On Becoming Anti-Bernie
Robin Alperstein

Mostly well thought out, though for me it doesn’t add up to not voting for Sanders.

The one point where I will disagree is about the speaking fees. It’s true that other former office holders have received comparable amounts of money in the recent past. (The vast fees that speakers now command are a fairly new phenomenon, so this discussion really doesn’t come up for anybody from more than 20 years ago.) But most of them have not subsequently run for other major political offices and none have run for President.

A Presidential candidate who has made tens of millions of dollars as a public speaker is unprecedented, and I believe it is a legitimate cause for concern with her candidacy. I’m not sure what the correct answer is, though. Should somebody considering a Presidential run choose not to make such speeches? Should they deliberately charge a much lower fee and leave money on the table? Should they make choices about where to speak based on their political agenda?

I think the real problem is the culture of paying celebrity speakers such large fees; that has made the ability to hear those important people speak a very undemocratic experience. Non-rich people don’t get invited to the events where those fees are paid, and it’s difficult for a group with a modest budget to attract a major speaker when others are willing to put $500,000 on the table to attract those same speakers.

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