#IDidMyResearch — Why we keep supporting Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton
Hillary, you said “I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who believe this [Sanders Positions], they don’t do their own research,” And that got me to thinking, what is out there that I need to know about you as a candidate that I don’t already know.
Lucky for us in 2016 we have Open Secrets, Google, Youtube and many other means to find your and Sanders positions. You might not know about these things considering you didn’t know if you had “Wifi” on your Ipad. Of course you understand we are only “protesting”, but you need to be careful how you talk about us “young” voters because even Obama’s former top advisor is thinking you are going to far.
Well I started doing a bit of research and let’s just say I have some concerns. First is Money in Politics. You can’t deny the fact that money at the minimum buys access, especially when 158 families contributed nearly half of all the primary money at the start of the 2016 White House race. In the 2014 elections, 31,976 donors — equal to roughly one percent of one percent of the total population of the United States — accounted for an astounding $1.18 billion in donations. You claim to hate Super PAC’s, but use several to raise MILLIONS in unlimited donations. In fact deep diving into looking into your record lead me to learn about ‘Bundlers’ and how they can be used for skirting limits on the amount people can give but then using back channel legal money laundering to further fuel your campaign but also gain favor with the Superdelegates you need to secure the nomination. We young people understand you can coordinate with Super PACS because of loose rules on coordination. I also learned of how much you can be “swayed” to change your views when money is involved with the excellent interview by Elizabeth Warren from your Senate days. Even if it’s not a direct quid-pro-quo situation it is both the optics and the abandonment of a position many in the Democratic Party once held as their high road.
Further your campaign this year has raised less and less money each month since the start of the year, while Sanders continues to break donation records each and every month since the start of the year. Over half (51%) of your donors are maxed out but Sanders has only 3% of his donors maxed out, in fact 66% of his money is raised in small donations from people who can and will give more. Sanders biggest donors are unions, yours are banks and corporations. Before another candidate could not hold your feet to the fire because they too were “playing the game” just as you are, especially in raising money, but Bernie changed the game. He proved what many of us wanted, a politician free of big money interest, someone held to the people and not to high dollar donors who are (now were) the lifeblood of a candidate.
Let us now move onto Universal Healthcare. Your plan is for incremental steps to expand the ACA, but there is not a definitive plan on how or what that will include. You can’t even decide where you stand on the issue in a 3 day span. Sanders on the other hand has very detailed and budgeted plans to expand healthcare to all through a single payer. Having personally experienced a single payer system I can attest to its vast improvements to the current system, even with the ACA improvements.
And finally there is Tuition Free College. Your plan calls for “debt free” which assumes families to bear the burden of part of their children’s college, whereas Sanders plan is much more simple across the board elimination of public college tuition. He also has a plan to address the 1.2 trillion locked up in college loans that is restricting several generations of Americans, but also our economy in turn. Payments each month that restrict everything from homeownership to decreasing the birth rate because of the unaffordability of raising a child while in high debt.
And the last major campaign issue is Climate Change. No one running for president has spoken so loudly about the need for Climate Change as Bernie Sanders. His views are for radical and decisive change of how we power the United States and he wants us to take on the problem in much the same way we took on the race to the Moon.
Of course you have recently been saying ‘I can never tell what he’s talking about’ which was part of your own “artful” smear on Sanders and if he was qualified to be president. Of course the media spin on the subject was naturally she said / didn’t say on the subject of qualified. Look, we all know you pulled a full “lawyer” there, when you danced around the subject of Bernie Sanders qualifications. Your non-answer was abundantly clear to those who were watching, but for the record you never said the actual words “not qualified” you only implied it through silence. But hey, it’s an improvement on the attack ad you released against Obama in ’08. There was of course a change in “tone” going into NY. We know this because a source in your campaign told CNN that the campaign is going to work on disqualifying Bernie.
While we are on the subject of tone. How the hell do you come across as saying Sanders went negative? I mean if you THINK Bernie is going negative, wait for the general, if you are able to clench it, when Trump ACTUALLY goes negative. The Sanders campaign has run the single most issues based campaign in my memory. He’s never attacked you the person, only the issues and record of you the politician. Have you heard him bring up your emails, FBI investigation, Whitewater, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation donations, or any of the numerous personal attacks out there?
But that hasn’t stopped you from going negative in this campaign. You have blamed Sandy Hook on Bernie and attacked his gun record. Bernie has a very reasonable policy on gun control but you keep trying to distort his record. He has a D- with the NRA and he has called for assault rifle bans as far back as 1988 which he attributes to his losing the election that year. Even those who have endorsed you can’t stand your campaign lies about Vermont and guns when it is very clear Vermont doesn’t contribute to gun’s to NY in a significant way. Still, it is the ONE area I do know you are more progressive, but just by a hair, than Sanders. Is it enough to sway my vote, lets keep researching and find out.
Of course your own stance on guns has changed several times. Not to mention you like to fundraise with an, until very recently, ex-NRA lobbyist. Remember when Obama called you Annie Oakley in 2008 because how pro gun you were? Well the internet remembers.
You said Bernie doesn’t understand breaking up the banks banks, but he proposed the ‘‘Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act’’, which you didn’t support, which outlines exactly how to breakup the big banks. But we know that Sanders was right in his answers with the NY Daily News. Another negative attack was saying you were unsure of Bernie’s democratic status or “what he is” Really? Here is his reply. He’s also come out in supporting three downticket women candidates who are Democrats. While you have run as a democrat your entire career is very much not in question, where you stand on the spectrum of political views is very much in question by many in the party who are actually progressive.
Then there was the recent blow up at a Greenpeace activist and blaming it on Bernie. Then you tried to say Bernie’s individual donations were the same thing as your lobbyist donations. Sorry, they are not the same. We know the difference between a random employee and a lobbyist, but you have taken a lot of money from lobbyists (the exact thing Sanders keeps referring too).
You keep demanding for Bernie’s Tax Returns, well they are coming; because unlike you and Bill, Bernie and Jane are regular people who do their taxes themselves. Just another way they are more connected to the regular voter than you and Bill.
A big part of the talking points I hear from your campaign is Bernie’s experience and ability to get things done. Well the first thing I did was look up the three bills you passed in the 8 years of the Senate and they were not what most would call “substantive”. Of course Sanders is considered the Amendment King as he found a way to push legislation that fit his progressive agenda he was elected to represent. Bernie has 32 years as an elected official for Sanders, you have 8 in the Senate. Sanders has been praised several times for by Republicans for his hard work in Congress. John McCain on Sanders record in fighting for Vets or you can watch the video of him thanking Sanders for his work. But it wasn’t just McCain; “He knew when to hold and knew when to fold and, I think, maximized what we could get for veterans,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer. Does that sound like someone who doesn’t know how to stand up to a stubborn, deadlocked congress? Contrast that to your recent rallying with Governor Cuomo to “support” the $15 minimum wage that you don’t even support. Bernie was actually on the picket lines for $15 in NY, but you swoop in at the last minute to try and take credit. Guess what, it looks really bad and like pandering!
One of the biggest appeals of Bernie is the consistency in his policy ideas, we know exactly where he stands. He’s almost metronome like in his consistency. Whereas we can watch new Hillary debate old Hillary; so forgive us when we worry you will evolve/devolve back to another opinion on subjects we care about passionately.
Which also brings us to the concept of the General Election pivot. People keep saying in the media “Hillary is going to pivot” or “Hillary is loosing now because she pivoted to the general”. But why is this, are you two candidates, one for the primary and a more conservative on for the General? You know when Bernie pivots? Never. He’s as consistent as they come and his message will keep going and growing as the general approaches.
You claim Bernie is making “pie in the sky” promises because these ideas are not possible. But the statistics don’t back it up, 58% support Single Payer, 62% support Tuition-Free college, 79% want campaign finance reform, 81% want maternity leave, paid leave and affordable child care. Just because you say it’s pie in the sky doesn’t mean we can’t make it happen. The will of the People is there for these things. Bernie is just the steward of that will.
Let us swing back to the money in politics again and your often touted Wall Street Speeches. You say you are the most transparent politician in modern times, but you are still “looking into” releasing your wall street speeches, even getting angry with reporters who bring it up. Look, most of us regular people, we get it, you said some nice words to some rich corporations so they could either pre-buy influence/access or at least have you in their favor. You used your position to line your own pockets legally. Now if you were a declared candidate, which you were not (wink, wink) it would be unethical to give those speeches. Don’t take my word that it’s a legitimate line of attack, your own party attacked Mitt Rommney for taking speaking fees from banks back in 2012? Don’t think the Republicans would attack you for the same?
** Ok, a bit of a fourth wall break here — Hillary, if you haven’t gathered by this point, the internet never forgets. In the age of information on demand the younger generations (mostly under 45) are able to find out both your current position, but records of your old positions. The political landscape is changing and in another 8 years there will be even more informed voters with even more access to information about our politicians. You are working by old political rules, ones that are shifting under your feet and disappearing faster than you or the media realize. Ok, back to that pesky research **
Then again your transparency isn’t actually that transparent. Recently you were caught pumping white noise at your fundraising speeches? Really? You don’t want people there to report the news to actually hear your positions? Why? Even if it is innocent it again goes to making you seem disingenuous and the lack of transparency in situations like this doesn’t help!. You are actively avoiding holding press conferences with reporters as it’s at least 120+ days since you held one.
Moving on we have your campaign rejecting several date proposals from the Sanders camp, maybe that was because you have major fundraisers planned on those dates (don’t forget the white noise machine). But Sanders moved a major rally to accommodate YOUR fundraisers to make this happen. All this despite the fact you agreed to doing a debate in both April and May.
People question Bernie’s religion, but he’s been invited by the Vatican to come and speak about putting morality back into money. And no, he didn’t invite himself. He also went and spoke to the Liberty University, a deeply religious conservative school. He has no problem facing people who may oppose the way he thinks because he respects people. That sounds like someone who is able to work across the aisle.
A more recent fact has risen with the leak of the Panama Papers. You supported and helped broker the trade deal with Panama, but Bernie called it out for exactly what it was at the time and was later confirmed, a tax haven. We don’t know the whole story from the American side as those names have yet to be released, but let’s just say it is yet another troublesome judgment call on your part during your years of as Secretary of State gaining ‘experience’.
Now I’m going to go where Bernie won’t, to the core of who you are to the American voter. Let us start off with your ability to “inspire and bring out the vote”. Bernie Sanders supporters were able to close a 5% gap in popular vote in Nevada simply because your own supporters couldn’t bother to show up to the caucus sites and rally for you in the second round of voting. That gave me some pause. But then we now have reports out of Missouri of the same thing happening and it looks like your “slim victory” has turned possibly into a loss! Now even in Washington they are looking to ‘reinterpret the rules’ at the last minute to mitigate this happening again. If you can’t inspire your most ardent supporters to show up, how can you inspire people to vote in the general for you? Then onto the Midterm elections? Do I really feel you can get out your base in 2018? No, but I think Bernie can. He has already called on people to keep being involved past 2016 and to help make change happen. When we don’t bring out the vote in the mid-terms we will lose the house or senate majorities.
Sanders honesty and integrity appeal to even staunch republican voters and consistently polls better with independents by much, much larger margins. You can’t win the general election without the independent vote. Despite being Secretary of State for 4 years, twice as many in the military think Bernie is better than you to lead the country. Shouldn’t your foreign relations experience as SoS make you more popular with the military? Or is it that they trust the judgement of Senator Sanders over yours? Sanders also has several branches of the military in his list of top 20 employers donating to his campaign. Maybe you shouldn’t be talking up your connection to Henry Kissenger after all, which may be why many retired military who can speak out don’t think your policies are well thought out.
Now for head to head General Election polling. But wait you say, “Polling this far out can’t be accurate”, right? Wrong, by mid-April the polling we see trends close to the general election polling, so these are good for seeing the trend of where things can go. It’s true in every Trump v Clinton contest, you win, but by much lower margins than Sanders. In a Cruz match up you JUST squeak out a win, but Sanders crushes him. Then comes Kasich as a contender. A couple of weeks ago I would have not considered him an option, but I think we can put him into play with a likely contested convention. Why? Because he is the best option for the general election for the Republicans. The polling shows him winning over you by an average of 6.7% plus he will bring the swing state of Ohio with him. Trump (-35) and Cruz (-21) have favorability ratings at historically low rates that Republican establishment can’t let either of them be the GOP nominee. You have never beaten Kasich in a head-to-head poll in 2016; Sanders averages a 2.7 percent victory over Kasich across all 2016 head-to-head polling. If I was a Republican I know I’d put Kasich/Ryan as my vote as it would win against you and at least give some fight against Sanders. Don’t forget, the Republicans announce a week before the Democrats, which means many superdelegates can jump ship if Kasich is nominated.
Your approval ratings are almost as bad as Trumps. People consistently don’t trust you in polling. You are up to 55% unfavorable and haven’t stopped trending downwards in favorability the whole time. In fact, your favorability numbers are historic lows for you, even lower than when you were running in ’08. Look at the net favorability ratings of all the past elections and your approval ratings are not looking good for getting elected in the general. Trump does have worse ratings than you, but I’m more confident he will drive yours down than yours to raise. He’s shown much more latitude in his sway of both media narrative and moving to the center to be considered much more reasonable.
Then there is the fact that among democrats 25% of Sanders supporters won’t vote for you in the general election, but only 14% of your supporters won’t vote for Sanders in a general. It means again, Sanders is more favorable and broadly appealing, even within the democratic party. Then when you look to the general election Sanders has the lowest % of people who would not vote for him in the General Election, which is better than any candidate of any party.
Sanders has held hundreds of rallies talking to over 900,000 people (possibly now over 1,000,000 after his 48,000 person rally in Washington State Park and numerous other rallies this week), while you hold high dollar fundraisers to keep your campaign funded. Speaking of connecting and understanding the regular voter, until very recently Sanders was commonly seen in economy class going from state to state to campaign #sandersonaplane. I’ll give you a small pass on the travel part, you are a former first lady, so you have a Secret Service detail, but it is yet another reason you have been disconnected from the regular voter for years.
Your campaign has continually pushed the implication that Bernie is only supported by young white people, but all you have to do is watch video from his recent rally in Brooklyn to see his universal appeal of all demographics. Check out Youtube for all the amazing homemade videos about Bernie. The passion of his supporters, the base you need to be elected is YUUGGE. You can’t claim such passion on your side. Every time your supporters take to Twitter we have hijacked your hashtags and used them to highlight the numerous reasons why we think you are not the right choice.
You have yet to talk much about corporate tax held offshore, $620 billion in tax income held offshore, that Sanders wants to close the loopholes for but that might be because all of the top-10 companies who dodge paying US taxes also paid you speaking fees, donated to your SuperPAC or The Clinton Foundation . You can combine that with the $48 million your husband earned while you were secretary of state and you can imagine why some may question if that could potentially create a conflict of interest.
The DNC actively tried to limit the amount of debates before key states were contested, while not your call, does seem a little obvious to us why. In 2008 there were 26 debates, this year there were 9. “There’s a scenario where Hillary is the only kind of serious credible candidate, in which case they might want zero debates or very, very few.” Articles like this make it clear the whole purpose was to limit the reach of people who the DNC didn’t like.
Now we get into your constantly changing positions we haven’t highlighted. You keep saying you “evolved” which is nice, but to most of us it’s seen as pandering. A Republican would call it flip-flopping. The ever popular Hillary Clinton lying or 13 minutes video highlights how you have moved on issues like gay marriage, TPP, Moderate and a Progressive, Iraq War, Wall Street Bailouts, and Fracking.
Now that we have left the campaign issues part of the research let’s talk about the more “feelings” and “optics” part of your candidacy. While Sanders won’t go there because he’s a pretty nice guy and promised not to, we the voters (and especially Trump or another nominee) will go there. Let us start with the elephant in the room, your Email scandal and an open criminal FBI investigation. It’s already established your wanting to be “above the rules” in your Blackberry use despite it not being a secure device and using it in secure locations. Even if you weren’t breaking any laws (which is highly unlikely) the simple fact you chose to use a private email server is crazy. Did you do it to skirt FIOA requests? A private sector person would have been fired or sued for such a lack of following protocol. You may say it was ok to send emails from a private email account, but the setting up of a private server for government use in your home is what may see you charged with a crime. Should we risk you as the nominee with such a problem?
While I am not qualified to judge the efficacy of the Clinton Foundation, its many foreign donors who gave while you were SoS will be perceived as a ‘kickback’ for help. Was any of it illegal, probably not. Was it unethical, maybe; but it’s just one more thing in a long list of problems that will bear weight on your campaign once the Republicans attack.
Much of this boils down to this: Hillary, you are a pragmatist at heart, you portray someone who is slightly progressive, but at the end of the day, some progressive incremental change is all you will seek. Sanders is the idealist, but he’s also a politician, with decades of experience who has finally called on his fellow people to rise up and speak loudly for what they want. American did not become great by being pragmatic, taking small steps, we became great by not just asking for greatness, but demanding it.
The wave is coming Hillary, a wave of enthusiastic supporters who know your past and lack of judgement. That wave of progressive values will likely sweep your chances for the nomination away.
Please take this opportunity to start a political dialogue with those around you. I want everyone to be informed, do research, hold their politicians accountable and most of all VOTE. Want to help? Start with sharing your favorite information on your candidate on social media with the hashtag #IDidMyResearch and engage in political discourse. Want to do more? Donate and/or volunteer for the candidate of your choice.