7 Reasons Bernie Supporters Should Follow Bernie's Lead And Support Hillary Clinton
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7 Reasons Bernie Supporters Should Follow Bernie's Lead And Support Hillary Clinton

The Democratic Party nominated someone who, contrary to popular belief, is good for progressives.

7 Reasons Bernie Supporters Should Follow Bernie's Lead And Support Hillary Clinton
Are Tågvold Flaten, Flickr

Bernie Sanders' political revolution took American politics by storm. At first, Sanders was just a slightly frazzled-seeming senator from a white, rural state on the edge of the country. No one showed up to his campaign announcement. Yet his progressive ideals touched our hearts, both young and old. Soon, tens of thousands were marching and campaigning and rallying for him. Funds were coming from all sectors of society, especially the most dispossessed. We were feverish for change. Our political revolution was rising incandescently, and we would accept nothing short of victory for ideals.

Lately, us Sanders supporters have lost ourselves. We feel disenfranchised, stranded in a cynicism that seemed so far away just months ago. Bernie has endorsed Hillary Clinton, the devil incarnate for many members of our political revolution, effectively selling out. But has he really?

Has Bernie Sanders, who has fought an unwavering battle for our ideals for decades, somehow abandoned those ideals in some completely unprecedented change in character?

Seems unlikely, doesn't it? If Sanders did not suddenly lose his mind and back-pedal on his idealistic resolve built up nearly since birth, then maybe we need to take a long, hard look at our politics. Bernie is not an idiot, nor did he sell out. His long history of unwavering loyalty to his ideals dispels that notion. He endorsed Hillary Clinton because he believed she was the best champion available for the progressive cause. Our leader believed endorsement would further the political revolution that he began.

So what reasons are there to support Hillary Clinton?

1. Well, Bernie supports her.

If we trust Bernie Sanders, and believe him to be honest and politically progressive, then maybe we should trust his assessment. He is a veteran of a corrupt political system, yet he navigated its treacherous waters and emerged without a scratch. He knows the ins and outs. He knows Hillary Clinton, better than we ever can through television and internet articles. If she truly is the devil incarnate, full of deceit and conservative, then why would her exact opposite endorse her proudly?

2. We don't want Trump.

Yes, this old argument. A President Trump is a much more terrifying prospect than a second President Clinton. Yes, the Clintons are riddled with potential points of corruption and possessed questionable ties to the biased DNC. Yes, the last President Clinton presided in alliance with Republicans over expansions of policy that hurt people of color. But the Clintons were not possessed by evil or selfish motive. Hillary Clinton does not spit racist slurs or threaten to radically alter the world order for the worse, abandoning and hurting marginalized peoples around the world. Nor does she ask a foreign country to interfere illegally in American politics. Nor does she possess the attention span of only fifteen minutes for any subject.

3. Clinton has a pretty good plan to make college free, too.

One of the cornerstones of Bernie Sanders' campaign was his proposal to make public colleges tuition-free. Clinton only deviates slightly. While Sanders would have eliminated all tuition, Clinton wants to eliminate all tuition that is a burden on families. Those who can't pay, won't. Those who do have the capacity, the rich and privileged, will. In turn, colleges will continue to earn money from the wealthy while not putting a burden on the impoverished.

Arguably, Clinton's plan is even better than Bernie's was.

4. Clinton has comprehensive plans to end mass incarceration.

Although her husband's tenure was marred by the blemish on our history of civil rights in the form of a 1994 crime bill, Hillary Clinton argues for a host of different policies to end the regime of incarceration that overwhelmingly hurts people of color. These include an end to mandatory minimums, funding treatment and rehab programs over jails, and transitioning away from the private prison model. She also lists $5 billion in job re-entry training programs following incarceration and reforming law enforcement in a multitude of different ways on her personal platform.

5. Clinton, like Bernie, believes in ending Citizens United.

They both know Citizens United is a corrupt bargain that steals power away from the people. Clinton believes overturning Citizens United is so important, in fact, that she states that, “she will propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United within her first 30 days in office,” near the top of her own campaign's page on campaign finance. Clinton also argues that we need legislation to require outside groups to disclose political spending, which would make the system much more accountable in the long run.

6. Clinton shares Bernie's passion for funding public infrastructure.

“In my first 100 days as President, I will work with both parties to pass a comprehensive plan to create the next generation of good jobs,” Clinton stated on June 22, 2016. Whether or not she was simply stealing Bernie Sanders's policy is, to me, irrelevant. She affirms our values; she has adopted a policy that stresses the need to connect our nation in the way Sanders envisioned. Even if she did copy the policy from her rival, even that is a positive sign. She has moved left in response to our political revolution. We have influenced the race for the better, which brings us into our last reason . . .

7. Even if the above reasons don't matter, Clinton can be bent to be progressive.

Even if we accept the idea that she isn't a progressive, Clinton's power is based on a foundation of increasingly progressive Democratic politics. In recent years, figures like Bernie and Elizabeth Warren have risen to signal the Party's turn toward the left. Clinton is nothing without her Party. Even if she attempted to pass some nefarious policy, she cannot without the support of the Democrats in Congress. And if they wanted to side with Clinton, we have the power to pressure our representatives to move left. We hold the power. We can vote them out; we can march for our beliefs. The foundation of each Democrat's support has shifted as a result of our political revolution.

Bernie Sanders has better credentials for fighting honestly and authentically to make the nation a better place than perhaps any other politician. His integrity is unparalleled. Listen to his voice, now more than ever. He's no sell-out; his endorsement of Hillary Clinton is just one more step toward progressive goals. His revolution continues--not only in his continued struggle, but in ours.

Every ballot, every decision, every career is a vote for or against the status quo. Choose wisely. I implore you to not throw away your shot to help someone like Sanders by not voting, or writing him in. Trump will reverse many of the marginal victories of recent years that people like Bernie have devoted their lives to fight for, and our political revolution cannot afford that. Some will never be able to make bring themselves to vote for her, but others will. Others, I hope, will see that Clinton is the best candidate for the progressive resurgence to continue.

As a Bernie supporter and progressive, I choose to make the pragmatic choice Bernie himself has made. Will you?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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