In a lengthy Los Angeles Times op-ed, Bernie Sanders made the case for his supporters to rally to and vote for Hillary Clinton. While Sanders does not explicitly say this, staying home or voting for a Libertarian Candidate or Green Party candidate is a de facto vote for Donald Trump, a man whose policies, if elected, would be the antithesis of what Sanders has fought for - not to mention the Gospel message that Republicans claim to worship. Hopefully, Sanders still disgruntled supporters will listen to Sanders and mobilize to make sure that Trump and the GOP go down to a crushing defeat in November. Here are op-ed highlights:
Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her.
Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.
In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.
On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.
Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.
Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.
Clinton understands that in a competitive global economy we need the best-educated workforce in the world. She and I worked together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83% of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. This proposal also substantially reduces student debt.
Clinton understands that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is absurd to provide huge tax breaks to the very rich.
Trump, on the other hand, wants billionaire families like his to enjoy hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax breaks.
Clinton understands that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is one of the great environmental crises facing our planet. She knows that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and move aggressively to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
Trump, on the other hand, like most Republicans, rejects science and the conclusions of almost all major researchers in the field.
Clinton understands that this country must move toward universal healthcare. She wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their healthcare exchange, that anyone 55 or older should be able to opt in to Medicare, and that we must greatly improve primary healthcare through a major expansion of community health centers. She also wants to lower the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs.
And what is Donald Trump’s position on healthcare? He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off the health insurance they currently have and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans.
I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process, but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything. Going forward and continuing the struggle is what matters. And, in that struggle, the most immediate task we face is to defeat Donald Trump.