The 2016-Presidential Election has been a whirlwind of debates, voting history, changes in social issues, and the notion of a political revolution. For the first time in American history, there is a very high possibility that the first female President could be Hillary Rodham Clinton. Despite popular support across the board, if Clinton receives the nomination, her toughest challenge from this point on will be securing the vote of Bernie Sanders supporters.
This week Clinton announced on "Good Morning America" that she believes supporters of Bernie Sanders will begin to unite behind her and embrace her as the Democratic nominee. Back in April of 2015 when Clinton announced her second bid for the presidency, it could have been easily assumed that she would win the unbreakable support from Democratic voters. Nevertheless, this election season has shown that many of these voters remain devoted to Senator Bernie Sanders and his promise of a political revolution. Some supporters of Sanders vow to vote Democratic regardless of who wins the nomination because they believe that Sanders and Clinton are both more qualified than Trump. On the other hand, many current supporters of Sanders have vowed to not vote at all if Sanders does not receive the nomination, write Sanders' name in on the ballot, or vote for a third party candidate. Many of these voters have rallied behind the slogan "Bernie or Bust." While it is uncertain what will come of Sanders' campaign after an unexpected loss in New York, a bigger question is posed: can Clinton win the support of Bernie supporters as Democratic nominee? While there are many variables that contribute to the moral strain that can come with being a supporter of the former Secretary of State, here are three reasons why those supporting Senator Sanders will not support Hillary Clinton if she receives the Democratic nomination.
1. Clinton does not have an impressionable record regarding human rights.
With a new-wave of millennials brings a transformation in the fight for equality. Twenty years ago, Hillary Clinton could still secure the support of Democratic voters by being opposed to same-sex marriage. As a huge advocate for Bill Clinton's previous Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which federally defined marriage as between one man and one woman, Clinton has been notoriously known for her rock-solid stance on traditional marriage. Clinton also supported her husband's since-repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy which prohibited openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from serving in the military. While Clinton has defended her support of these legislation's by stating they were compromised policies and part of "transition steps" to ensure the Republican Party did not try to enact harsher legislation - the facts do not sit well with millennials. Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges which has since given same-sex couples the right to marry in all fifty states, Clinton changed her position and began supporting same-sex marriage. She has defended her switch on the matter by stating, "I think that we have all evolved." Voters can decide for themselves if the damage caused by these legislation's are too deep to forgive Clinton, or if it can be overlooked. Clinton is now a self-proclaimed supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. While she is much more progressive than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, supporters of Sanders do not feel they have to settle for Clinton simply because she has changed her stance on these issues. After receiving an attractive voting record from Senator Sanders, will these voters be able to settle for what Clinton has to offer?
2. Supporters of Bernie Sanders find it difficult to trust Hillary Clinton.
During this election season, Sanders has repeatedly addressed the issue of "big money" and political actions committees (PACS). Before this specific election, the issue of money controlling government was not a key issue among candidates. Sanders does not have a sanctioned super PAC, further allowing him to label himself as someone who cannot be bought. Meanwhile, Clinton is notoriously called a corporate sell-out and known for receiving support from Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. As a Senator from New York, Clinton did not fuss with Wall Street despite the greed and dishonesty of it. On top of a poor record against fighting "big money" in politics, she still refuses to release the transcripts of her paid speeches with large banks that have brought in millions of fees. If Sanders had never run for the nomination, it could be suggested that it would not bother voters as much that she refuses to stand up to Wall Street or release her transcripts because with that taken into consideration, she is just like every other candidate. Without a doubt, Sanders has set a very high standard with his campaign - and that's a good thing. Not only has he forced Clinton to address issues she may not have if she were running against a candidate such as Martin O'Malley, but he has also awoken the minds of voters. A huge factor contributing to why supporters of Sanders find Hillary Clinton untrustworthy is the simple fact that Bernie Sanders is honest. However, if Clinton receives the nomination for the Democratic Party, supporters of Sanders will have to decide if they want to settle for a candidate who is not going to battle Wall Street as Bernie Sanders has promised and who is not as trusted by the American people.
3. Hillary Clinton represents a status quo of the Democratic Party.
Now that supporters of Bernie Sanders have gotten a taste of a political revolution as well as democratic-socialism, where does that passion go if he loses the nomination? Unlike Sanders, Clinton has not promised a revolution but she instead has stated, "I am not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in real life." While those who follow Sanders are aware of his policies and how they will be accomplished - Clinton claims she has an advantage because she is more capable of working with lawmakers on the Republican side. Regarding political issues, Clinton shares extremely similar stances with President Barack Obama. With that taken into consideration, it is no surprise that Clinton has used the debates to praise Obama and all his efforts. Those who oppose Clinton have been referring to Clinton's run for presidency as a "third term" for Obama — entertaining the idea that her presidency will not bring much change. For those who support Senator Sanders, this could potentially be disappointing in a way. Whether or not a supporter of Sanders is in favor of President Obama, they are not looking to keep things exactly as they are. Not only has Sanders demanded a government that works for all of us, not just the few, but he has also advocated for equality in a way that the American people have never seen before. If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, it is unlikely that she will carry on the revolutionary message that the Sanders campaign has created. However, the impact of Sanders will not cease to exist even if he loses the nomination. The ideas of universal health care, equal education, a living wage, the full promise of equality, and working together for what is right will continue to live on within his supporters. With that said, it remains unclear if those who support Sanders would be content with holding off on the idea of a political revolution and settling for Hillary Clinton.