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My Brief Conversation With Senator Bernie Sanders About Why Hillary Clinton Should Be Our Next POTUS.
I had a candid conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders last night. We spoke about his policy proposals and his vision for this country. We spoke about poverty, inequality, college education, minimum wage, and health care. Issues that matter to Independents and Democrats alike.
I said that I agreed with most of his policies. I said that inequality in this country is now higher than ever, and that wages haven't kept up with inflation. I said that people who work full time should be able to afford living expenses, but that instead, they work two or three jobs just to make it; including the college educated. He nodded his head.
I told him that college should be made affordable to everyone but especially to those that make the effort of going to college. That health care should be a basic right for no one chooses to get ill. And that agreed that preventive treatment would reduce the cost of health care in the long run since worse case scenarios could be avoided.
I told him that children have a right to safe schools and free school lunches, for no kid should go hungry just because his or her parents can’t afford to pay for his or her lunch. I told him that schools should be a safe place where children can get a quality education with well-trained teachers, but that instead, we have failing schools in places where disadvantaged kids need quality schools the most. And that we have children going to school hungry because their parents can't afford to pay for their lunches.
I told him that needy parents should have access to affordable child care to ensure that children are safe and cared for when their parents are at work.
Mr. Sanders did not interrupt me and nodded his head in agreement. We went for a walk. I told him that we needed to invest in infrastructure to create jobs, and invest in science and technology to be able to compete with other developed countries.
Mr. Sanders said that it was odd that I was not supporting him since these were his own policy positions. I said that I had always supported these policies. I told him that it had been him whom I began to support early in the election. I told him that it had been his vision, his passion, his determination to make this country a better, more equitable place that had inspired me from the beginning.
He looked puzzled.
I told Mr. Sanders that my policy positions had not changed in switching from him to Hillary Clinton. I told him that reality and ideology are two different things.
I told Mr. Sanders about a Monster.
I told him that this monster was a great threat to our way of life. That this Monster was terrorizing our country and spreading hate through fear, racism, xenophobia and bigotry. And that should this monster become our president, this country would end as we know it. I told him that the risk was too great to play with ideology.
I told him about a Woman.
I told him that this woman has made many mistakes and that she has admitted to some and denied some. To quote Mindy Fisher, “Hillary is definitely not a perfect candidate. And yes, there are going to be times that she disappoints. She is an imperfect human….like we all are. But one thing that is for sure is that she is the most qualified candidate to ever run for the office.”
I told him that I had switched my allegiance to her for three reasons.
I believe that she has the experience to get things done in Congress.
I believe that she is a progressive just as he is.
I believe that the risk that we might get a monster for a president is too great.
For starters, as First Lady she was instrumental in the passing of Safe Families Act,signed into law by Bill Clinton. She also helped to establish the Violence Against Women Office in the Department of Justice, and promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses. During this time, she supported the SCHIP program, which expanded health coverage to millions of low income children. But these are just some of her accomplishments.
Hillary Clinton has a track record of supporting progressive causes. I told him that she has the experience and courage to get things done in Congress even when her political career has been fraught with obstacles: According to Times Magazine, “Clinton entered the Senate in 2001 at the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency, in an era when Republicans were warned not to sponsor legislation with the former First Lady.”
Nonetheless, during her time there, she successfully co sponsored bills in labor, education, science, technology and communications, health and social welfare, and employment. In addition, she delivered victories for her home state of New York when she served as senator for two terms. One of her accomplishments was the Pediatric Research Equity Act, which required drug manufacturers to label all drugs marketed to children with detailed information about safety and dosage.
Secretary of State
As Secretary of State, Clinton conducted U.S foreign policy under the belief that the United States and China could reach a diplomatic agreement to avoid war. She used her diplomatic skills and foreign policy knowledge to work with China, Russia and the European Union to impose sanctions against Iran. Also, during her time as secretary of state she was driven by a belief in human rights and the empowerment of women and girls, and acted under the conviction that foreign policy can be an instrument to make the world a better place.
Secretaries of State don’t control foreign policy, but they have to be skillful negotiators and persuaders to get the job done. She succeeded at many and failed at some, but that was the reality of the job.
People who criticize her often focus on what she didn’t do rather than on what she accomplished. I think that that misses the point. Perhaps Hillary Clinton did not vote on every issue important to every person, but overall, she championed progressive causes, especially in healthcare, the economy, human rights, education, and foreign policy.
I told Bernie that Clinton had won more votes than he did. That she had more state delegates than he did and that she had the support and the vote of Democrats and the Democratic Party. I told him that his trumpeting about “The Establishment” was a half truth. People in the establishment are liberal democrats like me, that understand and support liberal causes, but that are fully aware of the realities of politics and the dangers of ideology.
I told him that I respected his policy ideas and his ability to energize the young and old alike in support of progressive ideas. But that there was no possible scenario where he would become the presidential nominee, and that his intransigence would only help the Monster in consolidating his power.
Bernie and I were now in the middle of a busy street with people coming in and out shops and offices, too busy to notice us. I caught one of my friends going into a store and waved at her. When I turned around Bernie was gone.