer. “How could we be sexists if we’re talking about her choices and not her hair or clothes?” some might ask. Conservatives and liberals alike pull her policy out of their back pockets when listing — and it’s often a long list — reasons why they don’t want to see Hillary Clinton anywhere near the White House. But if we take a few steps back, the picture becomes clearer.

Hillary Clinton is not, despite many rumors, the devil. She’s a human being who has worked hard to get to where she is, mistakes and humanity permitting. We allow for a woman’s mistakes to be so highly scrutinized and judged. It’s the only thing that explains why two people with similar views, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, can have widely differing approval ratings — Clinton’s is 31 percent, according to CNN, and Obama’s is 52 percent, according to Gallup. All of this without even mentioning that Clinton hasn’t enjoyed the benefits of media anonymity that Sanders has for much of his political career.

Change is always incremental, and the most peaceful and effective way to achieve that change is to work within the system to change it. In November, a vote for Jill Stein or a write-in vote for Bernie Sanders are not actually votes for said candidates — they’re simply votes taken away from the most qualified person of the two candidates most likely to be president of the United States.

In November, we have an important choice to make. We can help progressivism win, or we can sabotage it in its tracks. Eight years of Clinton would guarantee a candidate at least as liberal as Sanders stepping up; eight years of Trump wouldn’t even guarantee a country still standing.

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Adam Manno is a contributing columnist for the Central Florida Future.

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