…to avoid political posts, especially writing them. I don’t articulate well when it comes to politics, and I can come off kind of bitchy about things I’m passionate about, so I just avoid the topic most days. It’s better for everyone involved most of the time.
But this is too important, and there’s too much at stake to not say anything. I feel like if I don’t say something, someone is going to choose someone else, and this is just too much of a problem to stay silent. I apologize if I come off bitchy, that isn’t my intent.
Today, I’d like to discuss with you why I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, and why I hope you will seriously consider him for the democratic nominee for President of the United States. I’d also like to take a moment to address the group of Sanders supporters who are threatening to not vote for Hillary if she is the democratic nominee, but I’ll save that for later.
My main concern with Hillary Clinton is her list of donors. Private Prisons and Companies like Goldman Sachs top the list. At the end of the day, you’re loyal to the people who got you in office. As much as I’d like to be an idealist and say that the voters are what get any candidate to office, I’d be lying. Citizens United proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt for me. Our country has never been so divided since the Supreme Court handed down that ruling, and the most recent debacle over who should nominate the next Supreme Court Justice has cemented this as fact in my mind. We NEED to get corporations out of politics, that much is certain.
My problem with Donald Trump is the same as Hillary, just without the outside influence. He is a businessman, plain and simple. The only reason he wants to be President is to protect his interests. It’s the ultimate power play for him, and if he is elected President, he will do everything in his power to make sure he stays on top, even at the expense of the American people. His only concern with our foreign relations is how is it benefiting him. He doesn’t want to make America great again, he wants to protect the bottom line.
He throws out making Mexico pay for a wall to be built to rile up the very racist base of the Republican Party, and it’s WORKING. Do you see why that is a problem? Maybe if the drug lords bringing very in demand drugs to the states didn’t make the southern nations so crappy, the people would actually want to stay there. Ever notice how we don’t have a Canadian immigration problem? I wonder why that is, and it’s sick and disgusting to not acknowledge our hand in the whole problem with the southern third of the continent, then work WITH them to fix the problems we’ve had a hand in creating.
Top it off with not coming up with a REASONABLE path to citizenship for the millions already here that don’t involve thousands of dollars and take more than a decade to process, and I’m really starting to worry about what that would do to our economy as a whole. There has to be a better answer.
But my biggest reasons for deciding to vote for Bernie Sanders are his stance on several social issues. My experiences last year have only strengthened my resolve on women’s rights, and their access to complete reproductive care. And it was important to me that whoever I voted for reflected those same values consistently throughout their political career. Only one of the candidates has held that same belief consistently throughout their career as a politician.
He is also the only candidate that has stood consistently with the LGBTQ community, even when it was political suicide to do so. He is the only candidate that has stood for equal civil rights for EVERYONE, and has always voted against measures that would be detrimental to any minority group, including the creation of the private (aka, for profit) prison system currently in operation in the U.S. The same private prison corporations that top Hillary Clinton’s donor list.
His economic plan, including his plans to raise the minimum wage is where I take pause with Bernie Sanders. When I think of corporations not paying their employees a livable wage, I get justifiably angry. These people are showing up, day after day, just so they can support their families. All they want is to be able to afford a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. And they’re willing (and able) to work for it. They’re not relying on government hand outs and being a drain on the system. Those people should be making a livable wage.
But then I think of people like my FiL, and how much that is going to impact his business that he’s spent 30+ years building. He’s raised his family on that business. His son is able to provide for his family because of that business. Most of his employees make a few dollars over what Bernie Sanders says the minimum wage should be, but it is back breaking and difficult work. Why would the employees of smaller companies work that much harder for a little bit more money when they can go work at Walmart for enough money to support their life?
But then I come back to the facts. The facts that minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of inflation for coming on four decades, if not longer. The fact that if people are willing and able to work, they should be able to provide a basic life for their families, a life that doesn’t include uncertainty in how they are going to come by their next meal or how they are going to pay their electric bill every month. And most importantly, the fact that employers have directly benefited from the minimum wage remaining low, and have for DECADES. At this point, it is poor planning on their part. And it’s not like the minimum wage is going to immediately jump to $15 an hour, they will implement small hikes across several years so employers have a chance to plan and prepare for the eventuality of paying their employees a livable wage.
I know how that sounds. I realize it’s not fair to the millions of small business owners that are going to struggle or possibly even fail.I realize it is going to be difficult, if not impossible for many small business owners to rise to the challenge, but the flip side is equally disastrous for a lot more people and our economy overall. We can’t continue like this, it’s just not plausible long term. I agree that there will always be poor people. But we are only as strong as the weakest among us, and we have fallen behind the rest of the developed world in taking care of our poor and disenfranchised. If anything we’ve done everything we possibly can to make sure they stay that way. And Bernie Sanders is the ONLY candidate that has spoken out against all the things our government does to keep the poor in our country as poor as possible. And he has done so consistently throughout his political career, unlike Hillary.
I don’t have all the answers, especially when it comes to the economy and minimum wage. There are far more qualified individuals that can talk about it much more fluently than I can. What I do know is what we have isn’t working for millions of people, and Sanders is the only one proposing any sort of real changes that would directly benefit those people. And the corporations and the politicians in their pockets are doing everything in their power to make sure the poor of our country stay as poor as possible, not only through economic policies, but in social policies that directly impact the poor and disenfranchised of our nation, the people who need those social services the most because even if they are working, their employer isn’t willing to pay them a livable wage.
Do you see the problem here? At the end of the day, for me, it boils down to money. Who is indebted to whom? And what are their motivations behind running for President? As early as a decade ago Hillary was against gay marriage, or at the very least not publicly in support of it. She has yet to release how much she has made in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Some of her largest donors are private prisons. Bernie Sanders average donor contributes just $27 per donation, and so far he has raised $36,000,000. They’re pushing for $40,000,000 by the end of today, and considering previous donation drives, I don’t see why they won’t at least hit their goal.
All this doesn’t mean a damn thing if people don’t vote though. First in the primaries, then in the general election. Even if I haven’t convinced you to vote for Bernie Sanders, I hope you understand just how vitally important this, and every, election is. And not just the presidential election, but congressional and state elections, as well as county and city elections. Every person in public office needs to earn your vote, and they’ve been doing a piss poor job of it lately. It’s time to remind them of who really employs them.
I know this is long, and I apologize, but I’d like to take a moment to speak to my fellow Bernie supporters. I know Hillary is far less desirable than Bernie, the very idea of voting for her makes me cringe. But even she is miles ahead of Donald Trump, whom I’m just going to bet is the Republican nominee, even if the GOP hates him. He’s pulling 40%+ in most states, and the party is just too divided on the other four candidates who remain in the race to unify behind whoever is left standing. No matter what, we need to keep Trump out of office. He cannot win, it’s just not an option. He may not destroy our country, but if he wins, I can guarantee he will do everything in his power to protect his interests, even when it’s at the expense of the American people. So if, for whatever reason, we fail to get Bernie as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, we need to unite behind whoever is. Threatening to not vote is handing another vote to Trump, and is just going to cause a ripple effect across society as a whole. If we don’t stand united against Trump, he will win, and I hope we can all agree that is the worst outcome out of any.