A Facebook video from actor and activist George Takei initiated a public debate about voting for a major presidential candidate and individual political identities.
On April 27, Takei urged supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to "come together" with Hillary Clinton supporters to vote for the former secretary of state in November.
"Hillary will likely win and she will be our nominee," Takei said in the video. "I'm asking Democrats out there to take a pledge along with me — vote blue no matter who." He emphasized the importance of voting based on what you believe in — not preferred candidates.
Some Facebook praised Takei's attempt to unify the party with his message.
"Thank you for having a realistic voice on this," one user commented.
Other people questioned the video's message.
"The only reason I am voting in this Democratic primary is because a true progressive is running for the nomination," another user commented. "I won't be voting for her in the general."
Takei said he understood the user's frustration and asked the user to continue engaging with the issues they cared about.
"These changes don't happen overnight," Takei said. "If you give up after Bernie's candidacy you're not demonstrating your gumption and staying power. Come in, change the party. Look how far you've already moved it."
A March Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that one out of three Sanders supporters said that they wouldn't vote for Clinton if she became the Democratic nominee. Another poll found that one of out three Republican voters in the state of Wisconsin said that they wouldn't vote for their party if the nominee was Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. But Takei's suggested that voters should think beyond just the name on the ticket, and think instead of what they'd like to see happen come Inauguration Day.
In 2010, researchers at the University of California found that more policy information about candidates equated to more issue-based voting. This can be achieved through thorough discussions on the issues, thanks in part to advocates like George Takei.
Cover image via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com.