Ruth Nemzoff wrote this article with Helen Berger, both are Resident Scholars at Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center
OK all you Bernie-ites. Bernie said he’d vote for Hillary, and if you want a revolution your hard work begins now. You have to keep being “a player” by staying in the game with Hillary.
1. Bury the hatchet. After months of demonizing Hillary you now have to look at your choices and decide who is most likely to work for any of the reforms you want. By taking your marbles and going home you allow those least likely to agree with you to gain power, which will make the revolution even more distant. Sitting out the race and letting Trump win by default will cause untold harm to the poor and disenfranchised you want to support. Invest your energy in the Democratic platform and push Hillary to the left. Vote for Hillary to make at least some of your dreams come true.
2. Work for Hillary. Politicians listen to the constituencies who put them in power. You have done a terrific job of raising issues. You must not only keep them on the agenda, but you need to let the Democratic candidate know that those who want change have elected her, and she is beholden to you.
3. Get a Progressive. When in the Senate together, Hillary and Sanders, voted together 93% of the time. That is much better than any of the Republicans.
4. Get action on women. Hillary has been a strong life-long advocate of women’s reproductive rights. As Secretary of State she put women’s equality at the top of the international agenda. Hard-won women’s rights will be in serious jeopardy if Trump becomes president.
5. Hillary might not want to go back to Glass-Steagall Act of 1930 and the separation of banks and investment firms, but she favors more intensive regulation of Wall Street . She wants regulators to have more power to break up institutions they view as too big to fail.
6. She wants to raise the minimum raise nationally. Not as high as Bernie, but the Republican candidates are unlikely to support a meaningful increase. Half a loaf is better than none, particularly if you are a low-wage workers. Change happens incrementally, as in many of the laws that FDR got through.
7. Hillary understands health policy and will protect the millions of people insured under Obamacare. She will improve it, not destroy what it has taken years to build. Yes, I understand you think that single payer is better but think of how many people’s lives have been improved and in some instance saved by Obamacare. Taking that away won’t bring us closer to single payer.
8. She wants to extend voting rights and make voting easier. Time to stop believing that Hillary stole the election through fraud in state after state. I know it’s hard to believe that other thinking people disagree with you, but really and truly many do. American politics has become like American sports–it’s us against them; the Yankees vs. the Red Sox and each set of supporter are sure the other team is the Devil incarnate. But, the players don’t see it that way.
9. You will like Hillary’s nominations to the Supreme Court far more than any Republican nominees. And the court will influence policy for years to come. You need those who think more like you on that bench! And the alternative is clear to see–just think about Citizens United that put so much money into politics, the gutting of voting rights. One vote makes a big difference on the Supreme Court.
10. Gun control. Hillary has actually been a stronger supporter of gun control than Bernie. Bernie too made his political compromises since hunting is big sport in Vermont.
Yes, I understand that you are disappointed. You feel your candidate would have been better on all these issues. But, at the end of the day you have a choice: either you let the worst candidate win, and do all sort of things that will impact negatively on your life and others that you care about, or you work for Hillary. Staying home, or voting for a third party or writing in Bernie’s name may make you feel pure of heart, but the reality is that you are helping usher in bad policies and a Supreme Court that will stand in the way of changes you want that will affect future generations, including your children and grandchildren. Democracy is about compromise, the best achievable–don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and surrender critical incremental gains.
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